There is no one else on the planet who loves Betty White more than Deadpool. So on the actress’s 96th birthday, Marvel’s Merc with the Mouth gave a very special birthday shout-out to his favorite gal on Twitter.
On Wednesday, January 17, Betty White — who famously starred in 177 episodes of the TV sitcom The Golden Girls, as the naive midwestern retiree Rose — celebrated her 96th birthday. On Twitter, the official account for Marvel’s Deadpool gave a shout-out to Ms. White, sharing an image of Deadpool drunk on martinis and squeezing his wiener. (A hot dog wiener, mind you.)
“Happy Birthday to the one and only @BettyMWhite,” wrote Deadpool, “Cheers to another year of ‘Tinis and Weenies! 🍸🌭.”
In the canon of the Marvel anti-hero, Deadpool vies for the affection of either Betty White or the late Bea Arthur, White’s co-star on The Golden Girls. For the most part, Deadpool seems to lean towards Arthur; an Easter egg in both Deadpool and the upcoming Deadpool 2 is that the name “Bea” and “Arthur” are engraved on Wade Wilson’s katanas. Ryan Reynolds also wears a Bea Arthur shirt early on the film.
Still, Wade’s got a thing for Ms. White. In the Bob Ross-themed teaser trailer for Deadpool 2, which is now hitting theaters May 18 instead of June 1, Deadpool’s name for white paint was “Betty White.” (Meanwhile, Deadpool also painted a scene of happy little trees with “Mennen Black,” “Clockwork Orange,” “Pretty ‘N Pink,” “Doc Brown,” and “Box Office Gold.”)
White is the only surviving cast member of The Golden Girls, an unlikely success for NBC when it aired in 1985. For seven seasons, White starred alongside Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty in a sitcom about three widows and one divorcée living in Miami. Unlike most sitcoms of its time, which was mostly suburban nuclear families — or in the case of Friends, single twenty-somethings in New York — The Golden Girls starred older single women. In spite of its decidedly not trendy premise, the show was a hit, particularly within the LGBTQ community.
“They were playing it in gay bars, but the great thing about this show was that the fans went from little kids to grandparents—everybody of all age brackets and sexual persuasions,” said series writer Stan Zimmerman in a 2016 interview. “It’s a beloved show. That doesn’t happen too often, and that’s what I think has allowed it to maintain this crazy staying power.”
Today, The Golden Girls survives with collectibles such as Funko Pops and a whole slew of merchandise at Hot Topic. And no doubt that shout-outs from Deadpool can only mean fans will remember it for years to come.
Deadpool 2 will hit theaters on May 18.