Carol Channing might be no longer with us, but her gaudy legacy lives on. If you missed out on her in her lifetime, here’s why she mattered.
Today, we lost Carol Channing. But even in death, she was able to do what she did in life, and upstage her legendary counterparts. A beloved Tony Award-winning legend, Channing performed amongst the very best of Broadway, but her iconic raspy voice separated her from the pack.
We unabashed Channingfans here at The Big Smoke, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our five favourite moments that helped define the immortal
hether you remembered her spitting out the words ‘Raspberry’, loved her as the iconic Dolly Levi or simply recognise her from singing Jam Tomorrow in the 1985 remake of Alice in Wonderland – we wanted to give you a rundown of our five favourite Carol Channing moments:
1) Hello Dolly
For Broadway purists, Carol Channing is the only Dolly Levi that mattered, with many believing she was ripped off when Barbara Streisand played the role in the 1969 movie version. No one could truly play Dolly as perfectly as Channing, with her voice and movements a form of art:
2) Carol Channing out raps LL Cool J
58th Tony Awards, LL Cool J turned Carol Channing into a cool cat, when they both performed a rap song that proved they both keep it poppin’. Channing with her heavy set glasses and moves is a truly iconic moment that would make both Broadway and rap fans proud.
In the film Thoroughly Modern Millie, Channing would randomly yell ‘Raspberries’ while holding a bottle of champagne. The moment (and Channing) was reinvigorated thanks to Jinkx Monsoon on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
4) Her legendary fashion
Channing wasn’t an entertainer, she was a vessel of presence. The room was hers when she entered it. In the clip below, Lily Tomlin illuminated the meaning behind Carol’s lasting radiance.
5) She beat Marilyn at her own game
For our Cartiers, Carol Channing’s version of Diamonds are a girl’s best friend is severely underrated. Channing’s version was unique, melding humour and storytelling in a way that only she can do. She didn’t lazily rely on teenage erections to power her performance. Yeah, we said it.