Carol Channing Honored At 95

Over the weekend, Carol Channing was honored in Palm Desert, CA, with a two-hour, intermissionless concert called “Carol Channing’s 95th Birthday! In Celebration of a Broadway Legend.” The Playbill for the event included a reprint of a Time magazine story on Carol from January, 1950. (She was the first actress to appear on the cover.) Live presenters Lucie Arnaz, Alan Cumming, Florence Henderson, Gavin MacLeod, and Lily Tomlin introduced video clips of great Channing moments. Among them: Carol’s Dietrich imitation, her duet with Carol Burnett, and another with Goldie Hawn. A written tribute from President Obama was read, and video tributes came from Julie Andrews, Bill Clinton, and the cast of myriad current Broadway shows — “She Loves Me,” “Phantom,” “Les Miz” — just about everything except “Hamilton.” Carol was there, frail but composed. Apparently, the evening’s highlight came when eight chorus boys in tuxes did “Hello, Dolly!” One of the dancers ran a microphone down to Miss Channing, seated front-row center. She sang, “Wow, wow, wow, fellas — look at the old girl now, fellas.” Pandemonium!

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