Tuesday, 15 January 2019

I am terribly shy, but of course no one believes me

"Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward."

"You know, if you're lucky enough to have two smash hit shows, the traffic of the world goes through your dressing room."

"I am terribly shy, but of course no one believes me. Come to think of it, neither would I."

"I did 10 shows on Broadway and sure, not all of them were hits. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I got to work with George Burns and Mary Tyler Moore. I received a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination, and so much more. How could I possibly have regrets?"

"Johnny Depp has said he wants to play me in a movie. Wouldn't that be great? People say, "But he is a man," but it doesn't surprise me at all. I can’t remember the last time one of my impersonators didn't have a 5 o'clock shadow."

Very sad news. One of our most entertaining of Patron Saints Miss Carol Channing is dead, just a few weeks short of her 98th birthday.

Over the years (and years and years) she was in the business, she brought nothing but pure joy. I never heard anyone who worked with her say anything about her but compliments - and even in her 90s, she was bemused when someone wanted to make a documentary film about her life. Of the director Dori Berinstein she said: "I don’t know how she put up with me. I really didn’t think anyone would care about watching my story. But she was passionate enough for the both of us, and she proved me wrong."

On stage, as well as large or small screen, she was unstoppable - she was still purported to be taking another go at "Dolly" just two years ago, ffs!

We adored the woman, her style, her talents, her sheer chutzpah - to mention just one notable role, her performance as "Muzzy" in Thoroughly Modern Millie was one of her finest moments. She herself always counted "Dolly Levi" as her own personal triumph (despite having lost the part in the film version of Hello, Dolly! to a woefully miscast MegaBabs).

From a purely camp perspective, she is dear to our hearts for a few screen moments in particular, not least this magnificent number:

Then, there's this show-stopping ensemble turn (possibly my most beloved clip of all time):

And, of course, this!

RIP, Carol Elaine Channing (31st January 1921 – 15th January 2019)


  1. Now I know your my gin blossom. Your the only person I know you remembers her from Alice in Wonderland playing the White Queen and her Jam today song. One of my favorites. The news truly dampened my day, and for some odd reason, I dressed in all black today when I left for work at 5:30am, before hearing the news.

    I am sure Carol was ready to meet our Maker. Now whether the Maker was prepared for the great ordeal of meeting Miss Channing is another matter.

    1. I imagine she's already set up a stage and changed the curtains... Jx

  2. miss cawall channnning (said in her recognizable voice); one in a million, never to be repeated.

    and yes, babs was not the best dolly levi and walter matthau was not the best horace vandergelder. babs tried to play dolly like fanny brice, IMO. and she overshadowed the rest of the cast.

    1. I agree totally - MegaBabs was too young and too dominant for "Dolly", Mr Matthau was passable but uncharismatic in a musical, and an awful lot of the supporting players were altogether too stilted (not least Michael Crawford, who I thought was terrible in this). It was a flop at the box office (and brought 20th Century Fox to the point of bankruptcy), so we were not alone in our opinion. Jx


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