As we say goodbye to Broadway icon Carol Channing (1921-2019) — who died today at 97 — let's revisit some of her classic TV appearances. Thankfully, that medium captured her far better than the movies, and is available more widely than her primary home, the theater:
1953 The Buick Berle Show: Channing tore it up as Lorelei Lei on ths rare, early performance several years after creating the role. (Cute dancers, too!)
1957 Performance: On TV in 1957, eight years after she opened in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Channing wowed with "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Her performance is such an amazing counterpoint to Marilyn's (1926-1962) burlesque take.
1961 Chevy Show: Looking naturally gorgeous before she became such a delightful, willing, walking Hirshfeld caricature, Channing belted "Calypso Pete" on May 14, 1961.
1962 What's My Line?: On one of her many appearances on the show, Channing was mistaken for a leading man, which clearly thrilled her.
1967 White House: Footage of Channing performing in the White House (probably with audio enhancement). She was a huge LBJ (1908-1973) supporter and lifelong Democrat.
1978 Hugh Downs Q&A: Downs (b. 1921) really pulled a lot out of the ol' girl with this one!
1979 British TV: Riding high on her first major revival of Hello, Dolly!, Channing performed her signaure tune in London in this stunning clip.
1982 Love Boat: Channing played cruise director Julie's whacky aunt on the sitcom, which led to this unbelievable quartet — Channing, Ann Miller (1923-2004), Della Reese (1931-2017) and Ethel Merman (1908-1984) singing "I'm the Greatest Star." It would be Merman's final filmed performance.
1985 The Morning Show: Channing was in fine form being interviewed by some guy named David Letterman (b. 1947).
1985 Night of 100 Stars II: Channing and a bevy of others who were among the first to come to slay.
1987 Broadway Sings: The Music of Jule Style: Channing was "on" singing "Little Girl from Little Rock" nearly 40 years after she first sang the song.
2006 Family Guy: Channing's last credit was voicing herself on an episode of Family Guy. "Up yours, young people!" her cartoon self gamely declares.
2010 Gypsy of the Year: Okay, it wasn't TV, but it was filmed! Nearing 90, Channing did a medley of her signature tunes for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, including kicks!
2014 Pepsi Super Bowl Ad: Playing off of Channing's status as the first celeb to sing at a Super Bowl halftime show in 1970, Pepsi in 2014 offered this warmly nostalgic ad, which features some of the performer's final recorded vocals.
2018 97th Birthday Special: Channing didn't participate, but this became her last birthday profile, and it is meaty and satisfying and a fitting way to end.