Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy Birthday, Carol Channing: A 94th Birthday Celebration!

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

In celebration of this year's Bistro Awards, celebrating the 30th Anniversary, yesterday my blog was on Stearns Matthews who is receiving a Bistro Award on March 4th for his CD, Spark.
Tomorrow, my blog celebrates Kristoffer Lowe who is receiving The Ira Eaker Award.
Winners of the 26th Annual Bistro Awards, which will were held April 26, 2011 at Gotham Comedy Club. Edie Cowan directed the evening, which were hosted by comedian and actor Jim David. One of the Lifetime Achievement Award winners that night was today's Birthday girl, Carol Channing. Lee Roy Reams announced the award and I accepted it on Carol's behalf. She was unable to attend due to a nasty cold.
Continuing my series celebrating the Bistro Awards and because it is Carol Channing, today, my blog is devoted to Carol!
Happy Birthday, Carol! 94 NEVER Looked so good. You're still glowing, you're still crowing, you're still going strong...

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A lot of the world tomorrow will be watching the Super Bowl. In 1971, the Super Bowl got an added bonus when the half time show was born.
Did you know that Carol Channing appeared in TWO Super Bowl halftime shows? Ms. Channing first appeared at Super Bowl IV (1970) at the host for a Tribute to Mardi Gras.
The second time, Ms. Channing appeared alongside Ella Fitzgerald at Super Bowl VI (1972) with a Salute to Louis Armstrong.  - See more at:
Did you know that Carol Channing appeared in TWO Super Bowl halftime shows? Ms. Channing first appeared at Super Bowl IV (1970) at the host for a Tribute to Mardi Gras.

The second time, Ms. Channing appeared alongside Ella Fitzgerald at Super Bowl VI (1972) with a Salute to Louis Armstrong.  - See more at:
As everyone is watching Katie Perry tomorrow night, think about how much has changed in almost every aspect of the entertainment world!
I don't think there is a person alive who knows me who doesn't know how much you have meant to me over the years.
Today, I devote my blog to you and the moments of happiness that have sustained me in what sometimes is a deary world.
Thank you Dale Badway and The Theatre World Awards for posting this:
Theatre World Award: "Lend an Ear"
Birthplace: Seattle, WA

Ms. Channing's Broadway credits include: "Let's Face It," "Proof Thro' the Night," "Lend an Ear," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "Wonderful Town," "The Vamp" (Tony nomination), "Show Girl," "Hello, Dolly!" (Tony Award), "Four on a Garden," "Lorelei," the 1978 revival of "Hello, Dolly!," and the 1995 revival of "Hello, Dolly!" In 1968 she received a Special Tony Award and in 1995 she received a Tony Award Lifetime Achievement Award. Her Off Broadway credits include: "No for an Answer" and "Singular Sensations." She also appeared in a number of films, including "The First Traveling Sales Lady" with Ginger Rogers, the cult film "Skidoo," and "Thoroughly Modern Millie," opposite Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore. For "Millie" she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.

I first became aware of Carol Channing when, as a kid, I saw Lucille Ball "impersonate Carol on an episode of The Lucy Show.

I absolutely love and adore you and Carol. A loving look of affirmation and validation from her speaks admirably well-enunciated, wide-eyed volumes. Happy 94th Birthday, beloved Carol!
-Alan Choy 

Lucy had no idea what door she was opening! The last time I saw Carol on a personal level was at Tommy Tune's in August of 2013. Carol was in New York thanks to Daniel Nardicio's Icon Series on Fire Island. He brought her and Justin Vivian Bond for an evening together on Fire Island. 
The evening was a smashing success and they would repeat it last January in celebration of
with Mx Justin Vivian Bond
Carol's 93rd Birthday at Town Hall. I was happy to be there as well.  Thanks to Tommy Tune and his assistant, Peter Glebo, I was invited back to where Carol was staying. I asked my friend Luis Villabon, who was dying to meet Carol, to come back with me. Because I had many friends with me, and I didn't want to overwhelm her, I only spent a few minutes with her. But I knew that I would be seeing her the next night, thanks to Tommy Tune

Tommy refers to Carol as his spiritual fairy godmother. From the moment they met, they became solid friends. Last summer, Tommy and Carol appeared together both in Provincetown and in San Francisco in an evening of conversation. 

Carol Channing and Debbi Bush Whiting (Courtesy: Debbi)
I didn’t expect to meet Carol Channing after her Cherry Grove appearance in 2013, just thrilled to be a part of the festivities…BUT low and behold I was invited backstage and VOILA! Dreams do come true.
-Debbi Bush Whiting

Tommy's celebration of Carol at his penthouse apartment was a star studded celebration and was covered by the media. Enjoy this video of highlights of that party, courtesy Stephen Sorokoff. 
Here is the blog I did on that celebration

Happy Birthday to the only and only CAROL CHANNING. What can I say that hasn't been said about this "theatrical force of nature." - Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and of course, Dolly Levi in "Hello Dolly."
-Ron Greenfield, Aspects of Entertainment
Max Showalter

Happy Birthday Ms.Channing! Congratulations and best wishes from a member of the "Dolly Clan". 
Many years after actually doing Dolly with Martin, Grable, Rogers and Lamour......I brought my kids to see Ms. Channing and my beloved Max Showalter in a summer production of Dolly.
-Leslie A. Snow

Happy Birthday to not only a wonderful Dolly and adorable Lorelei, but also to a great jazz baby - Miss Carol Channing!! God Bless You!!
-Richard Holbrook

God bless this wonderful woman. She means so much to all of us.
-Kevin VanMeter 

My favorite Carol impression was by the late, great Tony Stevens. I hope you got to see it while Tony was alive. I mean, he could blow the lid off any party with his brilliant mimicry of her.
Oh, wait. Cory English told me this one.
He had had a "good night" as Barnaby, and had played those laughs for all they're worth. 

Carol with Jerry Herman
He was thereupon summoned to Ms. Channing's dressing room.
"Cory, honey, do you see that program on the coffee table there?"
"Yes, Miss Channing."
"What does it say on the cover?"
"It says 'Hello, Dolly!,' Miss Channing."
"That's right. (pause) It doesn't say 'Hello, Barnaby!,' now, does it?"
And that's the way a star handles it.
Tell her happy birthday from another San Franciscan.

-Don Stitt

Dame Angela Lansbury and Carol Channing salute Jerry Herman with a Hello Dolly!/Mame mash-up:

 Carol Channing starred as Lorelei Lee in 1949's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and has since starred in an array of Broadway productions, winning a Tony for her landmark role in Hello, Dolly! READ MORE HERE.

with my designer and friend Glen Charlow when Carol attended my show, June 5th 2007
 Some stars get a brief round of applause upon making their first entrance. Carol Channing received a prolonged standing ovation just for flashing a big toothy grin when the curtain opened Saturday to reveal her sitting in a tall director’s chair on the Curran Theatre stage. Not quite an hour, many laughs and some well-received snatches of songs later, the ovation that closed “Time Steppin’ ” put the earlier one to shame. READ MORE

I have been madly in love with her since 1973 when we first met. Our paths crossed many more times over
David Dillon with Carol
the years. One story, out of many I have with her, shows her generosity of spirit. In about 1987, I had produced Jerry's Girls in Chicago. During the run, Carol came to town to do her act at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. We had arranged to do photos together with her at her hotel ... Carol with all of us and Carol alone with Lori Hammel, who "did" Carol in the Dolly number in the show. She invited us to see her act and when we got to the hotel, there was a long table front and center for us. During the show, Carol stopped and said "I want to introduce you to some friends of mine who are doing a wonderful show called Jerry's Girls...  She then went on to tell the crowd about the show, encourage them to come see us and then she introduced us all to her audience by name. I adore her. Always have and always will.
-David Dillon

My favorite and funny moment with Carol Channing was totally unexpected.  Around the time of Carol's 90th, my partner Joe Lajewski and I were shopping at Borders Book and Music in Columbus Circle. We were getting ready to leave when we heard over the speaker system "Carol Channing will be signing her in album  For Heavens Sake in five minutes".  Loving Carol, we decided to stay.  All of a sudden, a young employee was helping Carol walking down the long store isle. They started playing "Give Me That Old Time Religion" and forgive me, but we both smiled. It was so ultimate Carol!  No doubt it was Carol singing the song. Carol saw me, waved and then paused.  The young employee said, 'Oh, by the way Ms.Channing, there a few steps when you get to the stage'.  "Oh, there's a stage and everything!!!" Carol exclaimed.  Carol let go of the assistant and ran up to the stage like a girl of 16 years.  It was priceless.
-Lawrence Leritz

 Happy 94th birthday to actress and singer Carol Channing, who once called Forest Hills home. She
with Michael Orland
was born on Jan 31, 1921. This Smithsonian Institute inductee played the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in the Broadway show, “Hello, Dolly.”

I featured her in my book, "Legendary Locals of Forest Hills and Rego Park," which will be published on March 6:
-Michael Perlman

Thank you Rancho Mirage Florist for once again taking care of my annual flower delivery to Carol today! You ALWAYS do a magnificent job!

Celebrating our birthdays together (with John Richard Peterson)
with Carol and Harry

Happy Birthday, Carol...Thanks for the wonderful times I've shared with you!
Tommy Tune's Party for Carol August 2013

Carol Channing is 94 years old today! Check out her AMAZING Broadway career in Playbill Vault!

with Carol Channing and Sondra Lee (Broadway's ORIGINAL Minnie Fay in Hello, Dolly!) This was taken when I interviewed Carol at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Square in July 2010 to celebrate the release of her CD, For Heavens' Sake

Happy 94th Birthday to the extraordinary 3-time Tony Award-winning legend, Carol Channing! All the best! Brava! 
-Angela Lansbury News
with Carol backstage after she wowed Broadway once again after the Gypsy of the Year Competition December 2010
"I'm terribly shy, but of course no one believes me. Come to think of it, neither would I." :)
-Carol Channing

Carol discussing me with Dori Berenstein for Carol Channing: Larger Than Life (Footage not used)

Happy Bday 2 Carol Channing. NO ONE loves & supports her fellow performers more. So grateful 2 know u.
-Christine Pedi 
What a great night this was for me. What a thrill to perform as ME for Carol and Harry celebrating our Birthdays

Celebrating Carol Channing today? has the documentary about her life available for streaming!(Source: Playbill Vault)
with Harlan Boll, Harry, Carol, Dori Berenstein, Adam Zuker, Richard Skipper after screening of Carol Channing: Larger Than Life at The Tribeca Film Festival.  Carol Channing: Larger Than Life came in 3rd place in the Heineken Audience Award race! 2011

Thank to ALL mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
with Ingrid Bergman after a performance of Hello, Dolly!
 Please join Richard Skipper in NYC February 25th!. He will be interviewing Lee Roy Reams LIVE ON STAGE to benefit The Spiral Theatre Studio at 300 West 43rd Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10036 at 8PM!  The evening with Lee Roy Reams will begin with a Wine and Cheese mixer at 7:30 PM, and interview of Lee Roy Reams at 8 PM promptly. Call me if interested. 845-365-0720 $30.00 RESERVATIONS A MUST! Please reserve today!! SEATING IS LIMITED!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Reserve TODAY for the 30th Annual Bistro Awards at The Gotham Comedy Club March 4th! 
Richard Skipper,

Perry Como and Carol Channing - If You Hadn't, But You Did
1954 performance of the song "If You Hadn't, But You Did." The song was originally from the 1951 musical revue "Two on the Aisle."


  1. Happy Birthday, Carol Channing!!!!

  2. Absolutely loved this! It looks like you had the most perfect day and enjoyed this party. I also need to hire party halls in Boston MA, where I can also arrange my birthday party and invite my friends and family. Could you suggest me?