Carol Channing Mistaken For a Drag Queen!


At the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, I caught Dori Berinstein‘s Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, a loving look at the saucer-eyed Broadway star’s legend.

I already wrote about a Tony winner being evicted from the room.

But now let me tell you a couple of highlights from the movie itself.

One of the best stories told in it is the one where someone once approached Channing, certain she was a drag impersonator.

“Who are you?” they pressed.

“I’m a trucker from Toledo,” the musical actress replied, dryly.

They’re still pulling their jaw off the pavement.

Other tidbits from the film:

*When the movie version of Hello, Dolly! came out — starring Barbra Streisand, not Channing, of course — people said to her, “She’s great, isn’t she?”

“I’d say, ‘Isn’t she?’ and I’d shut up!” reveals Channing, still pissed.

*Another less than thrilling incident: Carol’s kiss with hunky Clint Eastwood in The First Traveling Saleslady was so awkward it was the very first thing cut from the film.

Alas, there’s no mention of the psychedelic gangster flick Skidoo or the doomed grand-diva comedy Legends, but there is a clip of Carol doing a “Haitian corn grinding song,” which might explain how those corn stories started!

After the film, the legend took the stage and said she liked the film (though she cutely added, “It’s long, isn’t it?”).

She told some stories from her life, and though we’d already heard them verbatim in the movie, we were captivated.

What a dolly.