In the video below, the iconoclastic singer-comedienne Carol Channing delivers two songs from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She’s playing Lorelei, a role she originated on Broadway.
Darryl Zanuck, the studio head of 20th Century Fox studio, did not engage Ms. Channing for the 1952 movie. The plum role went instead to you-know-who — a huge gamble for Zanuck. Jack Cole’s coaching of Monroe in her first beefy song-and-dance role brought it all home for the studio. [I wrote this story in the Los Angeles Times in 2009.]
On a television program in 1953 Channing struts her stuff in “A Little Girl from Little Rock” and “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
Next up, Marilyn and Jane Russell vamp in the film. You can find interesting borrowings by Jack Cole for the film version. In Channing’s “Diamonds” version, the men call out the jewelers’ names; in the film, this is transferred to Monroe. She delivers the words on a Jack Cole bump-and-grind. [Cole loved strippers.]
Thank you for pointing us to the historic Carol Channing video, Dancers Over 40!