Fans weren’t the only party gagged when RuPaul’s Drag Race champion Bob the Drag Queen pulled off an ace impression of late theater legend Carol Channing — who died Tuesday at age 97 — during the reality series’ season 8 Snatch Game celebrity impersonation challenge; The Broadway icon herself made a memorable appearance during Bob’s 2016 crowning ceremony to show her appreciation for the performance, too.
“Thank you Bob for your colorful impersonation of me,” the three-time Tony-winner said in a pre-recorded video message introduced by RuPaul during the season 8 finale. “I’m so honored to be a part of your history. I’m proud of that.”
Prior to winning the Drag Race title, Bob earned high praise from the Drag Race judges for her work on the Snatch Game, which saw her shifting between two celebrity impressions: Channing and Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba.
On Tuesday, Bob joined celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Sandra Bernhard in paying tribute to Channing on social media. The 32-year-old tweeted a photo of her Channing-inspired tattoo, captioning the post “I miss her already.”
While Bob’s impersonation of Channing remains one of the most memorable celebrity takes in Drag Race her-story, she wasn’t the first queen to don a blonde wig and crimson lip to play the theater icon: Pandora Boxx first portrayed the Hello, Dolly! actress on the season 2 Snatch Game, similarly garnering positive critiques from the judges at panel.
Channing’s publicist B. Harlan Boll announced Tuesday that Channing died of natural causes at home in Rancho Mirage, California. The 97-year-old had reportedly suffered strokes twice in the last year, per the Associated Press.
Watch Channing’s full Drag Race appearance above.
- Broadway legend Carol Channing, star of Hello, Dolly! and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, dies at 97
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bernadette Peters, more celebrities pay tribute to Carol Channing
- Carol Channing through the years