RARE! Carol Channing, with guests George Burns and David McCallum, and a cameo from Danny Kaye. This was Carol’s first TV special as the headliner. Songs include “Hello Dolly”, “The Only Thing He Got Was Just A Smile”, “I Do” (with George Burns), and “The Monkey Rag” (with George and David). Carol appeared in all the General Foods commercials herself, visiting the sets of four CBS series: "The Andy Griffith Show," "Gomer Pyle, USMC," "Green Acres," and "Hogan's Heroes."
Seen in the ads with her are Andy Griffith, Jim Nabors, Frank Sutton, Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor, Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer, John Banner, Robert Clary, Ivan Dixon, Larry Hovis, and Richard Dawson.
These commercials ONLY ever aired during this special, and never again. (It’s interesting to note that Neilson Rating sued Carol and her husband for $1.5 million for attempting to fix the ratings for this special. Charles Lowe, husband and manager of Carol, acknowledges that he had paid $4,000 to former Congressional investigator Rex Sparger, who had tried to “rig the rating” of Miss Channing’s television special.
Mr. Sparger said that he tried to rig several other specials as well, saying he sent questionnaires to Nielsen homes in which he enclosed $3 with each questionnaire and promised $5 more if returned.
The survey called for the viewing of commercials in those specific shows, including Carol Channing’s special and a Bob Hope Christmas show. Nielsen says it had heard of Mr. Sparger’s efforts in time to eliminate the homes on his list from the survey of Miss Channing’s show.
The program achieved a rating of 27.9, and Mr. Lowe says he wasn’t trying to fool with the ratings and that the purpose of the survey was to provide information “concerning commercial effectiveness, audience acceptance of the Channing special, and how it correlated with normal viewing habits. Carol and her husband settled out of court”. In color. 1 hour, complete with original commercials.
Note: The DVD has producer’s counter numbers and the following text “An Evening With Carol Channing” onscreen throughout; however, the overall copy of the show is excellent. That said, there is no way to remove the counter or overlay from the DVD.
Run time: 60m
Color / B&W: Color