It’s been 11 awful, emotionally draining years since Reba, the sitcom starring country music legend Reba McEntire, went off the air. But she’s back on the small screen, baby, and you’ll never guess what her new role is!
The country star will be assuming the role of KFC mascot Colonel Sanders, the chain announced on Friday, notably being the first woman to assume a role that in the past has been played exclusively by men. So many men. Some you’ve likely heard of; others who aren’t quite household names. Ray Liotta. Rob Lowe. Billy Zane. Jim Gaffigan. Darrell Hammond. Dudes, dudes, dudes, dudes, dudes.
McEntire will star in at least four ads for the Smoky Mountain Barbecue Chicken, a product that’s set to launch in KFC locations nationwide on Monday. McEntire claimed in a statement that she’d grown up eating Kentucky Fried Chicken, saying it’s part of her “story” as a woman who’d been born and bred in the South.
One of the ads pokes fun at the fact that it's taken so long for a woman to step into this role. We see two McEntires: The first is one is wearing no costume (let's call her "Recognizably Reba"), while the other is dragged up as Colonel Sanders in a rhinestone-studded suit and crooning on stage.
“I’m definitely not a woman,” she sings. “I swear I’m not a famous woman!”
In another ad, above, she begins singing before removing her "wig" (which resembles her actual ginger head of hair) in a fit of frustration, revealing herself to be Colonel Sanders. The remaining ads are below.
(It's anyone's guess as to how long it'll take before the chain is hit with a backlash from armchair misogynists who believe that this role should be played by a man, and only a man.)
"The reaction has been great," a KFC spokesperson wrote MUNCHIES over email on Friday. The spokesperson declined to address whether the chain has faced any criticism for casting a woman in this role. McEntire’s team did not respond to immediate request for comment from MUNCHIES regarding whether the reception to McEntire's casting has been uniformly warm.
Anyway, whatever. McEntire is objectively the best Colonel Sanders we’ve seen in quite some time. You can't argue with those pipes! It’s a spirited portrayal, nearly on par with her performance in Reba where she, uh, also basically played herself.