Reba McEntire Is Not Too Chicken to Play Colonel Sanders

The country singer is the first woman (and first musician) to play the fried chicken chain’s late founder and spokesperson.

Is it possible that KFC actually stands for Kinda Fun Commercials?

The famous purveyor of fried chicken has tapped a flock of male actors, including Ray Liotta, Rob Lowe, Norm MacDonald and Rob Riggle, to portray late company founder and spokesman Harland Sanders in ads in recent years. It’s all part of what the chain calls its “Re-Colonelization” effort.

Now the chain has tapped its first woman.

Reba McEntire is sliding into the role of Colonel Sanders — white hair, white suit, white mustache and all — in commercials introducing KFC’s new smoky mountain barbecue chicken. (Sweet, smoky BBQ flavor meets crispy fried chicken.)

In one ad, recently released on YouTube, the country singer, who is also the first musician to play the Colonel, wears full Sanders drag, and sings, “Colonel Sanders, same as always, absolutely nothing’s changed.” Then Reba as the Colonel throws a hat into the crowd only to have it land on … Reba McEntire as Reba McEntire. Whoa.

After honky-tonk high jinks ensue, McEntire as the Colonel reaches a musical and thematic crescendo, singing, “I swear I’m not a famous woman!”

Oh, Reba.

In another ad, McEntire sings about KFC’s smoky mountain BBQ chicken, and then whips off a wig and transforms herself into Colonel Sanders before our very eyes. Cute.

McEntire seems to be relishing the role. “I grew up with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s part of my story, and I’m so excited to now be part of theirs,” she said in a press release. “I’ve held a lot of roles in my life — sort of like the Colonel himself — but this is certainly the most unique one yet.”

KFC Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Zahumensky says McEntire embodies the spirit of the Colonel and of the South and, in an interview with BrandChannel, predicts that the country great will be the chain’s “most-loved Colonel,” bringing to the role “a whole new layer of being new and unexpected.”

Because of you, Reba, the bar is set super-high for the next guy … or gal.

Photo courtesy of KFC

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