Barbara Walters was often impersonated with great humor and adulation, and Saturday Night Live alum Cheri Oteri’s take on the late journalist was the cream of the crop. To show how much Barbara meant to her following the icon’s death at the age of 93, Cheri paid tribute while appearing on CNN’s New Year’s Eve special with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.
Cheri admitted that before hearing about her passing, she had planned to do her iconic SNL impression of the icon as she ‘started a podcast’ as Cheri knew that there was ‘no modern news medium that she didn’t evolve with’. But out of respect, she didn’t do the impression, but rather paid tribute to the woman who was ‘part of the fabric of my childhood’ and gave her blessing to have the ‘big responsibility’ of parodying her on the show.
— CNN (@CNN) January 1, 2023
During her tenure on SNL, Cheri performed a smorgasbord of characters and impressions, but none other than her impersonation of Barbara Walters became the gifted actress’ calling card. She wowed the live Studio 8H audiences with it a reported 23 times on the show!
She even reprised the impersonation for the 2020 CNN New Year’s Eve celebration hosted by Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper. “Oh, Andrew, Anderson, once again, it has been a pleasure for you to have me on your alcohol-laced pedestrian New Year’s Eve special during the apocalypse we call 2020,” Cheri’s Barbara said on the broadcast. “Now I’m afraid I’ve got to cut my exposure time with you both short, because I’m considered high risk – or, at this point, just high. Since we’re still in the home stretch of the holy hell we call 2020.”
And Barbara co-signed Cheri’s impersonation! On her final episode of The View in 2014, Barbara even introduced a pre-taped segment where she is interviewed by Cheri, who is playing Barbara! Check it out above!
Barbara’s passing was confirmed by her rep in a statement to HollywoodLife, which said the star “passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones.” The rep added, “She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women.”
Following her death, many other celebs and journalists who had the fortune of working with the icon took to social media to pay tribute. Read all the heartwarming messages here.
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