Internet Cheers After KFC Names Reba McEntire the New Colonel

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In a brilliant PR move, the role of KFC’s ever-changing Colonel will now be played by Reba McEntire. The legendary country singer appears in ads for KFC’s new Smoky Mountain Barbecue Chicken — a half-Memphis, half-Carolina style that the chain predicts will become its “most broadly appealing flavor.”

In the commercial, which you can see below, the Colonel’s iconic white suit has also been modified. It now comes with way more rhinestones:

Compared to KFC’s other recent Colonel’s, McEntire more or less nails it. After all, Rob Lowe made zero attempt to sound Sanders-esque. Dolph Ziggler was, well, a professional wrestler. George Hamilton was like a radioactive hue of orange. Norm MacDonald is Canadian, for crying out loud. And Darrell Hammond’s portrayal was attacked for “tarnishing” Harland Sanders’s legacy. McEntire, meanwhile, has Southern roots and the same Scots-Irish heritage as Sanders. She’s also “eaten KFC my whole life” because it’s “American” and, in her mind at least, “wholesome.”

Other ads in the series also see McEntire step out of the Colonel costume, if only briefly:

For its part, KFC holds that McEntire is perfect for the role because “anyone who embodies the spirit of the colonel is qualified to play this role.” Yet, because it is 2018, you can no doubt guess that some people are angered by a female Colonel, but to judge from the internet’s reaction, it seems most people are very happy with this idea:

Internet Cheers As KFC Names Reba McEntire Its New Colonel