Known for her starring roles on Broadway in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello Dolly!, Carol Channing was the featured peformer in one of the earliest Super Bowls, Super Bowl IV on January 11, 1970. In these early years the game hadn't yet become a mega media event/spectacle so "edginess" wasn't a prerequisite when considering which performers to choose (e.g., for a number of years the squeaky-clean group "Up With People!" was tapped to perform.) And two years later Channing performed at the game again.
Since those primitive times a long line of divas have been invited to sing the National Anthem at the start of the game, including Diana Ross in 1982; Cher in 1999; and Beyonce in 2004. Whitney Houston's rendition before the 1991 game was so well received it was released as a single. (Before she became notorious for her anti-gay campaign in 1977 Anita Bryant sang at 1969's Super Bowl.)
In addition to her duties at the 1982 game, Diana Ross was the halftime entertainment in 1996, and when her performance was over she departed by helicopter - hanging from a ladder as she was lifted off! (And at long last, Madonna will provide the halftime entertainment at Super Bowl XLVI on February 5, 2012). Hats off to Super Bowl organizers for continuing to plan an event with something for everybody!
Getting back to Carol Channing, who turns 91 on January 31, is the subject of a documentary titled Carol Channing: Larger Than Life. It made the rounds at gay film festivals in 2011 and is about to open in select cities in the latter half of January 2012.