When Julia Sugarbaker told beauty queen about “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”
The late, great Dixie Carter was born 82 years ago today and I want to pay tribute to her by rerunning one of her best-ever Julia Sugarbaker rants – probably the best one of all.
In this classic episode of Designing Women, Julia overhears the current Miss Georgia World Marjorie Leigh Winnick make a cruel comment about her beauty queen sister Suzanne.
Julia rips her a new one so severe that decades later this scene is still often played in gay bars across the US.
The video is below and in case you want to recite along with Julia, here is the text:
“I gather from your comments there are a couple of other things you don’t know, Marjorie. For example, you probably didn’t know that Suzanne was the only contestant in Georgia pageant history to sweep every category except congeniality, and that is not something the women in my family aspire to anyway. Or that when she walked down the runway in her swimsuit, five contestants quit on the spot. Or that when she emerged from the isolation booth to answer the question, “What would you do to prevent war?” she spoke so eloquently of patriotism, battlefields and diamond tiaras, grown men wept. And you probably didn’t know, Marjorie, that Suzanne was not just any Miss Georgia, she was THE Miss Georgia. She didn’t twirl just a baton, that baton was on fire. And when she threw that baton into the air, it flew higher, further, faster than any baton has ever flown before, hitting a transformer and showering the darkened arena with sparks! And when it finally did come down, Marjorie, my sister caught that baton, and 12,000 people jumped to their feet for sixteen and one-half minutes of uninterrupted thunderous ovation, as flames illuminated her tear-stained face! And that, Marjorie — just so you will know — and your children will someday know —is the night the lights went out in Georgia!”