updated 10/04/2012 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/07/2012 AT 1:00 PM ET
In a sit-down interview with PEOPLE, the 50-year-old comedian reveals that she digs the reality TV family on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – and does a spot-on impression of Mama June.
“I love Mama June. I love Sugar Bear. I love Chubbs,” she says referring to some of the family members by their nicknames. “I love ‘em all.”
Going into Mama June’s voice, O’Donnell impersonates the family matriarch cheering on her daughter, Alana, at a pageant. “I love ‘Smoochie! Look at Mama, Smoochie! Look at the judges,’ ” she says while blowing kisses.
O’Donnell praises the show’s 7-year-old star, Alana Thompson, and compares her to the ultimate child star, Shirley Temple. “She has a presence and an intellect that goes way beyond her years,” says O’Donnell.
But the comedian’s admiration for the family, who live in home with railroad tracks running through the backyard in McIntyre, Ga., goes beyond regular fandom.
“I’d love to meet them,” she says, “and buy them a house.”