COMMENTARY | After 25 years, Oprah Winfrey is finally ending her reign on television sets everywhere when she ends her critically acclaimed talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show,May 25. The final three episodes, however, will not be an ordinary affair. According to MTV, the guest list is huge, ranging from actors such as Tom Cruise to Michael Jordan.
While these final few episodes are sure to be monumental, Oprah is not new to hosting memorable shows. Over her 25 career, Winfrey has had many memorable episodes. Me being a teenage boy during many of these episodes, however, I had little inclination to watch the show. Nevertheless, some episodes were so memorable that I even had to tune in. Here are my top three Oprah episodes.
Dave Chappelle Tells All
For what seemingly was only a brief moment, Dave Chappelle was the funniest comedian in the country. His sketch comedy show, Chappelle’s Show, had become a smash hit and his season one DVD became the number one selling TV show DVD in history, notes TV Guide. However, Chappelle’s career took a turn for the worse when, before the production team could get started filming the show’s third season, Chappelle left the show and traveled to South Africa. Rumors swirled about Chappelle and his reasons for going abroad; some said he was sick, while others thought he went crazy. Chappelle came back from South Africa and headed to Oprah for his tell-all interview.
Being a huge Chappelle fan, I knew I had to tune in. The interview proved to be very intense and, in the end, proved that Chappelle was not a crazy man, but rather a man who would not give up his moral beliefs for fame or millions of dollars.
Oprah Attacks a Man
OK, so Oprah didn’t exactly attack a man, but this was probably the closet she was going to get to doing so on her show. I don’t live under a rock, so I understand the immense power of the Oprah Effect. I know how it can create careers and even presidents, but I always wondered what would happen if this power was abused or used incorrectly.
Enter James Frey, Oprah villain and author of fictitious memoir A Million Little Pieces. After being placed on Oprah’s Book Club and doing an interview on the show, it was later revealed that Frey’s book, the one which he promoted as a factual memoir, was actually fabricated in many key ways. The country was waiting on Oprah’s response, and she reacted perfectly, bringing Frey back on the show for a full-out verbal onslaught from her and her fans. Always looking for a good live fight, I definitely marked this date on my calendar as must-watch TV.
Oprah Gives Away a Bunch of Cars
It was by happenstance that I watched this episode of Oprah. I was flipping through channels and stopped when I heard hundreds of screaming women in a studio audience. It was Oprah’s annual My Favorite Things Christmas episode — and was it a sight to behold. Looking out at the parking lot full of vehicles, each gift-wrapped for a studio audience member, I knew that there would never be another show like this.