I can’t remember a time when the Oprah Winfrey Show wasn’t on the air. I was just 10 years old when the Oprah Winfrey Show was syndicated into our homes, becoming a staple much like bread, butter, and rice. In 1986, my mom went to a taping of the show when Oprah visited Phoenix where we lived and got pictures of the talk show phenom up close (she exclaimed, “I touched her leg!”). I learned very early on that Oprah wasn’t just a woman—she was a force of nature, an institution, and a very critical part of our American culture.
I watched everyday after school as she laughed and cried with her guests, gained and lost weight, changed her hairstyles, and became a legend. Her topics weren’t really of interest to me as a young girl and a teenager, but I still watched anyway because it didn’t feel normal NOT to watch.
In the 10th grade at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, I took a drama class in which we had to do impromptu characters. The one I chose was Oprah, and it became my “signature”. I walked like her, talked like her, and always got a round of applause for my impression.
My dream was to one day be on Oprah and now I will never get that chance. I kind of feel a loss because you haven’t truly made it if you haven’t appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
What will we do now?
March 25, 2011 will be her last original show. It is the second part of her two show farewell extravaganza that has brought out a who’s who in entertainment (Madonna, Beyonce, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks just to name a few). This show will be the last taped program after 26 years in the game.
I’m a little teary eyed.
Not that I watched Oprah everyday (lately I’ve been too busy to), but it was always something I knew I could turn on when I wanted. No longer having that option, I do feel a void in daytime programming.
So where do we go from here? And who will fill her gigantic shoes? What will the world do without the Oprah Winfrey Show?
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