The Oprah Show – the Farewell Season premiere was a delight to watch for the surprises, energy and wonderful moments that will add on to the list of shows to remember. I have included Oprah in my life weekly as much as possible over the last 25 years. When I stopped to think about it, her show has been a constant in my life, which is true for this show only. I watch TV in moderation, and the Oprah Show has been on a for almost a quarter of a century, so that is quite a statement to be included for that magnitude of time.
I am not a huge John Travolta fan, but his entrance with Oprah at the beginning of the show seemed fitting. He graciously backed off center of the stage to allow Oprah (who looked amazing and was truly glowing) to receive her due applause from her “ultimate viewers” audience. I did not realize John Travolta had been on the show 11 previous times, and was voted the favorite guest by Oprah fans. This was a segway into a story about Linda, a fan who viewed approximately 5500 hours of the show recalled a toast Mr. Travolta gave on Oprah’s 50th birthday. He told her she was “a citizen of the world and a hero to mankind.” This inspired Linda to make a difference in the world and be a better person. She then took a trip to Africa with her daughter and upon returning, decided to raise money to buy land a build a house for children. That is a truly amazing story.
Don Johnson appeared on the show looking as handsome as ever. He was the first big star that the Oprah Show tried to recruit for being a first guest in 1986 on the first show. It didn’t work out for Mr. Johnson to be on the show, which he then graciously apologized for. Oprah and her staff decided to do a show about “everyday people.” To say the least, that basis has worked out wonderfully for Oprah and viewers alike.
A truly wonderful moment for six women from Boston happened when Gayle King walked into their meeting ground at Zachary’s restaurant to tell them they were road tripping to the Oprah show! It got even better when the staff tricked the women into thinking they were driving into a parking garage to the hotel, but they had them drive right onto the live taping of the show, right onto the stage! The expressions on the women’s faces were priceless!
There were a few more ultimate viewer surprises and guests from 25 years ago were tracked down for cameos. One guest even made it onto the cover art for the 20th anniversary disc.
Then the moment arrived when the audience was told by Oprah that she would be taking all 300 of them on an eight day trip to Australia. John Travolta will be their pilot while flying on Qantas airlines, which he does in real life. Each audience member will also receive a Motorola “Defy” phone to capture moments on the trip as well as call back to the States while on the trip. To say the least, the audience erupted with excitement and disbelief!
The last surprise on the show for Oprah herself was that of Paul Simon. He rewrote lyrics to a song he originally wrote for her 10th television season to pay tribute for her 25 years. As always Paul Simon sang only as he can to one of his biggest fans. A truly touching song, which brought Oprah to tears.
The previews for the Oprah Show’s premiere said audiences would not be disappointed and it stayed true. It was a fun, exciting, and heartwarming show. I am sad to see this be the last season of a show that has impacted my life and I have learned from for many years. This final season will be fulfilling, as have been all the other seasons of a truly great show hosted by a truly amazing person.