The most famous talk show host has decided to end the show to focus on her production company. Monday kicked off the three-part finale series that included Tuesday’s “Surprise, Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular” at the United Center in Chicago.
Oprah opened her final episode by describing how she got from her start to how the show has gained the success it has today.
The Mississippi native’s show started back in 1983 when as “AM Chicago” and was later named “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It was nationally broadcast in 1986.
“I started out with a jerrycurl and a bad fur coat,” said Oprah. The talk show host told her fans how she hosted her first show without an audience . She said she brought in a few chairs and filled the show with staff from the building and people on the street that she “bribed with donuts and coffee.”
Today, Oprah’s show has become one of the most successful talk shows in history. It has made Oprah one of the richest African Americans of the 20th century and she was once the world’s only black billionaire.
“From day one Chicago, you took me in,” she said to her audience in the finale episode. Soon after she started the show something shifted and Oprah said it went from just a job to more. Oprah then told the audience that she always wanted to be a teacher and became one to the biggest classroom, though sometimes she was the teacher but mostly everyone else taught her.
“This will be our last class from this stage,” said Oprah.[pullquote]Everyone has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it,” she said. “You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world. … Wherever you are, that’s your stage, your circle of influence. That’s your talk show, that’s where your power lies. … You have the power to change somebody’s life[/pullquote]
With no guests or surprise for this episode, Oprah decided to dedicate her final episode to sharing what her audience taught her over the years.
She began sharing her most touching videos beginning with an episode involving a woman who felt people’s energy. After the episode Oprah kept a plaque on her wall that quoted the guest and asks each person to “Be responsible for the energy they bring.”
She went on to share other touching moments of past guests including sexually abused men who all first unveiled themselves on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
She also thanked her fourth grade teacher Mrs.Dunkin, who appeared back in 1988 too, who Oprah said “first validated her,” and made her feel like she “mattered.”
“You and this show have been the great love of my life,” Oprah said to viewers as the final show came to a close. ”I won’t say goodbye but say, until we meet again.”
In a special episode that aired Wednesday as part of a three-part farewell, a slew of celebrities and even more fans came together to pay tribute to the most famous talk show host in history. The star studded lineup included Tom Hanks, Dakota Fanning, Jerry Seinfeld, who performed a routine, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Beyonce, John Legend, Jamie Fox, Dr. Phil, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Rosie O’Donnell, Usher and Stedman Graham.
“This last hour is about me saying thank you; it is my love letter to you,” she said. “I want to leave you all with the lessons that anchor my life. Every day that I stood here I knew that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. There was many a day I came to work tired, but I showed up because I knew that you were waiting, you were waiting for whatever we had to offer. That’s why I never missed a day in 25 years.”
Over the course of 60 minutes Wednesday, Winfrey inspired laughter, but it’s also fair to say that she simply felt the need to inspire. The 57-year-old media mogul told her viewers she hoped they would take what she’s given them and turn their everyday lives into their own personal stage, to realize they also have the power to affect and change lives.
“Everyone has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it,” she said. “You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world. … Wherever you are, that’s your stage, your circle of influence. That’s your talk show, that’s where your power lies. … You have the power to change somebody’s life.”
The other lesson the show has taught her, she said, is how important it is to grasp the concept of your own worth. “The show has taught me that there’s a common thread that runs through all of our pain and suffering: unworthiness,” Winfrey said. “We can all block our own blessings because we don’t feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty enough. The show has taught me that you’re worthy because you were born and you are here. You’re being here, and being alive, makes you worthy. You alone are enough.”
And, of course, if you want to still hear from Oprah, you can. She said during the finale that her new e-mail address is [email protected]. “It’s the personal e-mail account for all of you,” Winfrey said, adding if there’s something in your inbox from that address, it’s from her directly. “I want you to know that what you have to say matters to me.”
In the end, Winfrey said her departure isn’t bittersweet, but rather “all sweet and no bitter.”
“Every single day I came down from my makeup room, I’d offer a prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to have done this work. To be embraced by all of you, it’s one of the greatest honors a human being can have,” she said.
“Many of us have been together for 25 years. … So I thank you all for your support and trust in me. I thank you for tuning in every day. … I won’t say goodbye, I’ll just say, ‘Until we meet again.’ ”
[Long Island News;CNN entertainment]
Oprah Winfrey has been a great inspiration to Lusakatimes and we wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life