My Favorite Things in the Second-to-Last Oprah Show

My Favorite Things in the Second-to-Last Oprah Show

As I mentioned yesterday, last week I attended two of the final tapings (the 3rd-to-last and 2nd-to-last shows) of the Oprah Show (you can read about that here). And…

Here’s who I saw…

I mentioned the long list of players in yesterday’s performance (here), and today you can expect Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Simon Cowell, Rosie O’Donnell, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus, Jerry Seinfeld, Micheal Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, Alicia Keyes, Aretha Franklin, Usher, Kristin Chenowith, Maria Shriver, Gayle King, Stedman Graham. And maybe others. Those are the individuals that I can remember off the top of my head. Today’s show is the best. Watch it.

Here’s what I learned

The Producers of the Oprah Show are some of the best storytellers out there. These people write and tell stories with their segments. Each segment has a theme, a conflict, and a resolution. A complete story arch. And last week, as they created, produced, and filmed this Academy-Awards-Style, Broadwayesque, giant stadium show, they simply and thoughtfully told a dozen or so stories. Yesterday’s show covered, Oprah’s dreaming big dreams, Oprah’s favorite things, Giving back, Girls’ empowerment, Oprah’s messages to women around the world, Oprah’s viewers impact on the world and on each other. Bam. Each portion of the evening intentionally told a story in a smart, beautiful and inspirational way. It was intense. It’s such a simple concept, but so difficult to actually do. They wrote and performed a novel that night. So well done. I can’t remember all of the stories that they will tell today (by this time, I was squarely outside of my body), but I know for sure that some of them have to do with the impact she’s had on men around the world and her role in education. And there was not a dry eye in the house. Trust me on this.

Here were my favorite parts…

Besides Beyonce’s empowering performance yesterday (Oh Good Lord!) (You can watch it here) … my three favorite parts were all in today’s show.

1. Jamie Foxx singing “Isn’t She Lovely” to Oprah, as Stevie Wonder on a grand piano rose up from the floor stage to finish the song. Are you kidding me? At one point Oprah said in a casual voice, “Thank you, Stevie Wonder.” And Maggie and I were like, is this real? It feels like any minute now Olivia Newton John will come out in a rollerskating Xanadu outfit with a leprechaun and we’ll all go to space on a magic bus. Or something.

2. Maria Shriver and Gayle King walking up to the stage to support Oprah. This happened during an intense part (next item below) and it was lovely to see her best friends literally supporting her on each side. What a Polaroid of friendship. Especially since the bruhaha news about Maria Shriver’s family hit the press that very day. I’m sure she wanted to just hide out under the covers that morning. But there she stood, taking the stage in front of thousands (looking drop-dead gorgeous!) to support her friend. Beautiful.

3. And Kristin Chenoweth’s performance of “For Good” (listen to this best song ever right here) with graduates from Morehouse College. This was my favorite part, times 25. That’s all I’ll say. Just watch it. (Seriously, go watch it right now.) This brings it right back to what really matters. And for the eyerolling naysayers, this busts through all their snarky “cult of Oprah” garbage and empirically shows the real good she’s made happen.

Again, I feel so lucky to have been there. But really, the best seats in the house are the seats in your own home, watching this as it was meant to be seen…As an intentionally created, beautifully told, immaculately produced story on television.

I’m going to record these stories and watch them like I read my favorite chapters in a book. Over and over and over.

Thank you, Team Oprah.

Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

*Photo by Peter Wynn Thompson / AFP/Getty Images / May 17, 2011 from the LA Times. Check out all their photos here. Incredible.

The Details

8 Responses to My Favorite Things in the Second-to-Last Oprah Show

  1. Mandee says:

    Oh, man. Can’t wait to see the Morehouse Glee Club. They’ve been doing Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony for years now, and their performance is always my favorite.

    Thanks for the behind the scenes look.

  2. Pingback: So, I Went to See Oprah. | Blog con Queso

  3. aliallen says:

    i was crying during the morehouse thing. oh my goodness. And I actually teared up a little when Stedman got up there. You just never see him like that, up there in the lights. And Maria Shriver is all that & more for getting up there for her friend. laudy mercy!

  4. Dawn says:

    Kristin Chenoweth singing as those Morehouse students took the stage was one of the best moments of television I can ever remember. I watched it over and over again, and the moment never lost its impact. 64,688! Amazing! I am so glad that you and Maggie got to share this incredible experience together, and thank you for letting us know what it was like to be there personally.

  5. I’m not sure where I’m gonna get my “Good” cries from now that Oprah’s off the air. My husband is hoping this will raise the testosterone level in our household, but I’m going to have to take a daily supplement. She will be sorely missed. And I’m SO JEALOUS you were there!

  6. That’s so freaking awesome that you were there! I LOVED the surprise show and am still buzzing from watching it on tv. I can’t imagine being there in person. Incredible. I also thought her last show was really amazing…very touching and inspiring. I’m going to make myself a sign like hers: “Please be responsible for the energy you bring into this space.” Love that.

  7. Sarah Berry says:

    Thank you so much for providing all the back stage (er… front of stage?) perspective for the last show. It’s been so interesting to read everyone’s reaction to her going off the air (including the great #thanksoprah Flickr group) – I never realized how much of her knowledge informed the way I think until I started reading everyone’s input.

  8. Your Mama says:

    What a great experience for you to get to have–one you will remember for a lifetime. It was great to watch from home.

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