The Latest from Lola's Diner

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Oprah's Touch/I Shook Hands With Oprah

Oprah is in the news again. It seems another of her book club selections is a fraud. Is Oprah’s Golden Touch Tarnished? This is the third time she's been duped. Doesn't she have staffers to check on these books? What I don’t understand about these authors is, why is it necessary to be fraudulent? Can’t you tell a compelling story in a novel? Does it really have to be a memoir/biography in order to be inspirational and noteworthy? I don’t get it.

Anyway, this made me think of my Oprah story. And it is completely true. I was at a taping in October 1994 when Paul Reiser was promoting his book “Couplehood”. I was 7 months pregnant and bigger than a house and not terribly thrilled to be attending the taping. My husband (now ex-husband) had “surprised” me with tickets. Apparently my ex-husband had numerous conversations with one of Oprah’s assistant producers and somehow charmed her into the “Full Oprah Treatment”. What is the “Full Oprah Treatment” you ask? A limousine picks you up at the crack of dawn and drives you to Harpo Studios (and gives you a ride home after the taping). Did I mention I was 7 months pregnant and bigger than a house and he sprung this on me 10 minutes before the limo driver arrived? I had nothing to wear. Absolutely nothing. I think I ended up wearing the only blouse I had that fit and sweatpants. Sweatpants! I was mortified.

We arrived at Harpo Studios, went through the security line and were ushered into a large room with tables of fruits, bagels, bakery items, coffee and juice. The room was full of other couples. Cute perky couples, perfectly coiffed. Oprah staffers ran around the room with headsets on and clipboards in hand. The assistant producer assigned to us coached us and told us what to expect and told us to watch for our queue to go to the microphone and tell our story. Let’s just say I was less than thrilled that she was implying that I was going to talk ON CAMERA and tell some cockamamie story that apparently my ex-husband had used to get the “Full Oprah Treatment”. I was ready to kill him at that point.

After what seemed like an eternity, all of us were ushered into the studio and seated. More instructions were given.
Queue Oprah, she introduces Paul Reiser.
Queue cute perky couples with silly stories.
Queue more cute perky couples with silly stories.
Queue us!
I get my pregnant ass out of my seat and walk over to the microphone, wondering what the HELL I am doing there. (Also wondering if I will be able to speak because the last time I was on a stage was in 4-H in a play in junior high and when I opened my mouth, nothing came out. All I can think of is that and the fact that I should have passed on the orange juice earlier, because now my pregnant ass had to use the bathroom.)
Queue commercial break.
Queue Oprah.
Oprah introduces a couple who were married for like 50 years.
Oprah closes the show.
They skipped us!
Oprah finished up, the taping ended and the audience filed out just past the stage area to shake hands with Oprah on camera. People in line were whispering that she did that so that no one could say that she promised them anything. Whatever. No big deal.

I shook hands with Oprah.

Lola's Diner


Kathy said...

Holy cow! I would have felt exactly as you did. Why am I here and do I have to open my mouth and say anything? I'm so glad it passed you over, but that you had an Oprah handshake to take home with you. Did you not wash your hand for a week?!?

Jena Isle said...

I was smiling as I was reading this, excited as you was disappointed you did not get the chance to talk...anyway, that must be quite an experience. I wonder why you didn't get on stage...

Quite funny story. Happy blogging .

I am Harriet said...

Good story.
I'm not sure that Oprah was as concerned with your size as much as she was with her own.:)

Jen said...

Meeting Oprah would have been way cool. Being expected to say something, anything not so much. I too was a house whenever I was pregnant the last thing I wanted was for anyone to take a picture of me. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be on national television. They are exes for a reason.

FickleMinded said...

Off Topic: You are on my EC Fav list now.
Thanks for the response.

Da Old Man said...

Still made for a great story.

Lola said...


Had I not been passed over, I would have ended up on the editing floor because I know I could not have spoken...words anyway. LOL!

Jena Isle,

They ran out of time. They needed a few minutes to introduce the old couple married 50 years. That's how they ended the show, on a sentimental note, not a goofball Dick Van Dyke episode recycled story. (Yeah, that's where he stole the cockmamie story.)

I Am Harriet,

For someone who feels so "fat" she sure is talking A LOT about it, isn't she? She must be about ready to promote some weightloss miracle or something.


Believe me, I checked youtube before I posted this. I wanted to make sure there was no video evidence out there. LOL!

Fickle Minded, Da Old Man:

Thank you!

Babette said...

I was smiling while reading your story. Funny but it was like watching you in my mind even though I don't know what you look like. LOL
I want to watch the Oprah show live. I'll have to put that on my Bucket List.

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