It’s the 25th Season Premier of the Oprah Winfrey Show. They show a montage of the Oprah show over the last 25 years. Oprah comes out from behind the stage, dancing with John Travolta to Love Train. The crowd scream and scream. Hello, hello shouts Oprah. The crowd scream, some are crying. Thank you says Oprah, it’s their season premier. She says thank you repeatedly and urges the crowd to sit. She says that they are on the Love Train today with Oprah’s dear friend John Travolta. Oprah says that there is no one on earth that she’d rather be with today- 25 years later he still makes her heart go pitter patter. John hugs her. Oprah says that it is with deep joy and gratitude that he is here today. The 300 people in the crowd are the “ultimate” loyal fans. Oprah is going to treasure for the rest of her life the emails that have been sent to her- the crowd have grown up and raised their children with Oprah, and they have been on this crazy ride with her, for which she has deep gratitude. Johnny, as she calls him, has been voted their favorite guest of all time. They take a walk down memory lane. In 1996 John Travolta danced his way into Oprah’s heart. Over the years they have danced and danced. He is so special because he has a huge heart. Oprah says that she has been accused of harboring a secret crush on him, and she can see why because he is so lovable. After 11 appearances on the stage, and more “moments” than they can count, he is their favorite guest. John says that coming here makes him feel like home. He says that she makes everyone feel that way and that there is only one of her. You are our queen, and we thank you for allowing us to be part of your life. And we’re lucky to be a part of your life,” he says.
Oprah says that you can’t predict what moment will change someone’s life. Linda in Alberta, Canada would work 12 hours a day and rush home for Oprah, watching for about 55,00 hours in total. The show that she has watched over and over is the toast that John Travolta gave to Oprah on her 50th birthday. It brings tears to Linda’s eyes, for a friend to say that you are a hero. It inspired Linda to be a better person. She booked a trip with her daughter to Africa, to help in an orphanage. They decided to build a house for the kids that they fell in love with. Now Linda has a purpose and it brings her joy to make a difference in the world. She feels a better person because of those words spoken by John to Oprah. Linda in the audience stands up, and John gives her a hug and says that is so amazing.
Oprah says that is what she means, that you never know which words will resonate with someone. Linda thanks John for being here and he says that it is his pleasure and privilege.
Footage is shown from the first nationally-broadcast Oprah show in 1986. When she promoted the show, the pressure was on as to who would be the first guest. Miami Vice was all the rage so they tried to get Don Johnson. He turned them down so that they did a show about everyday people. Which is what they have been doing since, says Oprah. Oprah says that she sent her rhinestone sunglasses to Don, and they were expensive and she wanted them back.
Behind her, walking on to the stage in rhinestone sunglasses is Don Johnson. “no they didn’t!” screams Oprah. Don hugs her and Oprah repeats “No they didn’t surprise me!” Don says that it has taken 24 years to give the sunglasses back, Oprah hugs him. Don says that he was shooting 18 hours a day and they wouldn’t let him come, but that he thinks she’s been doing ok. He is doing well, his new film Machete just opened. He says that Oprah is the greatest and she thanks him. She puts on the sunglasses and the crowd roar.
In Boston, 6 women who have been friends for 25 years are the ultimate group of Oprah fans. Gayle goes to the cafe where they have their weekly meet-up. The women scream and scream and scream. Gayle says that she heard a rumor about the group, that the road trip episode was their favorite. Chevy is making it possible for them to take their own road trip from Boston to Chicago. Oprah wanted them there for the premier of the last show as she kicks off the last season. The group scream and scream.
In the studio, Oprah says that the group think the premier is tomorrow. Over the last few days the crew have transformed the loading dock into a fake parking garage so real that cars have been trying to park there. It’s all fake, so the fabulous viewers have been driving for 2 days and now they are in Chicago and they have heard that the driver is taking them to their hotel to freshen up before the show. What they don’t know is that the driver will drive them directly onto the set. They are pulling up into the parking lot, entering the building. Oprah thought that this was impossible. There are other cars parked there. The car drives up behind the stage which splits to let them in. Unbelievable shouts Oprah over and over. They get out the car, scream and hug Oprah. They says that they are going to cry. Oprah tells them that they are on the air right now, they say that they wanted to get changed and showered and dressed. Oprah says that they have 6 front row seats for them. Big thanks to Chevrolet, says Oprah.
Today they are celebrating some of the most loyal viewers, including the man fans, including Larry. Larry is a man’s man, an ex-marine hunter fisher, griller and Nascar fan. He quotes her all the time, according to his kids. At 4pm he is in his man-cave watching Oprah from his blue barber-chair. Oprah says that they pulled some strings… His friends and family had to move quickly to keep him out of the garage. Jimmie Johnson, Nascar superstar, pulls in to deliver a package- Larry watches a DVD sent from Oprah. She invites him and his chair to come to Chicago for the season premiere. He rides with Jimmie. Larry and his barber chair are here in the studio. Oprah thanks Larry and Jimmie Johnson, and thanks Larry’s wife for sharing him with her all these years.
17 years ago, Crystal Brooks was one of Oprah’s original ultimate viewers. She wrote a class paper on how Oprah started out and changed so many lives for the better- she got an A for the paper. Yesterday they popped in on Crystal at work. Oprah is on the screen at the Middle School where Crystal works. Oprah shows a photo of Ms Brooks at nine years old. Oprah says that Crystal needs to come to Chicago for the season premier. Crystal is in the audience with Oprah and Oprah holds a photo of them together 17 years ago. Oprah has tracked down some of her original guests to see how they have changed. They recount some snippets of the experience.
In 1994, one of Oprah’s favorite surprises was to take the whole audience to Philadelphia. They all flew together, went sightseeing, ate lots of cheesesteaks and got them all home by bedtime. All summer long, Oprah has been wracking her brains as to what they could do to top that. She thought maybe they should go to Philly, or New York. The crowd scream in anticipation. Oprah says that she should think bigger- the crowd scream and leap out their seats. This really is her 25th season, after all and this is her last chance to do something big. The crowd scream and scream. If you want to do something big, says Oprah, you’d want to take along your ultimate viewers. The crowd are screaming and crying. Oprah says that maybe she should take all of them with her, to the other side of the world, to Australia. The crowd go insane. Confetti falls, a plane drives onstage. Australian flags appear. The crowd scream and scream and cry. Oprah shouts “We are going to Australia” over and over and over. The crowd scream. John Travolta steps out the plane dressed as the pilot. Oprah says hello to Captain Travolta- who is a real Quantus Airlines pilot who has flown to Australia many times. Oprah has been planning this for over a year and the group at Tourism Australia have been getting ready to roll out the carpet for all 300 people. John loves the airline with it’s comfortable award winning aircraft, and the wonderful warm people that you meet when you get there. The director of Tourism Australia gives Oprah an Australian bush hat and says that they are looking forward to hosting her.
The Oprah Show is going to Australia – Quantus airlines will fly them to Sydney and they will tour Australia for 8 days, including the Great Barrier Reef. At the Oprah House, thousands of their Aussie viewers will join them. Oprah say that the new Motorola phone, the Defy, which is water resistant, will be given to each of them. The audience scream again and Oprah thanks Motorola.
Oprah says please read the prompter out loud- and say that she always does. It says with love from the staff and crew and a legendary mystery guest.Oprah looks baffled. The auto-prompt says that Oprah agreed that she could be surprised this year. Don Johnson was the first, and one of her favorites is waiting in the wings. Oprah screams as the curtain goes up on Paul Simon. He wants to sing the song he wrote many years ago to commemorate her tenth season, with some new adjustments. Oprah stands crying as Paul Simon sings and plays guitar. Behind him a montage of Oprah through the years plays. Oprah wipes away a tear as she sits with the friends from Boston in the front row. Paul sings that 25 years have come and gone and her suitcase is packed and the story is still unfolding. Oprah puts her hand on her heart and goes to the stage to hug Paul Simon. Oprah says that she’ll have to stop the surprise thing. She says that this is all because of the audience and that Paul Simon is her favorite and that Graceland is her favorite album of all time. She thanks everyone.
WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY:
You can’t predict what moment will change someone’s life
The Oprah Show is about everyday people, and always has been.
Today’s everyday guests include John Travolta, Don Johnson and Paul Simon.
The audience of “ultimate viewers” are going to Australia for a week and Captain Travolta will be flying them there.
The first episode of the 25th season of Oprah had more audience screaming than the last year combined.
A VERY QUICK SUMMARY:
Oprah shouts, the audience screams, Oprah cries, the audience cry. Everybody screams.