Thomas Conner: October 2009 Archives

Ellen wears Oprah: 'Stop staring at my articles!'

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Need one more Halloween costume idea? Try this project from Ellen DeGeneres: She's dressing up as The Oprah Magazine.

On today's "Ellen," DeGeneres emerged wearing a big O cover. DeGeneres will actually grace the cover of O in an upcoming issue; this, however, is not that photo.

Ellen explained:

"I'm dressed as O Magazine. Stop staring at my articles. My issue of O Magazine is coming out in two weeks. The real cover has not been revealed yet so this is just a photo that Oprah and I took over the weekend. This is what we do when we hang out. We just push each other on swings and sometimes we play in her bouncy castle. It's Oprah, it's a real castle. It's not bouncy ...

I was smart when I picked this out because a lot of costumes you need the make-up, the wig and the funny shoes and all I'm wearing under here is slacks and a smile.

I'm promoting Oprah's magazine because I really believe in it and I wanted it to be all about her today. I mean, I have my own show and I don't need to promote myself ..."

And then she turned around to reveal this, the back of her costume:

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What do you get the Oprah who has everything?

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According to this full, unseen outtake from last night's "60 Minutes" interview, Tyler Perry gets her a white Bentley. And Gayle got one, too ...

"Of course, you say it's extravagant -- you didn't get it!"

Mr. Perry: I enjoy your films and need to drive many places beyond just one restaurant. Please deliver my Bentley to Chicago Sun-Times, 350 N. Orleans, Chicago. No, better yet, contact me here and I'll tell you where to send it to my momma ...

The Jen & Oprah show? (Update: Dream on)

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Jennifer Aniston is returning to TV, but not in a tired ol' sitcom -- she's allegedly agreed to host a talk show on Oprah Winfrey's new cable network.

Actually, she may be co-hosting the show ... with Oprah.

London's Daily Express is reporting that the former "Friends" star and tabloid fixture is signed to star in a weekly chat fest on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network launching on cable next spring.

The report indicates it won't just be Jen's show, it'll be the J & O show, saying Aniston will "produce and star alongside the media mogul."

Oprah didn't talk her into it. The idea sprang from Aniston's friendship with Chelsea Handler, who has her own talk show on the E! network.

"Jen became fascinated with the format after spending time with Chelsea," an OWN source told the Express. "When she saw Oprah she mentioned that it would be fun to do a chat show and Oprah seized the moment and suggested they front one together for her network."

Aniston currently fetches between $5 million and $7 million permovie; she's now starring in "Love Happens." But she might not be making huge bucks on this project. "Her salary is yet to be determined. She is doing this for one reason only; she absolutely wants to do it," the source said.

As of now, the idea for the show is once-a-week.

UPDATE: Big surprise, Aniston's rep denies the report. Says the two have no plans to work together. Too good to be true.

Palinpalooza! What should Oprah ask Sarah?

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Oprah announced yesterday that controversial Republican figure Sarah Palin will be on her show next month to plug her new book, and Palinpalooza has already (big surprise) stirred up both bases.

Facts and misunderstandings have flown fast and furious in the last 24 hours. People reported that last year "Palin famously turned down a campaign season appearance with talk show host." Well, not completely. First, Oprah kept her at bay through the election, then Palin returned the favor.

The Drudge Report posted an item in September 2008 claiming that Oprah's staff was bitterly divided about whether to book Palin on the show. Oprah quickly responded with a statement debunking Drudge, saying, "There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of the presidential campaign, when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over."

Oprah famously endorsed Barack Obama -- did a "happy dance" for him, no less -- the winning Democrat in last year's campaign. (He even joked about making her his VP.) Obama has appeared twice on Oprah's show -- but not while he was a candidate. He also plugged books on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in January 2005 and October 2006.

Immediately after Election Day, Oprah did invite Palin to be on the show. And Sarah snubbed her, talking to several other shows instead.

Round and round -- the point is, it's finally happening, for good or ill. So, the question ...

What do you think Oprah should ask Sarah during the interview?

According to yesterday's announcement, they'll be meeting for the first time during the actual sit-down -- no pre-planning or rehearsal -- so O's gotta have her ducks in a row. What should she ask? Where shouldn't she go? Tell us below ...

And, as much as "Saturday Night Live" has skewered Palin with Tina Fey's spot-on impersonation, here's a clip from a Dutch TV comedy show featuring an Oprah spoof -- with "Sarah Palin" as a guest ...

Sarah Palin on 'Oprah' in November

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You betcha! Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Nov. 16.

Harpo announced the booking today, adding that Winfrey and Palin will meet for the very first time on the episode.

Palin has been courted by numerous talk shows. Other than news-channel interviews and a cameo on "Saturday Night Live," she hasn't made it to Leno, Letterman, etc.

Of course, there's really one reason Palin chose Oprah: She's got a book to sell. And Oprah can move tanker-loads of books. Palin will be hawking her upcoming memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life.

Palin was John McCain's running mate on the Republican ticket for the 2008 presidential election. Oprah endorsed Barack Obama in the election, the first time she publicly supported a candidate.

Think Oprah can see Russia from her Chicago skyscraper?

Tyson vs. Holyfield, an Oprah rematch!

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Oprah keeps her ear to the ground -- which may the safest place for it on her talk show this Friday.

Boxing rivals Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield will face each other again, not in the ring but on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," during its weekly live broadcast this Friday, according to an announcement from Harpo Productions.

Oprah will referee the pair during the appearance, which is the first time the fighters have met since June 28, 1997, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, when Tyson was disqualified after biting off part of Holyfield's right ear during their WBA heavyweight title fight.

Tyson was just on Oprah's show on Monday of this week, discussing the death of his 4-year-old daughter and talking about his family. But he also commented on the infamous ear-chomping incident.

Asked by Oprah about it, Tyson said, ''I didn't feel guilty at the time. ... I apologized to him.''

Winfrey wondered whether Tyson felt the apology.

''No, I did not,'' he said. ''It wasn't sincere.''

Harpo Productions says Tyson will take questions from the audience on Friday.

Contributing: AP, Elliott Harris

Are you up for Oprah's Karaoke Challenge?

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What do you dial up when you hit the karaoke bar? Do you roller-skate straight for the "Xanadu"? Do you break out the hair metal? Do you dream the impossible dream?

Whatever you sing, Oprah wants to hear it.

Well, gospel singer BeBe Winans does, anyway. On Oprah's behalf -- as announced on today's show -- Winans is hitting the road "American Idol"-style to find the best karaoke singers in America. It's Oprah's Karaoke Challenge.

You can also enter by submitting a two-minute video of yourself singing along with your favorite karaoke track. You can upload your video from now until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 19.

Several singers will be selected to perform on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

So start practicing. And take heed of Winans' 10 karaoke tips.

Here's a Beatles backing track to get you started ...


I Want To Hold Your Hand - Burning Fire Karaoke


Oprah loses $400 million in one year

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Losing $400 million can't be among her favorite things.

TV talk queen Oprah Winfrey's net worth is estimated at $2.3 billion, down $400 million from last year, according to Forbes magazine's 2009 list of the 400 richest Americans released this week.

Oprah is No. 141 on the list, up from No. 155 in 2008.

She was among 314 of those listed to see their net worth drop in the last year.

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates keeps his spot at the top. This year, he's worth $50 billion, down by about $7 billion.

His buddy, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett, stays in second. He's at $40 billion, down 20 percent from his 2008 listing.

Cheryl V. Jackson

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Oprah's shaking hands, smiling wide, doing anything she can to help sell Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics.

She joined Mayor Daley, Michelle Obama and other dignitaries in Copenhagen this week for the last hard-sell opportunity before Friday's vote by the International Olympic Committee, selecting which city will host the games seven years from now. Chicago's competition is Madrid, Tokyo and Rio De Janeiro.

No time for jetlag, Oprah hit the ground running.

Oprah has held court in restaurants and posed for a hundred photos. She's stopped a good amount of traffic. She couldn't even go shopping in the Danish capital without creating a hubub, with Danes shouting, "Oprah! Oprah!"

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She's certainly attracting attention, which is why she was asked to join the team. Hopefully, her own brand will lend glitz and glamor to the city's bid.

And she says she's willing to do her part.

"Whoever's there, I'll talk to them," Winfrey said.

The first lady arrived Wednesday and has spent much of her time meeting one-on-one with IOC members in a private suite at the official hotel. The sit-downs are brief but give her an opportunity to share her story -- she grew up on the city's South Side, near where most of the venues would be -- and assure IOC members that Chicago is sincere about its desire to use the Olympics to inspire children and transform their lives. It's the same message she gave Wednesday night at a dinner with Chicago supporters.

"I was moved," Winfrey said. "And they already had my vote."

She told CBS2 yesterday: ""Well, they just asked that I show up and be friendly, so that's not very hard for me. I think we're going to be meeting with some of the delegates tomorrow and have some conversations and tell them how great we are, and why there really is no other choice. But other than that, it really is about just heralding our city, as we all know how great it is. I'm sort of an ambassador."

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And, on a final note, Conan O'Brien joked last night: "President Obama and Oprah Winfrey are going to Copenhagen together this week to push for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics. The bad news is while they're gone the country's going to be run by Joe Biden and Jerry Springer."


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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Thomas Conner in October 2009.

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