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Oprah, I am your father.
November 18, 2005 3:43 PM   Subscribe

How Ebert Gave Oprah Her Start. "Yes, it is true, I persuaded Oprah to become the most successful and famous woman in the world. I was also the person who suggested that Jerry Springer not go into syndication, for which I have received too little credit."
posted by adrober (33 comments total)

 
Roger Ebert has been on dates with women? And Oprah? The world becomes increasingly mysterious every day.
posted by panoptican at 4:25 PM on November 18, 2005


HAH. I laughed at that too, panoptican. Cute story, thanks adrober.
posted by jba at 4:26 PM on November 18, 2005


He's married, even.
posted by JeffL at 4:35 PM on November 18, 2005


I have a lot of respect for Oprah, but as of late when the gf watches it all I notice is that the audience is screaming non-stop, like it was a game show. Anyone care to shed some light on this phenomenon?
posted by furtive at 4:35 PM on November 18, 2005


I do believe Ebert is even married to a woman. Let me work on my shocked and surprised look a bit. Or not.
posted by maudlin at 4:35 PM on November 18, 2005


Being famous helps.
posted by Potsy at 4:39 PM on November 18, 2005


Thar she blows, Orpah the Killer Whale!

So its all Ebert's fault, eh? I'm glad Ernie didn't have any hand in it or I'd be pissed at him and his duckie too.

Potsy, that's pretty much what Danny Bonaduce said about being on the Patridge Family and looking like him, he still got chicks (mostly David Cassidy's castoffs but he wasn't complaining).
posted by fenriq at 4:42 PM on November 18, 2005


Is this one of those things you have to have VD to understand?
posted by telstar at 4:43 PM on November 18, 2005


I don't understand her current "rock star" status, but this movie was pretty good.
posted by snsranch at 5:41 PM on November 18, 2005


I don't have the time to read the article, but that quote is priceless. thanks.

A similar one could be if Siskel had once said, "I tried to convince Ebert not to write Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, for which I receive too little credit."
posted by shmegegge at 5:57 PM on November 18, 2005


"Anyone care to shed some light on this phenomenon?"

YOU'RE GETTING A CAR! YOU'RE GETTING A CAR! YOU'RE GETTING A CAR! EVERYONE'S GETTING A CAR!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:59 PM on November 18, 2005


When Oprah explained the Ebert connection to her career, she could barely even *say* that she went on a date with Ebert. She was that embarrassed. Which? Lowered my opinion of her about 4 notches. Bitch, the man won a Pulitzer. A little class, please.
posted by xyzzy at 6:06 PM on November 18, 2005


His comment was tongue in cheek. The article was very funny. I gotta defend the guy, he rocks.
posted by surferboy at 6:14 PM on November 18, 2005


Does Oprah really credit Ebert? I got the sense Ebert's claim was tongue in cheek. Hard to believe Oprah couldn't figure out on her own what Ebert says he told her.

Also: Oprah, Ebert. Ebert, Oprah.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:15 PM on November 18, 2005


Yes, she explained "how it all started" on her 20 year anniversary show.
posted by xyzzy at 6:16 PM on November 18, 2005


I have a lot of respect for Oprah, but as of late when the gf watches it all I notice is that the audience is screaming non-stop, like it was a game show. Anyone care to shed some light on this phenomenon?

Mystery solved!
posted by ericb at 6:26 PM on November 18, 2005


When I questioned Ebert as to whether there were any after-date shenanigans, he smiled and said, "Well, I gave her two thumbs up."

(Groan.)
posted by DawnSimulator at 7:07 PM on November 18, 2005


Ebert is easily my favorite critic, he's not the best to find out which movies I will like, but he is the best to find out why I like movies.
posted by I Foody at 8:19 PM on November 18, 2005


furtive writes "I have a lot of respect for Oprah, but as of late when the gf watches it"

Suuuure. Your girlfriend... Right... Do you read Playboy for the articles, too?
posted by brundlefly at 11:51 PM on November 18, 2005


I still dont see how she's so rich. She has a show which until recently was only aired in the afternoons and seen by a few million people a day, now it's re-run at night for a few hundred thousand.

And yes she helped launch Dr. Phil. But no one watches her tv network and less read her magazine.

Bill O'Reilly of all people reach more viewers and listeners than Oprah, but you dont hear anyone saying how powerful or rich he is.

Which means that maybe Howard Stern, who is also syndicated, but during a much more popular time-period, perhaps is worth the $200-$500 million that Sirius is paying him.
posted by tsarfan at 12:42 AM on November 19, 2005


tsarfan: Oprah is broadcast worldwide (she has a cult like following here in SA and managed to launch her magazine O here as well). I have yet to see Bill O'Reilly pollute our airwaves, and I doubt he gets much play outside the US either.

Also she owns her show, that is she owns the production company that makes it (Harpo Studios) so she gets hefty hefy syndication fees etc. I'm not sure if O'Reilly owns his.
posted by PenDevil at 3:57 AM on November 19, 2005


When I questioned Ebert as to whether there were any after-date shenanigans, he smiled and said, "Well, I gave her two thumbs up."

hahahahahaha!

Upon reflection, he probably has about 28 "thumbs up" one-liners. The only time my faith in Ebert was challenged was when he and Siskel did a special episode on Schwarzenegger films and they started discussing Predator. That was just painful to watch.
posted by craniac at 6:20 AM on November 19, 2005


Don't forget her book club...there've been lots of articles about how books by unknown authors have rocketed up the bestseller lists after being mentioned on her show.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:18 AM on November 19, 2005


but this movie was pretty good.

I saw Jim Jarmusch talk a year or two ago and someone asked him about personal vision as a director, versus being false for commercial gain, or something like that - somehow Spielberg comes up - Jarmusch quietly zings, "I like that one film of his, what's it called, 'The Colored People' "
posted by Peter H at 8:25 AM on November 19, 2005


No one's going to do the math?
posted by xammerboy at 9:31 AM on November 19, 2005


> Wife

> Oprah

Roger Ebert does care about black women.
posted by Peter H at 9:44 AM on November 19, 2005


"and they started discussing Predator"

And well they should. Arnie's best film.
posted by juiceCake at 12:44 PM on November 19, 2005


I have it on good authority that arnie has a very small penis.
posted by Paris Hilton at 2:39 PM on November 19, 2005


Her production company has a lot to do with her wealth. She produced Rosie O'Donnell's show, for instance.
posted by raedyn at 2:44 PM on November 19, 2005


Roger Ebert is out of control.

Meanwhile, Oprah and her millions of clucking hen zombies keep me awake at night.
posted by quite unimportant at 3:08 PM on November 19, 2005


tsarfan - Oprah's show has way higher ratings than Bill O'Reilly or any other show on cable (with the exception of the NFL and new Sopranos episodes). Oprah attracts about 8 million viewers each day, while O'Reilly attracts between 2 and 2.5 million viewers per day - about the same as Maury Povich.
posted by spira at 3:17 PM on November 19, 2005


The screaming audience is because they book the audience to the topic. For instance, for a show about Robin Williams, Oprah.com will have a link entitled "Are You Robin Williams' Biggest Fan? Has Robin Williams Changed Your Life?" And then you can click the link and write in about your life-changing Robin Williams experience. If you sound enthusiastic enough about it, someone from the Harpo audience department will call you on the phone and give you tickets to the Robin Williams episode of Oprah. That way every single person in the audience is wildly enthusiastic about the topic of the day.

This is different from, say, Jenny Jones, where the topic is a surprise and they have to hold up those "applause!" signs.
posted by bonheur at 3:41 PM on November 19, 2005


quite unimportant: That was freaking hilarious.
posted by panoptican at 12:32 AM on November 20, 2005


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