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Oprah, Donahue, Montel, Sally Jessy, Geraldo, and Ricki Lake - Show Recap


Original Air Date:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Oprah welcomed former daytime talk show hosts Phil Donahue, Montel Williams, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo Rivera and Ricki Lake to the show.

Show Summary:

For the only time on television, Oprah was joined on stage by her former competition and rivals on daytime television including talk show hosts Montel Williams, Ricki Lake, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo Rivera, and Phil Donahue. The six hosts have never appeared together before and shared moments of their history in the spotlight as part of Oprah's final season.

Phil Donahue was the first host to include audience participation and appreciate that the viewers at home had a strong point of view -- his show opened up the door for all the others to follow, including Oprah. Each of the hosts had become a household name in their own right by building their audience with their own spin on human interest stories and current events.

Special Highlights:

This episode featured the following highlights:

  • Talk show hosts often come and go, but very few become household names like the guests on this episode -- from daytime talk: Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, Montel Williams, Geraldo Rivera, and Ricki Lake.

  • At one point in time each of the guests were Oprah's direct competition and daytime TV rivals, but as she prepares to end her 25 years on syndicated television, coming together with former hosts to hear about their experiences and especially their feelings leaving their show is a one time opportunity for reunion and advice.

  • While each of the hosts were given segments to update viewers on their life since their shows ended, a portion of the show was dedicated to honoring Phil Donahue for creating the genre and being the first to give the audience a chance to share and appreciating that the viewers at home had opinions and a point of view.

  • Each host shared how they felt the last time they walked on stage and while each was different, they all were possibly relevant to Oprah's future experience. They included: excitement, hope, redemption, gratitude and relief.

What to Take Away from the Show:

This one time only reunion of daytime talk show hosts was a great way to celebrate the household names and shows that made an impact in our lives from the 1960s into the 2000s. With Phil Donahue holding the record for the longest syndicated show with 26 seasons and Ricki Lake holding the record for the youngest host, Oprah would likely maintain the award for the most impact or the farthest reaching influence on audiences as she had managed over the last 25 years to get people to open up about their biggest fears and secrets, brought spirituality to the masses, and got the country to get excited about reading again. With the biggest celebrity guests, controversial topics, and open dialogue about the most difficult of subjects, Oprah has managed to change the way we see ourselves, the world, and the people around us through willingness to always be herself.

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