Oprah Winfrey filmed one of her finale episodes of The Oprah Winfrey show in Chicago yesterday, and it was a show-stopper full of Oprah-centric praise (ofco): Not only did her guests include Madonna, Tom Cruise, Aretha Franklin, Tom Hanks, Maya Angelou, Tyler Perry, Jerry Seinfeld, Dakota Fanning, Beyonce, Halle Berry, Katie Holmes, Stevie Wonder, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Usher, Kristen Chenoweth, Michael Jordan, Josh Groban, and Patti Labelle, she also got betrayed celebrity wife of the moment Maria Shriver to appear!
In front of a crowd of 13,000 (with 13,000 boxes of tissues) at the United Center, Winfrey received accolades from celebrities, whose appearances surprised her. According to the Chicago Tribune, Jordan told her, "You've inspired me," while Madonna said Oprah was her only living female hero, "She is a self-made woman who has been at the top of her game for 25 years. And she is still kicking (butt)." Pinkett Smith waxed, "You don't have children of your own, but you have mothered millions," and Shriver said, "For more than 30 years you have bestowed upon me the most amazing friendship. You have shown love, support, wisdom, and most of all, the truth."
Hanks told her, "You are surrounded by nothing but love. Thank you for what The Oprah Winfrey Show has meant for our lives," and then he introduced Cruise by saying, "Some might say that pulling off this party is darn near a mission impossible." And here's ABC News on Angelou's contribution:
Poet Maya Angelou's recitation of an original work -- a narrative of Winfrey's past -- accompanied by soft piano music from Alicia Keyes, may have been one of the most moving acknowledgements of the evening.
Winfrey listened intently, her eyes narrowed, brows knit and chin occasionally quivering.
Of Winfrey, Angelou said this "big-eyed fat girl from Mississippi decided to show the world how to look at itself… how to change itself ... ."
She concluded: "I can and I will and I shall be Oprah, Oprah, Oprah… ."
The show will air in two parts next Monday and Tuesday (but that's after Judgement Day, so just enjoy these photos) and the final, final show, which is still secret, will be on Wednesday. As for what's been airing recently, Winfrey sat down with James Frey to talk about the whole A Million Little Pieces (part 1, part 2) hubbub.