A Fond Farewell to Oprah

A Fond Farewell to Oprah (photo)

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After 25 years on network television, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” airs its final show today. Oprah’s talk show has been a staple of daytime television for the entirety of its run and helped the nascent talk show format become the behemoth that it is today. Over the course of it’s time on television, Oprah has become a one-named wonder and one of the most powerful (and richest) women in America. She is leaving the show after launching her own television network, OWN, and is truly bravely going out on top.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which is pretty much always called just “Oprah,” has featured tens of thousands of guests and touched countless viewers’ lives here and abroad. Oprah’s combination of complete enthusiasm, ability to listen, and openness about her own struggles made her seem like America’s best friend. Her struggle with her weight was a frequent topic for conversation:

Over the years, Oprah has sired a slough of new talk show hosts: From Dr. Mehmet Oz to designer Nate Berkus to financial guru Suze Orman. Her most famous scion is, of course, “Dr. Phil” McGraw:

Oprah’s Book Club seemed to single-handedly save the beleaguered book publishing industry by encouraging her millions of viewers to read tomes like, “The Good Earth” and finally make author Pearl Buck a millionaire. However, in 2006, Winfrey put author James Frey in the hot seat after it was revealed that his memoir (and Oprah’s Book Club pick) “A Million Little Pieces” was fiction:

Over the years, Winfrey had a knack for getting even the most elusive celebrity to come on her show. She nabbed Michael Jackson’s first live TV interview in 14 years for a 1993 special at Neverland Ranch. Even Maria Shriver was on the show just this week, despite very public marital trouble and an impending divorce from husband Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Tom Cruise famously jumped on Oprah’s couch declaring, “I’m in love! I’m in love!” in 2005 about then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. Will Smith, Usher, Tom Hanks and Stevie Wonder all turned up to Winfrey’s Farewell Spectacular, which aired as her second and third-to-last shows. She even got to interview the 2008 Presidential candidates:

Oprah’s Favorite Things was always the hottest ticket in town. Whether Winfrey was gifting Burberry jackets, popcorn, or cars, the show had EMTs on hand for the overwhelmed guests. Last year, Oprah and her best friend Gayle King, took over 300 viewers on an 8-day Australian getaway. The show had to end after that, because what would be next? Luxury condos? College educations for the children?

Oprah always made time for causes she believed in, be it education, AIDS awareness, animal cruelty, sex trafficking, or getting the Olympic Games to come to Chicago:

And, of course, Oprah had a baby with Dave Chappelle:

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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