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Posted at 05:44 PM ET, 05/23/2011

The Oprah Winfrey Farewell Spectacular: What we learned from part one


Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise, all smiles. (By John Gress/Reuters)

The three-day goodbye to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” began today in Winfrey’s typically modest and understated fashion.

Just kidding! It actually began with splashiness, self-congratulations, many flashes of Tom Cruise grins and the impressive shaking of Beyonce’s booty.

Lisa de Moraes live-blogged the at-times moving and at-times nauseating “Farewell Specacular,” an extended, pre-taped surprise party for Winfrey. Or at least, as surprising as an event can be that’s held at Chicago’s United Center in honor of one of the most Type A, on-her-game ladies on the planet.

What did we learn from the experience? Many things. Here are just a few of those things, covered in question-and-answer form.

Can Tom Hanks host portions of this extravaganza without sacrificing his own sense of dignity?

Actually, yes. Because Tom Hanks is a national treasure who can pretty much do no wrong.


Oprah Winfrey and Madonna. (By John Gress/Reuters)

Who is the one living woman Madonna admires, according to her comments during part one of the Oprah Winfrey Farewell Spectacular?

Oprah, obviously. So tough luck to you, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Madonna BFF Gwyneth Paltrow, and the adult women that Madonna’s daughters, Lourdes and Mercy James, will eventually grow up to become.

Who runs the world, according to Beyonce?

Girls, of course! Also, based on Beyonce’s backup dancers, sexy female attorneys, the kind who wear Ally McBeal miniskirts while wearing intellectual glasses.


Beyonce and Co., running the world. (By Peter Wynn Thompson/AFP/Getty Images)

How many times can Tom Cruise flash an awestruck grin at Oprah Winfrey during Beyonce’s number?

I lost count. But 185 seems like a fair estimate.

Is it pretty remarkable that 125 libraries will be rebuilt as a result of Winfrey’s work, as announced by John Legend?

It really is. There is no way to be snarky about that.

Is it ridiculous that Kleenex placed a box of tissues under each seat in the United Center to help audience members cope with their Oprah loss?

It is. But it’s also clever marketing.

Does Diane Sawyer have a remarkable understanding of how trees grow?

She does. As she noted during the program, she also believes that a tree growing is “like life and that is like [Oprah].”­­ Wait, does this mean that Shel Silverstein book was actually about Oprah?

Is it possible to be worthy of immense praise yet also totally unaware of the irony of throwing a public farewell surprise party in your own honor?

Yes. Oprah Winfrey has proven it.

By  |  05:44 PM ET, 05/23/2011

Categories:  Celebrities

 
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