We’re live-blogged the whole hour here:
4:56 And the very last guest is...
Usher? Okay then. Anyway, he starts out singing his own his “OMG,” but quickly segues into “Oh Happy Day,” and all the celebs gather on stage to sing and clap along.
We get a rare appearance from Oprah’s longtime partner Stedman Graham, “What in the name of Jesus?!” Oprah exclaims as Stedman strolls on stage.
“It really does amaze me that I get to be around a woman who changes people’s lives every day,” Stedman says, and mentions Oprah’s humility. Okay! “I love you for making a difference in my life,” Stedman adds, getting “awwws” from the audience.
Aretha Franklin belts out “Amazing Grace,” and takes about a year get through a single line. “Sing, Aretha!” Oprah yells from the crowd.
4:38 Maya Angelou creates a poem for Oprah
Oprah sits on a chair on stage across from Maya Angelou, who arrives with an original poem. It chronicles the life of Oprah, including her journey to Baltimore hosting a news program, and then heading to Chicago. She also repeats the word “Oprah” many times toward the end.
Alicia Keys breaks in to sing a verse of her song “Superwoman at a piano on stage.”
4:31 Things get emotional; Kristin Chenoweth sings
A huge group of men, all of whom went to Morehouse College because of Oprah’s scholarship fund, walk through the audience in a line and all stand on stage. Kristin Chenoweth provides the background music (singing “For Good” from “Wicked”) as Oprah breaks down in tears and shakes her head in disbelief. “Oprah, we’ve been changed for good,” Chenoweth sings at the end of the tune.
4:25 Oprah’s BFFs
Two of Oprah’s best friends, Gayle King and Maria Shriver, come out on stage.
“You’ve given me love, support, wisdom, and most of all, the truth,” Shriver tells Oprah, in a line that’s already been dissected since the show aired last week.
Anyway, Oprah also loves education, and they show a clip reel of kids saying, “Because of you, Oprah, I went to school,” and another video of people who recieved Oprah Winfrey scholarships to go to college.
4:16 Simon Cowell (?), and Rosie O’Donnell sings
If Oprah wasn’t on TV, she would be a fourth grade teacher — or so say Will and Jada. A clip starts playing of an Oprah ultimate viewer, a teacher who uses lessons from Oprah in her classroom.
Then, for some reason, a bespectacled Simon Cowell arrives on the United Center stage. He tells us that he and Oprah have become great friends
Apparently Oprah and Simon have become great friends, who always tell each other the truth. “Your show has been an incredible launch pad for so many artists...you really connect viewers to the music in a way no one else can,” Cowell says.
He then adds, “I can also say firsthand that you are a very good kisser,” though we’re not really sure why.
Rosie O’Donnell takes a turn on stage, surrounded by backup singers and dancers. She sings a version of “Fever,” replacing the lines by bemoaning Oprah’s exit from syndicated TV, such as “How could you, Oprah?!” instead of “You give me fever.”
Some Oprah proteges interupt the song to talk about the wonder of Oprah — Dr. Phil, Nate Berkus, Dr. Oz, who all start dancing around on stage at the end of the song.
4:09 Jerry Seinfeld does a stand-up routine
Will Smith has apparently taken over for Tom Hanks, and introduces the next guest: Father of three from Long Island, and unlike the Oprah show, which was about everything, his show was about nothing. Cue...
Jerry Seinfeld! In a tux.
“I have been very fortunate to have been on the Oprah show... It’s one of the greatest gifts to the husband in training that any man could possibly receive,” Seinfeld says. He proceeds with some kinda-lame stand-up about men not listening to their wives, etc., and tells men to learn to talk as if they’re being interviewed by Oprah.
Other topics Seinfeld covers: That men’s voices are forced to go up two octaves when talking to women. That women always imitate men’s voices during a fight. This goes on for awhile.
“That was such a lovely surprise!” Oprah says at the end of his act, too kindly, we think.
4:04: Men love Oprah’s show too
Will Smith is back with the microphone, and swears that men love the “Oprah Winfrey Show” as well — and to prove his point, Jamie Foxx pops up in the audience.
Foxx rambles about the chemistry he and Oprah have, and croons ”Isn’t She Lovely,” but a special, Oprah-ized version. Then, Stevie Wonder appears, and is playing a piano. He takes over the song from Foxx, and the audience goes crazy.
4:02 Michael Jordan arrives
MJ is been a fan of Oprah, and not only because they arrived in Chicago around the same time. “if you need a job, I’ve got one for you,” Jordan tells Oprah, who wraps him in a big hug. Silly Michael Jordan, she’s going to OWN!
4:01 Will Smith shows up.
Tom Hanks is back as emcee. But there’s no time to concentrate on that, because Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, wander on stage.
Will Smith promises us a jam-packed hour of magic and excitemenet. Jada gets very close up to Oprah’s face, and thanks her for 25 years on air. “I know you don’t have children of your own, but you have mothered us,” Jada says gravely.
Will Smith breaks in to get the party started! And bring out Michael Jordan.
4:00 Oprah’s goodbye, part two
Voiceover guy says we have one more hour of surpises, living legends, and television history, respectively. The second to last “Oprah Winfrey Show” ever...starts now!
Photos: Oprah Winfrey through the years