Oprah and Dave, Talking It Out at Last

Oprah Winfrey will be a guest on
Oprah Winfrey will be a guest on "The Late Show With David Letterman" on Dec. 1. (Michael A. Mariant - AP)
By Lisa de Moraes
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Oprah Winfrey has finally agreed to appear on David Letterman's CBS late-night show, on Dec. 1.

This is sure to bring an enormous audience to Letterman, who has been falling further behind Jay Leno's show on NBC, despite better ratings for CBS at 10 p.m. this season.

The queen of daytime appeared on Letterman's NBC show twice (he moved to CBS in 1993), but has refused to do so again because, she has said, she did not like being the butt of his jokes.

In 2003 he invited her to do a "Super Bowl of Love" on his "Late Show." She demurred and instead invited him to come on her syndicated show. But Letterman, who's no dummy, realized that if they kissed and made up on her show it would only goose her show's ratings, not his, and he declined her invitation, offering the lame explanation that if he appeared on her show he was sure to "break down and sob like a little girl."

Just last month Oprah and Uma Thurman chatted on Oprah's show about the horror of having their names forever linked to Letterman's infamous Academy Awards "Oprah, Uma" opening gag bellyflop:

Oprah to Uma: "You could feel that David is going to say something . . . . I was, like, 'God, please, please, please don't mention my name. Please, please, please.' "

(Then, remembering that Uma was supposed to be the guest): "You remember that night, don't you?"

Uma to Oprah: "How could I forget . . ."

But Dec. 1 is opening night for Oprah Winfrey Presents "The Color Purple" on Broadway -- right across the street from the old Ed Sullivan theater, where Letterman tapes his show. (Too bad for him it falls one night outside the November ratings derby.)

"What a big night that is going to be," Letterman gushed to his studio audience during yesterday's taping, a transcript of which was rushed to the media by CBS. "Not only for us, not only for Oprah, but for Broadway.

"You have the big 'Color Purple' Broadway opening, and then, right across the street here in this theater, you have Oprah appearing here. I mean, that's what Broadway is all about -- it's a street of dreams."

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