The video below, from The Oprah Winfrey show 20th anniversary DVD, paints a rare glimpse of Oprah’s talk show roots. In the mid 80s she was hired to host a local morning low budget talk show in Chicago, that was airing in the same time slot (and right down the street) from the great Phil Donahue, who at the time, was the number one (daytime) talk show in the country.
No one in their wildest dreams thought Oprah would ever beat Donahue. For he was the best in the country and she was black (which was considered really bad in the 1980s), female, and overweight.
“I don’t know another overweight jheri curl person who can say ‘I made it!'” laughs Oprah.
Not only did she make it, but she would go on to become the World’s ONLY black billionaire and the most influential woman on the planet.
Not bad for an overweight jheri curl!
When Oprah first arrived in Chicago she had so little clout she had to bribe strangers on the street to sit in her audience with heat and doughnuts.
My favorite part of the below clip is when she says “We were successful IMMEDIATELY! We were so successful, so quickly, it was STUNNING…”