The video: It's all over. After 25 years, countless nuggets of wisdom, 65 book club selections, and tens of millions of dollars worth of "Oprah's Favorite Things" giveaways, the last episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show aired Wednesday. After much speculation over the final guest's identity, it was revealed to be... Oprah herself. "There will be no guests, there will be no surprises," the Queen of Talk told her studio audience, which included celebrity friends like Suze Orman and Cicely Tyson. "This last hour is really about me saying thank you." Ruling the stage solo, Oprah reminisced and played flashback clips, concluding emotionally, "I won't say good-bye. I'll just say, until we meet again."
The reaction: Oprah was quite "brave" to do the final show alone, says Hadley Freeman in The Guardian. She had to "make her show sound — dare I say it — a little more socially important... than it is — while seeming to remain modest." It seemed quasi-religious, says Alexandra Petri in The Washington Post, like "Oprah's Last Supper, with the Queen of Daytime sitting down and reminding her flock to Abide By Her Teachings and Do This In Remembrance Of Me." Actually, it felt more presidential to me, says Chris Rovzar in New York. Oprah showed "some Obama-level mastery of the multicamera format." See for yourself, below:
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