Packing It In

Oprah Winfrey – the undisputed Queen of the talk-show fest – is going “to pack it in” after opening up her yap non-stop “without gargling or gagging once” for the past twenty-four years. The popular day-time hostess swears that her proposed exit from mainstream TV’s evil clutches next year is a voluntary one “calculated to ensure that she alights gracefully from her powerful mid-day perch on network heaven” while she is at the top of her game.

In my estimation, Oprah finally conceded in her heart of all hearts, that a decline in popularity lurks in the shadows ahead, in the event she lingers on. Events that unfolded this past year appear to signal that little inevitability.

For the first time since the cattle-rancher fiasco reared its ugly head a scant few years ago, Oprah was the brunt of a lot of nasty jokes, bad press, and biting criticism from the media, the public-at-large, and a posse of once-devoted fans for a myriad of scandalous reasons. In respect to the Barack Obama endorsement for the presidency, for starters.

For example, when the feisty talk-show host “prone to give away luxury cars at the drop-of-a-hat to win over freeloaders and twist arms of the high-and-mighty” first stepped into the political arena to throw her weight “which was considerable” behind Barack Obama’s bid for the White House “a bunch of loud-mouthed opponents cried out bloody-murder.”

The way the presidential candidate trotted around behind Oprah like a faithful little puppy dog was downright embarrassing “undignified” to say the least. Oprah sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom? No way, Jose. Others got on the “down with the talk-show diva” bandwagon when the ever-elastic Oprah began touting new-age health remedies not formally recognized as legitimate medical treatments by reputable doctors or even the FDA.

To some Americans, Oprah was starting to sound like a cheesy snake-oil saleswoman, with a nasty overbite. At Friday’s taping “for good reason” Oprah elected to cite the reasons she was allegedly closing down shop to viewers directly in a bold-faced effort to quell any rumors flying-round town.

“After much prayer and months of careful thought, I have decided that next season, season 25, will be the last season of  “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she stated matter-of-fact with nary a crocodile tear. “Over the next couple of days, you may hear a lot of speculation in the press about why I am making this decision now (well, yeah!)…and that will mostly be conjecture.”

Oprah, just invite me over to the manse for the weekend, and I’m sure I’ll be able to fathom things out! Before there was an opportunity to respond to my offer, though, the portly matron was egged on by her handlers “no doubt” to toss in a few more news bites for the incredulous to chew on for a nail-biting nano-second or two.

“So why walk away and make next season the last? Here is the real reason: I love this show,” she clucked wholeheartedly to the rapt live audience in tow. “This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it’s time to say good-bye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones, and it feels right in my spirit. It’s the perfect number –  the exact right time. So I hope that you will take this 18-month ride with me right through to the final show.”

Well, as long as you toss in a luxury automobile now and then, for old-time’s sake, girl! Is it all a ploy to coax bigger bucks from the brass in the executive suite next contract talks?

According to Harpo Productions “the company that produces the Oprah Show currently” she “…plans to appear and participate in new programming for “OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network”…a 24-hour cable network that reflects her vision, values, and interests.”

The project has been set for production for January 2011, according to the terse release. Sounds like a losing proposition to me! Winfrey thanked her viewers for sticking with her for almost a quarter of a century at that juncture.

“These years with you, our viewers, have enriched my life beyond all measure,” she said. “And you all have graciously invited me into your living rooms, into your kitchens, and into your lives. And for some of you long time Oprah viewers, you have literally grown up with me – we’ve grown together.”

And apart, dahlink! You became too haughty and big for your britches for me to stay tuned in, Oprah “in my estimation” so there! “So I just wanted to say that whether you’ve been here with me from the beginning or you came on board last week, I want you all to know that my relationship with you is one that I hold very dear. And your trust in me, the sharing of your precious time every day with me has brought me the greatest joy I have ever known.”

Actually, Shakespeare said it best: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

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