Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oprah Quits... But Not Until Next Year


In all honesty, I've been meaning to write this one for some time.

As many of you know, Oprah has announced that she is ending her show to concentrate on other projects. As you also know, the announcement came with a "at the end of next year" attached to the back end.

Basically, Oprah is giving everyone ample warning that she will be leaving, so they can get their lives in order to carry on without her... and shower her with praise and affection for the next year.

While that is not the real reason, it certainly seems that way, and has for every celebrity and athlete who has done the same "this is my last year" farewell tour over the span of my life. I just don't see the point of announcing you're leaving a year in advance other than to drum up recognition and attention.

A gazillion people already watch Oprah, so it's not like those of us who don't routinely tune her in each day are suddenly going to stop what we're doing and watch her show this year.

She's not moving to a remote island, never to be heard from again; she turning the lights off on her show to focus on her television network... so she's still going to be on TV.

So what is the real motivation behind giving everyone the head's up?

Personally, I think part of the answer is that last show of each month will become some overblown excuse to give everyone in the audience a bazillion dollars worth of merchandise because "it's my last January show ever."

The Oprah's Favorites shows have always astounded me in the same way Extreme Makeover: Home Edition drives me nuts.

If you can convince that many companies to give away that much crap a couple of times each year, couldn't you be giving it to someone more deserving and needy that an audience full of suburban homebodies?

When it comes to calling it a career, I'm a John Elway kind of guy; go out on top, but do it without a big farewell tour.

Don't hold a teary press conference three separate times blubbering about how you just don't have it in you to play football anymore or give your fans a year to shower you with affection before you go.

Walk off into the sunset and let the adulation follow; otherwise you end up having 13 "Farewell Tours" like Cher... and that doesn't look good on anybody, not even Cher.


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