Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Over the past 25 years, viewers at home have written in about the unexpected show moments that struck a chord with them. Linda Kinnell says her moment came in 2004. An Oprah Show Ultimate Viewer, Linda estimates she's logged 5,500 hours watching Oprah over the past 20 years. The show she says changed her life was Oprah's 50th Birthday Bash.
Though the show was filled with spectacular surprises, Linda says John's heartfelt toast to Oprah is the moment that stuck with her. In his toast, John said:
"To the most wonderful person in the world, Oprah Winfrey, our friend. And it's not just because you went out of your way to make sure that 50,000 underprivileged children in South Africa had their first Christmas gift or that you want to put schools throughout that country, but also because you inject the spirit into our society of life. You care. Your intelligence, your inspiration, and you do it all without judging, and because you treat everyone equally important, and this makes you a great American hero. You represent the best of our country and what's possible in our country. But, more importantly, you are a citizen of the world, and you are a hero to mankind. So we are better for knowing you, Oprah. We are. And to boot, you are beautiful. You are sexy. You're talented, and we love you so much we can't take it."
Linda says she watched that episode again and again. "Every time I watch it, it brings tears to my eyes," she says. "I just thought it was a powerful toast to have your friend say, 'The world is a better place with you in it.' I would love it if someone could toast me and tell me I'm a hero."