The O Interview: Gayle and Oprah, Uncensored
Oprah: Then there's my night call. When she was on vacation with her sisters, and we hadn't had a conversation, I realized I felt far more stressed. I've never had a day's therapy, but I always had my night conversations with Gayle.
Gayle: We talk about everything and anything.
Oprah: What was on the show, what the person was wearing. What I really thought, what she really thought.
Lisa: Let me shift gears. It feels as if people are always trying to enlist my help in getting some kind of a letter to you, Oprah—and it's usually for a worthy cause. But I was thinking, Gayle, you must get that every hour of every day.
Gayle: Well, I know what Oprah would be interested in hearing and what she wouldn't, and, you know, I've figured out a way to politely decline. But I love that people love her so much and are so interested in communicating with her, so I never look at it as a hassle or burden.
Oprah: She handles it. It's one of the things that's so amazing about this friendship. Gayle is more excited about my success than I am. It makes her genuinely happy. We've been friends since I was making $22,000 and she was making $12,000. We've made this journey together.
Gayle: Not much has changed, except now she's making a stratospheric salary. [Laughter]
Oprah: The first time Gayle spent the night at my house was because there was a snowstorm and she couldn't get home. She was a production assistant and I was the 6 o'clock anchor in Baltimore.
Gayle: Anchors and PA's do not socialize—the newsroom hierarchy.
Oprah: But I said, "You can stay at my house." The next day, we went to the mall.
Gayle: Remember Casual Corner? They had those two for $19.99 sales.
Oprah: I ended up buying two sweaters.
Gayle: I had to call my mother and say, "You know my friend Oprah? Guess what? She bought two sweaters!" I was into layaway back then, for one sweater. [Laughter]
Oprah: Years later, for my 42nd birthday, we were in Miami, and I decided I was going to buy myself a birthday present. So we were on our way to the mall, and we pass a car dealership where I spot a black Bentley in the lot. I'm like, "Oh my God, that is the most beautiful car." So we pull over and I go in and buy that Bentley right on the spot. And I say to Gayle, "This is a Casual Corner moment."
They get it all cleaned up, and it's a convertible. The top is down, and guess what? It starts to rain. It's pouring.
Gayle: And I say, "Shouldn't we put the top up?"
Oprah: "No. Because I want to ride in a convertible on my birthday!" Anyway, Gayle was like, "You're going to buy that right now? Shouldn't you think about this or try to negotiate a better deal?" I said, "Gayle, that's the same thing you said when I bought the two sweaters."
Lisa: What's that Paul Simon lyric? "After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same."
Oprah: The scale got larger. I mean, you need a moment of silence every time I write a check for my income taxes.