The O Interview: Gayle and Oprah, Uncensored
Gayle: I can't even wrap my head around all this. I knew she was talented, certainly, but who would've thought that it would get this big?
Oprah: One of my favorite moments was about ten, 12 years ago when we were in Racine, Wisconsin. We're caught in a traffic jam because everyone was headed to the concert hall where I was speaking, and Gayle says, "Where are all these people going?" We pull up to the venue, and Gayle goes, "What's going on here?"
Gayle: The cops were lined up, double rows.
Oprah: Gayle's going, "Who's here? Who's here?" I go, "I am, you nitwit!"
Gayle: "You mean all these people are coming to see you?" I could not believe it. That was the first time it hit me.
Lisa: Gayle, when you started at the magazine, did either of you worry that working for Oprah might change the dynamic between you?
Gayle: I wasn't worried. I don't think Oprah was, either. But people did say, "Oh God, you should never work with your friend."
Oprah: But that's how I know people don't understand this relationship, because other people's definition of "friend" isn't what ours is. Just the other day, I was doing a show about when your best friend is sleeping with your husband. The ultimate betrayal. Well, that is not possible in this relationship.
Gayle: What I know for sure: I will never sleep with Stedman.
Oprah: What did you used to say, "If you ever find me in the bed with Stedman—"
Gayle: "Don't even be mad. Just scoop me up and get me to a hospital, because you will know I'm very ill."
Oprah: "Carry me tenderly out the door." [Laughter]
Gayle: So people ask, "But how can you work for a friend?" I say it's because I know that the magazine is called O. The bottom line is somebody has to have the final word. Oprah's not right all the time, but her record is pretty damn good. That's not to say you can't disagree.
Oprah: That's why Gayle's so great for me at the magazine—she's going to have almost exactly the same opinion that I do. But when she doesn't agree, she'll fight for her opinion as though there were a G on that magazine. We have "disagree," and we have "strongly disagree." If Gayle strongly, strongly feels something about somebody—
Gayle: It gives her pause.
Oprah: It gives me pause, because she's been my—she's apple pie and Chevrolet. She loves everybody. So if there's somebody she doesn't like, that will get my attention because she's truly everybody's friend—far friendlier than I am. I would not call myself a friendly person.
Gayle: I'm very social.
Oprah: I'm not social. Nor am I all that friendly.
Gayle: All Oprah needs is a good book. My only request when she's building any house is, "Could I please have a TV in my bedroom?" She goes, "You're the only one who complains about not having a TV in the bedroom." I go, "Well, everybody thinks it, they just don't want to say it to you."
Oprah: I don't have TVs in any bedroom except Gayle's. In my house, there's a Gayle wing.