"Whatever you do," he whispers, "don't look at the chipmunks. You'll start to laugh, and that will make me start to laugh, and we'll never be able to stop." Following his example, I stare straight ahead in fierce concentration. He is showing Oprah how to blend zucchini to make delicious zucchini bread for the holidays. Simple math At about this time, Oprah and I went out on a date. The problem with syndication is that if your show isn't successful, you're off the air in three months.
It begins early one morning in Baltimore, where Gene Siskel and I are scheduled to appear on a morning talk show hosted by a newcomer named Oprah Winfrey.
The other guests on the show include a vegetarian chef, and four dwarfs dressed as chipmunks, who will sing "The Chipmunk Christmas Song" while dancing with Hula-Hoops. "I don't stir it up." "No, but I just thought --" "It doesn't matter what goes into it, as long as it smells so nice," she said. Oprah Winfrey was hired away from the Baltimore station to host "AM Chicago." It was opposite the top-rated Phil Donahue.
Don't laugh at the chipmunks We are all standing in the wings. Within a few weeks, Phil Donahue was no longer top-rated.
Siskel is staring straight ahead, in fierce concentration. Oprah's show was expanded to an hour and became a smash hit.
The chipmunks are laughing so hard about the zucchini that they may not be able to sing "The Chipmunk Christmas Song." I realize during this show that Oprah Winfrey is a natural on television, although she could use a better booker. Line 5: Times 2, because her ratings would be at least twice as big as "Siskel & Ebert." I pushed the napkin across the table. Step 2: Carry out the other multiplications described above. Next Article: Gamers fire flaming posts, e-mails...
A few months later, the job of hosting "AM Chicago" opened up. Previous Article: Plowing Field's won't grow business Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor-in-Chief of Roger Ebert.com, TV critic for New York Magazine, the creator of many video essays about film history and style, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, and the author of The Wes Anderson Collection.
His writing on film and TV has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, New York Press, The Star-Ledger and Dallas Observer.
Ever since Oprah Winfrey revealed on her 20th anniversary program Monday that I was the person who first suggested she go into syndication, I have been flooded with requests for interviews.
Yes, it is true, I persuaded Oprah to become the most successful and famous woman in the world.
I was also the person who suggested that Jerry Springer not go into syndication, for which I have received too little credit.
All of these years I have maintained a discreet silence about my role as Oprah's adviser, but now that she has spilled the beans, the time is right to tell the whole story.