They’ve feuded, they’ve fussed … and they’ve had their fun. Now Oprah Winfrey is rolling out the welcome mat for David Letterman.
The CBS Late Show host, 60, will make his first-ever appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Sept. 10 to be shot in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Winfrey’s Harpo Productions has announced,
The nationally syndicated show, which will also do a special 9/11 episode, will air live in some markets and be rebroadcast in others, the Associated Press reports.
After a purported rift between the two, Winfrey, 53, threw down the olive branch and agreed to appear on Letterman’s show on Dec. 1, 2005 – the same night that the Broadway musical The Color Purple, which Winfrey helped produce, opened a block from Letterman’s studio.
The appearance marked her first guest spot on his CBS show, though she twice appeared on his NBC show before he switched networks in 1993.
The source of the longtime disagreement has never been clear. Certainly, Letterman used to poke fun at Winfrey’s fluctuating shape and then would joke about her refusal to appear on his show.
When Letterman hosted the 1995 Oscars (in a stint that was roundly panned by critics – and, eventually, even by Letterman himself) he used her name for a laugh-less comedic routine that juxtaposed her name with Uma Thurman’s, to say, “Uma, Oprah.” (Both Thurman and Winfrey sat in the Oscar show audience that night, stone-faced.)
In 2003, as Letterman was publicly lobbying to convince Winfrey to appear on his show, she told Time magazine that she would feel “completely uncomfortable” allowing herself to be a target for Letterman’s jibes. She then turned the tables on him and asked that he appear on her show. Letterman refused.
“Here’s what would happen: I would go on the Oprah show, and I would break down and sob like a little girl,” he said. “I don’t want to have that happen.”
When Winfrey finally did appear on the Letterman show in 2005, he called her “the most beloved woman in America – despite the fact she gave us Dr. Phil.”
She, meanwhile, told her wisecracking host, “I want you to know, it’s really over, whatever you thought was happening.”
Replied Letterman: “Are you sure it’s over?”