Dr. Phil Welcomes Oprah

As Oprah makes her grand entrance, confetti and streamers fill the air. She and Dr. Phil remi

nisce about their 10-year relationship.

 

"Congratulations to you, Phil," Oprah says. "Everybody is asking me did I think this would be possible. And the true answer is, yes, I did think this would be possible. What I thought was that you would have tired of it before you hit 1,000 shows."

Dr. Phil chuckles.

"It's a lot of work," Oprah continues. "You know, everybody sees our lives and the tabloids."

Dr. Phil and Oprah joke about the tabloid rumors concerning their relationship. "Every week it's, like, we're at war over something," Dr. Phil says.

 

"Did I leave Stedman for you?" Oprah jokingly asks.

"The ones this week were that you fired me," Dr. Phil says.

"That would be kind of hard to do now," Oprah says, explaining that when Dr. Phil started, she owned the show, but since, Dr. Phil has taken ownership. "He got smart about three years in and said, ‘Hey, I think I want to own myself.' So, I couldn't fire you if I wanted to."

"This is our 10-year anniversary," Dr. Phil points out. "We've got to have a toast." Cristal champagne is brought onstage for Oprah and water for Dr. Phil. They toast.

 

Oprah explains that she and Dr. Phil met a decade ago, before she went on trial for making comments about beef that some viewed as negative. "We won that trial because of [Dr. Phil] and because of Chip Babcock, but Phil sort of orchestrated the whole thing," she shares. "It was a very vulnerable time for me, and from the moment I met Phil, I felt that he was the person who could take the lead and get us out of that hot mess." She points out that they would go to trial together in the morning and then she would tape her show in the evenings. "He'd be talking to me, giving me advice, and I'd say, ‘You need to put this in a book. You need to write all this stuff down,' and that's how our relationship started," she says.

 

"From the beginning, I've always " regardless of what was going on " wanted to share whatever was good for me with other people, and so I wanted you to put those Philisms, which was just the way you talked about life, i

nto a book, because I thought that what you were offering me was good enough to share with other people," Oprah continues. "I'm really proud that you've been able to do that in a way that has affected millions of people throughout this country and throughout the world."

"Thank you," Dr. Phil replies. "I told you at the time when I came on the show for the first time, I said, ‘I just have to come and be who I am,' and everybody but you said, ‘It won't work.'"

"At first, everybody told me this wouldn't work," Oprah recalls. "The audience had a really strong reaction to you, and it wasn't so good."

Oprah recalls a funny moment from one of Dr. Phil's appearances on her show when they were discussing weight.

Dr. Phil plays the clip where he says, "We don't use food. We abuse food. It's not what you eat, but why you eat that has you in the problem that you're in."

 

Oprah responds, "There are some people who are just genetically disposed to being smaller."

Dr. Phil replies, "The fact is, that ain't you."

Oprah laughs.

Back in his studio, Dr. Phil hides his face as Oprah becomes hysterical with laughter. "I didn't mean it that way," Dr. Phil says smiling.

"Yeah, you did," Oprah joshes. "What is kind of amazing to me is that you were able to sit down and just do that on TV, because you hadn't been doing that on TV. That's pretty darn good."

"Honestly, when you sit down on The Oprah Winfrey Show with Oprah Winfrey, it's like sitting at home in the den
talking," Dr. Phil says. "You forget about the cameras. You forget about the millions of people, and you were so passionate about what we were doing." He plays clips from his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah's enthusiasm for his comments is effervescent.

When the tape ends, Oprah says, "I would learn in the moment."

"When I met you, I met you as a person, not as this international megastar," Dr. Phil says.

"Not just as a person, but really kind of very vulnerable, in a bad position, where those cattlemen were trying to kick my ass," Oprah says.

Dr. Phil recalls that Oprah had a group of lawyers telling her that she should settle the case. "The first question you asked me after I had been talking for about an hour-and-a-half, you said, ‘What do you think about settling?' and I said, ‘If you fight this to the bitter end, the line at the Sue Oprah window is

going to get a lot shorter,'" he says.

"And it did," Oprah confirms.

"So, we fought it to the bitter end, and you won," Dr. Phil says.

"Looking back 10 years, on our anniversary, doesn't it now seem like it was all a part of a bigger divine plan?" Oprah asks Dr. Phil.

"It really does," he says. "You started something that I'm not sure you've taken a full breath and realized yet." He points out that Oprah had a vision of a new genre of television when he started appearing on her show, which has been realized over the last 10 years that he has been on television. "Because of what you saw and started, we have opened up the dialogue about mental health in America that wasn't there before," Dr. Phil says proudly. "By coming on your show, with your credibility and dealing with those subject matters with dignity and respect, I think we opened up a dialogue."

Oprah says she noticed the change in people's attitudes shortly after Dr. Phil started appearing on her show. "The initial reaction to you wasn't so good. People were taken aback by you being so straightforward and tell-it-like-it-is," she recalls. "After three, four times you were on, it changed. People were writing in saying, ‘Please tell Dr. Phil I would like him to tell me like it is.'"

Oprah shares that her favorite Dr. Phil moment from her show was when a woman named Jo Ann, who had lost her daughter, told her story. "I didn't remember her name, but I remember her face. I remember her demeanor. I could cry thinking about her," she says. "That moment solidified for me exactly what my goal is in television, because she had been mourning the loss of her daughter for so many years, over 10 years. I remember you saying, ‘Do you want to continue celebrating the moment she was murdered, or do you want to celebrate the 18 years?'" Oprah says. "She then said, ‘You know, I never thought of it that way before.' I could cry thinking about it."

Dr. Phil plays the emotional clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show.

"That moment is exactly what I strive for in television " and had been striving for " to use this platform to create a moment for the viewer who has never thought of it that way before. When she said that, the hairs rose on my head," Oprah says. "That moment lives with me."

 


 

Dr. Phil introduces Oprah's best friend, Gayle King, who is sitting in the audience. "Gayle watches every show," he says.

Oprah points out that she makes sure to watch Dr. Phil when Gayle calls her and says, "'You've got to see Phil today.'"

"She e-mails me all the time. I'll see it pop up, and I never know what it's
going to be," Dr. Phil says, referring to Gayle. "It's going to either be, ‘I just thought you were great today with that person,' or ‘Why did you let him get away with that? Are you kidding me?'"

"This is what Gayle will do. She will e-mail you and then not tell me until after she's e-mailed you, because she
knows I will tell her not to e-mail you, to ‘Stay out of Phil's business,'" Oprah says.

Dr. Phil laughs and says to Gayle, "We get along fine."

"Yes, we do," she agrees. "We're homies."

Dr. Phil concludes his conversation with Oprah, asking her, "Do you realize how much you've changed my life and my family's lives?"

"During the holidays, I got an e-mail from Robin " because Robin is the g
reat connector " and Robin said, ‘We're thinking about you. Our whole family was around the table, and we were talking about you. Your ears must be burning. I just wanted to say thank you,'" Oprah recalls. "From time to time Robin sends me those kinds of e-
mails, and so I kind of get a sense that things changed a lot."

"There's been 1,000 shows I've done where I've thanked my guests for being on this show, but I've never said t
hank you more heartfelt than I say to you for being here today," Dr. Phil says to Oprah. They embrace.