Now I'm not an Oprah Winfrey fan. I think I've seen her show a half-dozen times, and I never know which Oprah it will be: the girl from the South who still tries to relate to her middle-class audience despite having more money than most third-world nations; the rich auntie who gives away cars; the psycho-babbling motivational speaker who tells everyone to live thier dream; the Mother Theresa wannabe; or the most powerful woman in America who can get Tom Cruise to act like a monkey on her sofa.
Dave, on the other hand, is much more my cup of tea. His self-effacing humor and Hoosier-weatherman-makes-good attitude is really fun to watch. I've watched him since he was on NBC at 12:30, and I vividly remember some of his triumphs (getting Sonny and Cher to sing together, having Susan Sarandon do the Time Warp as she walked on stage). Jay Leno is a stand-up comic who managed to find a steady job; Dave is a guy who carved out his own niche, and the country caught on. There was a lot of brew-ha-ha when Johnny Carson died, and Letterman, not Leno, offered the public tribute at the Emmys. That only makes sense; Letterman was, is, and in my opinion, always will be the natural successor to Carson.
With all of that understood, I have to say that I thought last night's show came off as much more of a success for Letterman than for Oprah. Dave was genuinely glad to have her on the show, seemed to be sorry for any real or perceived bad blood between the two, and was totally a gentleman. Oprah seemed dumbstruck by his sincerity, and wanted nothing more than to offer herself up as a paragon of benevolence (let's build a girl's academy in Africa, while kids in her own country are living in poverty and ignorance) and false humility. I'm glad whatever problems they had are behind them (although the Uma/Oprah photo had me dying with laughter), but I don't really see her rushing back to his show anytime soon. Now Dr. Phil is a different story. He has a sense of humor, and I get the feeling that he and Dave actually like each other. Dave and Oprah, not so much.
I'm glad Dave did not accept her offer a few years ago to go on her show. It would have been disastrous, putting him in the lion's den.