In a rare interview that had Oprah sitting on the other side of the interview couch, she spoke candidly about her modest start in the television business. She revealed that at first, she dreamed of filling in for Joan Lunden on Good Morning America — a job her agent told her simply was "not gonna happen."

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"I had no stylist, I had no publicist, I [was not] marketing-savvy, I was the most naive in terms of how the business operated," she reflected. "Everybody told me when I was in the process of moving to Chicago that I would fail, that there was no way I could succeed." Except for her BFF, that is. "Gayle was the only person who said 'I think you can beat Donahue' — and I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard." Oh man, Donahue. This really takes us back.

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DISCUSSION

In honor of her exit, I will tell the following humiliating story:

In the 6th grade, we all had to read an autobiography for English class. I knew we had to give a presentation, and I was reading Oprah's bio, so I was excited to do the presentation all in the talk-show style. Then, upon closer reading of the assignment, I found out at quite the last minute that we had to come AS the person we read about, like in full costume, make-up, et al....

(It bears noting at this point that I was a teeny white child with bright red hair and braces)

I wore a wig and a polyester pantsuit (guess what era this was) but thankfully had the sense not to try blackface.... Not only did people not get that I was Oprah, they all thought I was Ricki Lake's insane half-cousin (or similar).

Bullet. Dodged. My African-American teacher was in stitches. She asked me later why I didn't just come to her and explain. I think that was my first Sympathy "A."