While I hadn’t really expected Oprah Winfrey to take Dr. Phil to task for his (mis)handling of his recent visit to Britney Spears — or, for that matter, anything else — during her first visit ever to his show on Monday, I was hoping for something a little more lively. David Letterman obviously gave me false expectations.
One thing I’ll give Dr. Phil credit for though. He didn’t make me sit through his entire two-hour, two-day 1,000th-episode extravaganza for two minutes of Oprah. Oh, no, she was right there, front-and-center for the first 30 minutes, walking down memory lane about how they met 10 years ago in Texas during her trial against the cattle industry, her love of crab meat and his early visits to her show.
Oprah’s mastery of the back-handed compliment did come into play though when she brought up the fact that back in the early days audiences didn’t really cotton to Dr. Phil’s straight-shooting style. A couple of other gems:
"What I thought was that you would have tired of it before you hit a thousand shows. I really thought, eh, about four or five years and then you’d be like, ‘Let me get back to Texas.’"
"I didn’t know you had six books worth of things to say."
Even there I’m stretching for conflict.
Other than the requisite pooh-poohing of tabloids and rumors, they did clear up that Oprah doesn’t have the power to fire Dr. Phil since she no longer owns his show.
It’s true what they say: being your own boss is the only way to go.