Take a second to imagine what it’s like to be Oprah Winfrey. Are you picturing it? You shouldn’t be, because it’s impossible. No one can know what it’s like to be Oprah. She’s just too powerful. She left her long-running daytime talk show and was like, “I think I’ll just have my own TV network now and keep doing this exact same thing.” That exact same thing is making people cry in front of her. She’s gotten so good at it and has done it so many times that when it happens with Pharrell you can practically hear the maniacal “Muahahaha” going through her mind.
It all starts when Oprah shows Pharrell a video montage of people around the world dancing and lip-syncing to his song “Happy,” which it’s biologically impossible not to at least move your shoulders along to. It’s a lovely video that was most likely scientifically designed by Oprah’s minions to result in tears. It works! Pharrell breaks down and puts his hand to his head, speechless and watery-eyed. Oprah can barely hold back her joy. She takes on this singsong voice, touches his arm (which is undoubtedly on her checklist for dealing with crying guests), and is like “Makes me cry too!” while she forces the tiniest bit of shininess to appear in her eyes.
Then she’s like, “Must. Not. Allow. The tears. To stop,” so she chooses to mention Pharrell’s grandmother while someone off-camera gets her a tissue to hand to him. I wouldn’t be surprised if at every Oprah interview there’s someone behind the scenes whose sole job it is to wait around with emergency tissues. As a thousand-year-old vampire, however, Pharrell is far too wise to be fooled by Oprah’s emotional witchcraft, so he says, “Why am I crying on Oprah?” It’s unavoidable, Pharrell. She won’t be satisfied until you fill that hat up entirely with your tears.