• Wed, May 7 - 10:48 am ET

Here’s Oprah’s Original Audition Tape From 1983, In Which She Gives Away Zero Cars

Oprah Winfrey confused face GIF(via)

I know this will come as a shock to many, but Oprah Winfrey was not born on television. Even though it seems like she probably came out of the womb doing interviews and bellowing about giveaways, there was actually a time when she wasn’t on the air. And more specifically, there was a time when she didn’t lord over the nation from the comfort of her empire in Chicago.

Yup, it’s hard to imagine, but one day back in 1983, Oprah actually had to audition for the job that she’s essentially held iterations of ever since. She’d already moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Baltimore, Maryland, and she felt she’d grown enough in Baltimore and was ready to move on. So when she heard there was an opening in Chicago, she stayed up all night to prepare her audition tape. And because the good people at her show are also skilled detectives, they were somehow able to locate that tape — from four years before I was even born — and played it on a 2005 episode that just made its way to YouTube. Talk about some missed connections.
Anyway, the clip is hilarious for a few reasons:
  1. It makes it look like the job that she had before the one she’s applying for, as the cohost on a show called ‘People Are Talking’, consisted solely of Oprah being goosed and sitting on laps. It’s…weird.
  2. All we get to see her do in the clip is explain her name and throw shade at her family for not having a television or knowing how to spell ‘Orpah’. 
  3. She doesn’t give away one single car.
  4. …or tell anyone to get their shit together.
  5. HER HAIR. I’m obsessed.

I just need to know if Oprah was ever not polished, because even as she’s sitting there in her pink sweatshirt, totally unprepared, I’m still massively intimidated.

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  • Olivia Wilson

    Did Oprah get her job by giving a spelling lesson?? I could totally get Oprah’s (you’ll notice, it’s Harpo spelled backward) job!