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Oprah Winfrey's TV pals look back

Dr. Phil McGraw, Lisa Ling, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Nate Berkus and Gayle King reflect as the daytime queen's reign nears its end.

May 22, 2011
  • Nate Berkus, left, Mehmet Oz, Oprah Winfrey and Phil McGraw at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Nate Berkus, left, Mehmet Oz, Oprah Winfrey and Phil McGraw at Radio City… (Evan Agostini / Associated…)

Over the last quarter-century, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" introduced viewers to controversial topics, intriguing guests and Oprah's friends — many of whom later launched their own shows. Some of them reflect on the daytime queen's tenure.

Dr. Phil McGraw ("Dr. Phil")

Oprah told me one time, she said, "You know what, I'm like a viewer with a microphone, I ask the questions that everyone wants to know the answer to." That's what I aim to do every episode. To have that in the back of my mind.

Lisa Ling ("Our America with Lisa Ling")

There is no show on television that takes on the diversity of topics that the "Oprah Show" does. One day it will feature the best bras for your body type and the next day it will conduct a serious investigation into the throngs of women being ravaged in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the perfect combination of lighthearted topics with deeply important and substantive issues.

Dr. Mehmet Oz ("The Dr. Oz Show")

One of the first shows [I did], the question had come up about flatulence — gas. I decided that I would admit the fact that I passed gas on the show. The reality is that most of us pass gas about 14 times a day … then I looked at Oprah — a telling moment in my career with her — and thought, "Am I going to say Oprah passed gas or skirt over it?" It would be disingenuous to ignore that reality, so I said even our hostess passed gas. She looked over and she winked. She wasn't caught up on her own pride.

Nate Berkus ("The Nate Berkus Show")

I'm freaking out about [the upcoming final episode]. I'll probably be medicated — I still have something left over from my appendectomy in my medicine cabinet … I equate it to that anxious feeling you get when you're about to leave for a great vacation: You don't know the language and you're apprehensive about what adventures will lie ahead. But you've been prepared for it.

Gayle King ("The Gayle King Show")

I'm going to get fatter [after the show ends]. For me, it's a whole routine. I watch the show when I'm working out. I don't think it's really going to hit people until September because it will rerun through the summer. There will be an increase in shrink bills.

—Yvonne Villarreal

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