Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Oprah tells Jimmy Kimmel why she didn't rise to Trump's bait, thus demonstrating what presidential looks like

Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Kimmel (Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!)

After her even more inspiring than usual Golden Globes speech set the easily buzzed internet abuzz with “Oprah 2020" chatter, legendary broadcaster, actor, entrepreneur, and about 50 other admirable things Oprah Winfrey attempted to shut that noise down. On Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Winfrey, there to promote her role in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time and basically be serenely resplendent, tried again, telling Kimmel that the thought had never crossed her mind. (She also blamed longtime partner Stedman’s loose lips for fanning the presidential flames, which, c’mon, Stedman.)

Kimmel, introducing Winfrey to thunderous audience applause as “the best president we will never have,” claimed to accept her answer, although, asking Oprah’s response to Donald Trump’s midnight toilet tweet mocking Winfrey’s recent 60 Minutes interview, he opened the door for his guest to demonstrate the sort of diplomatically presidential behavior we’ve been missing for the last 13 months or so.

“You don’t win by meeting any sort of negativity head on,” said Winfrey, telling Kimmel that she’d been informed of Trump’s sweatily unwise Oprah-baiting by a morning phone call from pal DuVernay. (Okay, she used the word “win” in there, but that’s more of a big picture thing, surely.) Noting that she’d met Trump more than once over the years (including at Maya Angelou’s 80th birthday party, hosted by Winfrey at Mar-a-Lago, just to break your brain with that picture), Oprah summed up her reaction to Trump’s unprovoked Twitter broadside with a gracefully dismissive, “I don’t know what that was, but... all right.” She and Kimmel moved on to talk about mutual friend Anthony Anderson’s habit of calling her out of the blue, how she got her role as Mrs. Which in A Wrinkle In Time (Kimmel assuming movie offers just descend to her on some sort of scroll by this point), and her suspicious third hand in that Annie Leibovitz Vanity Fair shoot. (Oprah claims she does not have a magical extra limb hidden under her impeccable garments at all times, which, again, Kimmel claimed to believe.) Praising Kimmel as “America’s little brother,” and giving him a warmly Oprah-like goodbye handclasp (with but one, regular hand), Winfrey left him—and many others in Kimmel’s audience—basking in the glow of an actual billionaire with actual class. Almost presidential, that.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.