oprah-winfrey-show

How does Oprah's farewell compare to other TV greats?

May 25, 2011 at 8:33 AM ET

The final “Oprah Winfrey Show” airs today and in it, the talk show titan bids farewell to the fans who’ve watched her work her daytime magic for 25 years.

There’s just no denying the impact Winfrey has had on television, but of course, there were talk TV greats before her, and they had their own to goodbyes to deliver.

How will O’s exit compare to other legends, such as Johnny Carson or Larry King?

Take a look at Carson’s memorable last show. (The big speech comes in around the 8-minute mark.)

“And so it has come to this: I am one of the lucky people in the world,” the late night legend told his loyal viewers after 30 years and 4,531 episodes. “I found something I always wanted to do, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it. I want to thank the gentlemen who've shared this stage with me for thirty years, Mr. Ed McMahon, Mr. Doc Severinsen, and you people watching. I can only tell you that it has been an honor and a privilege to come into your homes all these years and entertain you — and I hope when I find something that I want to do, and I think you would like, and come back, that you'll be as gracious in inviting me into your home as you have been. I bid you a very heartfelt good night.”

Now that was a tearjerker. Carson's classic sign-off was no easy act to follow, but in 2010, after 25 years on the air, Larry King offered his own faithful following an emotion farewell.

"It's not very often in my life I've been without words," the 77-year-old host said with tears in his eyes. "When I started 25 years ago in a little studio in Washington, D.C., I never thought it would last this long or come to this. I'm going to do specials on CNN and do radio work ... so you're not going to see me go away, but you're not going to see me on this set any more. I don't know what to say, except to you, my audience, thank you. And instead of goodbye, how about so long?"

The kicker from King was when the set faded to black as he sat there until only his microphone was visible.

In the scope of talk TV goodbyes, where will Winfrey rank for you? Take our poll here and share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Related content:

TOP