David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey End 16-Year Feud

At long last, our long national nightmare is over: Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman have ended their 16-year feud.

Granted, until a few days ago, I never realized they were feuding but it’s now over. According to AP entertainment writer Jake Coyle‘s account, Letterman was exceedingly gracious, catching Winfrey by surprise.

“I can’t thank you enough,” Letterman said Thursday. “It means a great deal to me and I’m just very happy you’re here.”

“Does it really?” asked Winfrey. “I’ve been hearing for the past week you talking about it, and I didn’t know if you were really serious or you were just doing your `Dave thing.”‘

But Letterman proved his intentions were earnest, discussing in-depth Winfrey’s efforts to lend support to communities in Africa and the good intentions of her syndicated program, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “You have meant something to the lives of people,” Letterman said. “We’re just a TV show.”

The approach clearly caught Winfrey off guard, as she repeatedly exclaimed, “I can’t believe you’re being this serious!”

“What do you want, Tony Danza?” quipped Letterman, alluding to another fellow talk show host who waited in the wings as a “stand-in host.”

To cap off his gallant reception of Winfrey, Letterman escorted her during the show taping to the premiere of “The Color Purple,” which opened Thursday across the street at the Broadway Theater. Before walking her out, Letterman said, “I think we’ll just pencil you in for the next 16 years.”

Clearly, Letterman is going soft.

Early reviews of Winfrey’s musical, by the way, are excellent.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.