When Oprah was not yet famous, she was bragging to her friend one day, “I know everyone there is to know. Just name someone, anyone, and I know them.”
Tired of her boasting, her friend called her bluff, “OK, how about Tom Cruise?”
“Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends, and I can prove it.”
So Oprah and her friend flew out to Hollywood and knocked on Tom Cruise’s door, and sure enough, Tom Cruise shouted, “Oprah! Great to see you! You and your friend come right in and join me for lunch!”
Although impressed, Oprah’s friend was still skeptical. After they left Tom Cruise’s house, she told Oprah that she thought Oprah’s knowing Tom Cruise was just lucky. “No, no, just name anyone else,” Oprah said.
“President Obama,” her friend quickly retorted. “Yes,” Oprah said, “I know him, let’s fly out to Washington.”
And off they went. At the White House, Obama spotted Oprah on the tour and motioned her and her friend over saying, “Oprah, what a surprise. I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come on in and let’s have a cup of coffee first and catch up.”
Well, Oprah’s friend was much shaken by now, but still not totally convinced.
After they left the White house grounds, she expressed her doubts to Oprah, who again implored her to name anyone else.
“The Pope,” her friend replied. “Sure!” said Oprah. “I’ve known the Pope a long time.”
So off they flew to Rome. Oprah and her friend were assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Oprah said, “This will never work. I can’t catch the Pope’s eye among all these people. Tell you what: I know all the guards, so let me just go upstairs and I’ll come out on the balcony with the Pope.”
And she disappeared into the crowd headed toward the Vatican. Sure enough, half an hour later, Oprah emerged with the Pope on the balcony. But by the time Oprah returned, she found that her friend had a heart attack and was surrounded by paramedics.
Working her way to her friend’s side, Oprah asked, “What happened?”
Her friend looked up and said, “I was doing fine until you and the Pope came out on the balcony and the man next to me said, ‘Who’s that on the balcony with Oprah?’ ”