Party Reporting on a Sunday Night, or How We Fell for Oprah


Winfrey and Wiesel last night.Photo: Getty Images

We saw Oprah Winfrey in person for the second time in our life last night at the gala for Elie Wiesel’s Foundation for Humanity at the Waldorf-Astoria and determined though we were to be our usual bitter, jaded selves, we couldn’t help falling in love with her all over again. It wasn’t just the way she held her hands to her face and closed her eyes and unabashedly sang along with the national anthem. It wasn’t just how she gripped Wiesel’s arm tightly as photographers descended upon them. It wasn’t just her admission that she’d cribbed moves from Barbara Walters to land her first job in television, particularly Walters’s technique of asking a question, then looking up, then down, and waiting for the answer. And it wasn’t even how she gave an impassioned speech about how we must live to serve and save other people while still admitting she was pretty happy for the things she’s got. (“I like the shoes,” she said. “And I really like the plane.”) No, it was the moment she looked out at the crowd — people who’d arrived at 6 p.m. but had to wait until 11 p.m. before she spoke — and said, “I know what it means to get dressed and come out on a Sunday night. I get it. You’re busy people. You’ve got work tomorrow. And it’s The Sopranos. We’d all rather be sitting at home in our PJs.” Amen. —Jada Yuan