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Oprahdemics

Oprahdemics [oh-pruh-dem-iks] - noun - The unauthorized study of The Queen of Talk. We’re taking you back to weekdays at 4pm. Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Riguer are historians, best friends, and Oprah obsessives. Now, it’s time to pour through the archives to relive and rehash the most iconic episodes from the decades-long run of the Oprah Winfrey Show. From book club controversies to diet fads and wars with the meat industry, conversations about police brutality and sexuality… and of course big giveaways… Oprahdemics will treat Oprah as the historical, social, and political force that she is — and have have lots of fun. As Kellie and Leah recap each show, they’ll put the show in critical context, and ultimately explain why Oprah will always be the Queen of Talk.

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Oprahdemics [oh-pruh-dem-iks] - noun - The unauthorized study of The Queen of Talk. We’re taking you back to weekdays at 4pm. Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Riguer are historians, best friends, and Oprah obsessives. Now, it’s time to pour through the archives to relive and rehash the most iconic episodes from the decades-long run of the Oprah Winfrey Show. From book club controversies to diet fads and wars with the meat industry, conversations about police brutality and sexuality… and of course big giveaways… Oprahdemics will treat Oprah as the historical, social, and political force that she is — and have have lots of fun. As Kellie and Leah recap each show, they’ll put the show in critical context, and ultimately explain why Oprah will always be the Queen of Talk.

Oprah, Actress

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To wrap up our first season, we bring you a conversation recorded at our first ever live show at the Tribeca Film Festival. We discuss Oprah’s career in film, as actress and producer, from The Color Purple to The Butler.

Special Guest: Wesley Morris, culture critic for The New York Times and co-host of “Still Processing.”

Find lots more and subscribe to our newsletter on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Jun 22 2022

49mins

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Oprah and Beyonce

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Beyonce appeared on Oprah’s show multiple times — as a singer, wife, mother, and mogul. We discuss how the relationship between these two icons evolved and reflected the larger culture.

Special Guest: Treva Lindsey, Associate Professor in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Ohio State University.

Find lots more and subscribe to our newsletter on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Jun 15 2022

41mins

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Oprah and the "Debt Diet"

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In 2006, Oprah Winfrey profiled three families, their spending habits, and their out of control debt. The episode caused a huge stir, with audience members, the public, and Oprah herself adding a level of shame and disbelief at how the families spent their money. It also launched the eight-step “debt diet” program. But the episodes didn’t get at the larger structural questions of why families end up in debt, and why it’s so hard to break free.

Special Guest: Mehrsa Baradaran, professor at UC-Irvine and author of How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap.

Find lots more and subscribe to our newsletter on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Jun 08 2022

45mins

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Presenting: Love Thy Neighbor

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We’re bringing you something special this week! We’re introducing a new podcast produced by Pineapple Street Studios called Love Thy Neighbor.

Hosted by journalist Collier Meyerson, this five-episode series is about two communities in the New York City neighborhood of Crown Heights: the Lubavitch Jewish community and the Caribbean-American community.


It’s a story about immigration; white flight; the downfall of New York City’s first Black mayor, David Dinkins; and the rise of Rudolph Giuliani. But it’s also a story about Meyerson’s own journey as a Black, Jewish New Yorker and what it means to be a neighbor.

Check out Love Thy Neighbor wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

Jun 03 2022

3mins

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Oprah and The Donald

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Donald Trump appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show eight times, with Oprah touting him as a model American success story. He also used the show to tease his political ambitions, with little pushback on his racism and misogyny. Their relationship reveals a lot about how Trump built his brand, how different audiences viewed his story — and ultimately how he forged a path to the presidency.

Special guest: Christina Greer of Fordham and the podcast FAQ NYC.

Find lots more and subscribe to our newsletter on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Jun 01 2022

44mins

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Oprah Gets Duped by James Frey

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In 2006, Oprah Winfrey picked James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” as a book club pick, catapulting Frey into the literary limelight. Soon after, though, reports emerged that he’d fabricated much of the memoir and his most harrowing experiences with drugs and violence. So Oprah confronted Frey on her show, in a very awkward interview. Years later, though, she apologized to Frey for the confrontation. We break it all down and what it means to be duped, be called out, and show contrition.

Special guest: Glory Edim, founder of “Well Read Black Girl” and host of the Well Read Black Girl podcast. Learn lots more at wellreadblackgirl.com

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

May 25 2022

44mins

Play

Special: The Oprah-Oz Conundrum

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With Dr. Oz very much in the news — and our listeners very eager to hear our thoughts — we get together to discuss what to make of Dr. Oz’s very questionable track record, and Oprah’s role in giving him a platform.

Oprahdemics is hosted by Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur.

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

May 20 2022

35mins

Play

Oprah's Long-Lost Half-Sister

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In 2011, Oprah Winfrey did a show in which she was as much subject as host. In it, she revealed and spoke to her long-lost half-sister. It was a show that dove into family secrets, the stories we tell about ourselves, and deep emotion.

Special guest: Kendra Field, professor of history at Tufts University, author of “Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War”

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

May 18 2022

44mins

Play

Oprah Meets Sarah Palin

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In 2009, a year after falling short in the election, former VP candidate Sarah Palin visited with Oprah to mend some bridges — and sell some books. It was a moment when Palin was trying to shift her image, but she’d already sowed the seeds for much of our modern politics.

Special guest: Nicole Hemmer of Columbia, co-host of This Day In Esoteric Political History and author of “Messenger of the Right” and the forthcoming “Partisans.”

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

May 11 2022

49mins

Play

Oprah's 50th Birthday Bash

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When Oprah turned 50 in 2004, her friends — that means people like John Travolta and Tina Turner — threw her a surprise birthday party on her show. It was over the top, a little much, but also a celebration of her impact and influence.

Special Guest: comedian Roy Wood Jr, Daily Show correspondent and host of the podcast “Roy’s Job Fair.”

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

May 04 2022

41mins

Play

Oprah And Tyler Perry (And Madea Too)

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Tyler Perry appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show ten times over the years — sometimes to go deep on his traumatic past, and sometimes in over-the-top drag as Madea. It’s complicated, it’s deep, it’s messy, and we break it all down.

Special Guest: Carvell Wallace, writer and podcaster, regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine and host of the podcast “Finding Fred.”

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Apr 27 2022

45mins

Play

Emergency Podcast: Oprah and Viola

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As she does from time to time, Oprah has produced a high-profile interview special — this time with actress Viola Davis, which just dropped as a special on Netflix.

Kellie and Leah watched it and immediately shared their thoughts, why Oprah chose Viola as her latest interview subject, and what these two powerful women mean for the culture today.

Even if you haven’t watch the special, join us as we talk about Oprah and Viola!

We’ll be back on Wednesday with another fresh episode.

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Apr 23 2022

33mins

Play

Oprah Opens a School

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In 2009, Oprah announced that she was founding the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Gauteng province, South Africa. The show on which she discussed the opening of the school was a mix of charity, celebrity savoir-ism, and complicated American-African dynamics.

Special Guest: Elizabeth Todd Breland, historian who studies education and education reform.

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Apr 20 2022

45mins

Play

Oprah Loves Toni Morrison

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Perhaps no guest has infatuated Oprah as much as Toni Morrison. We break down Morrison’s appearances on the show, her place in the Oprah Book Club, and how Oprah served as a bridge between Morrison’s work and wider audiences for decades and decades.

Special Guest: Dennis Tyler of Fordham University, who teaches a course on Oprah’s Book Club!

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Apr 13 2022

47mins

Play

Oprah And The LA Riots

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In 1992, in the midst of the LA riots, Oprah moved her show to Los Angeles to tackle the ongoing fallout of the Rodney King verdict. The result? One of the most memorable - and boisterous - Oprah episodes.

Special guest: Elizabeth Hinton, historian and author of “America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s”

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Apr 06 2022

47mins

Play

Oprah Goes Vegan

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In 2011, Oprah and her staff at Harpo Studios went vegan for a full week. The results, and the resulting episode, sparked a conversation about health, ethical eating, and food as privilege — and showed us a lot about Oprah’s impact on health and food culture.

Special guest: Marcia Chatelain, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History for her book Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America.

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Mar 30 2022

43mins

Play

Oprah 101: Why Oprah Matters

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Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur discuss their friendship, their shared love of Oprah, and how this show will try to break down what the Queen of Talk has meant to the culture. Consider this your first day of Oprah 101.

The first full episode is out now too!

Find lots more on our website — Oprahdemics.com

Producer Nina Earnest, Executive Producer Jody Avirgan. Artwork by Jonathan Conda.

Oprahdemics is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories.

If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: Oprahdemics.com

Mar 30 2022

16mins

Play

Presenting Oprahdemics: The Study of The Queen of Talk

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Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Riguer are historians, best friends, and Oprah obsessives. Now, it’s time to pour through the archives to relive and rehash the most iconic episodes from the decades-long run of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

New episodes of Oprahdemics start on March 30th! Each season will dive into 15 iconic episodes.

More information at oprahdemics.com

Mar 23 2022

2mins

Play