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How did Oprah Winfrey first nab the job of hosting A.M. Chicago back in 1984? By sending in an audition tape that was compiled overnight, and details how the would-be media mogul came to have a name that’s somewhere between a biblical reference and Harpo Marx.
Earlier this week, the OWN channel posted a YouTube clip of Winfrey’s original 1983 audition tape, which she introduced as a reel she put together overnight with an editor, since she didn’t keep track of her stories as well as she should have.
Wearing a black-and-cream suit, she appears onscreen, greeting the camera with an exposition of her name: “Hi there. My name is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah, spelled O-P-R-A-H, and if you notice, it’s Harpo spelled backwards,” she says. “My folks did not really like Harpo Marx — we did not even have a television set for a number of years.
“Originally, I was named from the Bible by Aunt Ida, who named me from Ruth, the first chapter at the 14th verse, Orpah, but no one knew how to spell in my home, and that’s why I ended up being Oprah.”
Watch the video below:
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