Piers Morgan interviews Oprah on CNN: Larry King? Who's Larry King?

The premiere of Piers Morgan Tonight revealed host Piers Morgan to be clever, tenacious, vain, a flatterer, and fitfully funny. Oh, and he had a big-name first guest: Oprah Winfrey, who talked about contemplating suicide at age 14, her quest to interview Michael Vick, and how many times she’s had her heart broken (twice).

Morgan pumped up his subject shamelessly: “She’s the biggest, richest, most powerful star in the world!” “You would make a fantastic mother!” “Everything you touch is a hit — could you just touch me?” Morgan, reaching for the highest compliment a fawning British subject could pay a woman, said Winfrey was “the American Queen.” Oprah replied, regally: “I will accept it.”

The America’s Got Talent judge has a bit of a doughy face and a small mouth (this is what happens when you host a talk show with at least as many close-ups on you as on your guest — people look more closely at you), and his clever-schoolboy demeanor serves him well. The hosts revealed they were both trying to book dog fancier Michael Vick as a guest, and Morgan offered to bet her “100 British pounds” on who’ll snap him up first. “Make it two,” said Oprah coolly.

Oprah gassed on and on about her newly launched OWN network, which was doubtlessly a big reason she agreed to the highly publicized interview. But she was more interesting, of course, when she inadvertently revealed her ego — she said her role in life is nothing less than to “evolve the consciousness” of people. More interesting was her self-definition: “I am a Negro, formerly, born in 1954, in Mississippi when it was an apartheid state” and that therefore it was “a miracle,” what she’s attained.

She spoke about losing a baby when she was 14, saying that the loss was “a relief” because “I thought I was going to have to kill myself,” given the strict rules she was raised under at home. In general, Winfrey was probably as open as she’s ever been with an interviewer, which is to say, not much, but Morgan extracted some nice moments, even if he had to beg: “Give a new boy a break.”

As for whether the “new boy” is a worthy replacement for Larry King… come on, you didn’t watch Larry King Live, did you? Simply by having facts about his subject at hand and speaking coherently, Morgan aced King on his opening night. I’m looking forward to seeing him interview Howard Stern tomorrow night.

Did you watch Piers Morgan Tonight?

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (92 total) Add your comment
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  • Patricia Acosta

    It is not a good interviewer to ask a question and not wait for the answer OR when given a reply, interrupt the interviewee. I will give him one week to make my decision.

    • rrona

      The interviewer should know when to move on. I don’t think Piers got the picture. Who challenges Oprah? He will never win.

      • Cricket??????????????

        Wow…she pretty much dictated the pace on that interview, didn’t she? He came off surprisingly meek.
        She was nice to him, though, played along, and gave him a bit here and there. Was really surprised he interrupted with his cricket story, though. Talk about a screeching halt.
        Howard Stern is going to drive this interview tomorrow…and take it off a cliff! Can’t wait.
        As long as he keeps interesting guests coming by, he’ll let them go as far as they want to go.

  • anna

    Oprah said that her message is redemption, and that her brand is love. She’s Jesus!

    • Keanu Reeves

      Actually, she is The Oracle.
      Haven’t you seen The Matrix?

      • t.t

        loool

      • Olu

        Actually she’s just Oprah. People love her, but she’s just the one that got lucky, that’s all. Her career is based on exploiting people#s emotions for profit. How’s that Jesus-like. Her message is money.

      • @Olu

        Actually, that sounds very Jesus-like. ;)

  • yen

    Oprah was incredibley revealing, open and honest. I’ve never seen a woman talk sho openly and honestly. Amazing interview

    • yang

      Actually, she admitted to Piers that she was going to be guarded, and she was to a degree.
      Good interview, but she was more open a month ago with Barbra Walters.

  • annette

    What an absolutely wonderful interview and Oprah – one of my most admired persons- was equal to the challenge. It was a great choice for the first show- at least, so I thought until Pier basically said that he won’t use a profanity before two people,the Queen of England and Oprah whom he considers as the Queen of the America. When I heard that, I wondered, ahah!, isn’t Michelle Obama not only the first lady but Queen of America and in that case shouldn’t she have had the priviledge of getting the first interview?. Just wondering. Great show. Pier is a gentleman with tact and decorum. Keep it going. Cheers

    • bir

      Actually Michelle Obama considers Oprah the Queen of America because Oprah through all her influence behind supporting the Obamas long before others jumped on the bandwagon. Oprah is so full of love that Michelle appreciates her support so much

      • Pavlov’s Dog

        Besides, isn’t Michelle Obama “our generation’s Jackie O”?
        I’ve had that drummed into my head a million times now.

      • GinaBallerina

        @Pavlov’s Dog…only in her dreams!

  • Randy

    This english twit reminds me of Tony Heywood, BP (british polluters) CEO. Please, someone tell this arrogant, english polluter go back to his horrible little island in the north sea. Larry King he AIN’T.

    • Anne

      Actually he’s quite good. Why so ugly?

      • Bruce Springsteen

        Probably cuz another Brit took another American’s job on TV.

    • Sazzy

      How offensive are you? Our little island is far from being horrible………..have you been there?

      • Dewi

        Aw, I was thinking the same thing, and I’m a teptry big guy. I’ve never actually tried to SDHP w/ 275, but .just realized it’s not SDHP. I assume just start like you’re going to do SDHP, but don’t bother with the part where you pull the weight with your arms to your chin, once you stand up with the weight, you’re done, like a traditional deadlift, but with you’re feet farther apart.

  • Randy

    Oprah was great though – I LOVE HER.

  • LibelFreeZone

    Two blowhards talking to each other. Lovely.

    I’ll give Mr. Tabloid Trash and Okra Windbag about six months in their new ventures.

    • plannb09

      Her ego is through the roof & I had HOPED she was going to go away when she ended her show. Instead she starts her own network. But I hope you’re right & this new self-indulgent venture ends soon. If not, she’s REALLY gonna believe she’s God. Ugh!

      • kerry

        Well, Oprah had the audacity to undermine God and start a stinking religion, She THINKS she’s God. Shame!

      • Mario

        i want to see a candidate who qntueioss whether money is good or not, where our values are in society regarding money and technology/science, end the mainstream media, more political accountablility, hang the bankers, cut down on war and improve health care instead, and less surveilance. the FAA predicts there will be 30,000 drones in the skies by 2015 or something. and how many americans die from terrorism each year. about 80. 400,000 from coronary heart disease. cant USA unite the world?

  • Heather

    Piers was great. Asked Oprah some great questions. A refreshing new program I look forward to watching.

    • Paul

      Of course you like him.

  • Juha

    Of course CNN fans waited for the 17th with Piers. Okay, 7 out of 10. Thankfully Piers avoided the trite tabloidism that mouthbreathers crave, but he missed Oprah’s basic mission message which could have been so nicely juxtaposed against the bed of commercialism in which the nascent OWN is sucking its thumb. How does a billionaire spiritualist raise consciousness with what is essentially a commercial vehicle based on the principle of crap to consuming masses for profit.

    • Dolly Llama

      Are you saying that “Kidnapped by the Kids” doesn’t have the much-needed answers to life that we’ve been searching centuries for? Sigh.

      • Richard Gere

        Lol!

  • Jim

    I think Piers’ interview with Oprah was very good even though I’m not a great fan of Oprah. I look forward to his future interviews. He’s quite refreshing.

    • Omarosa

      Whatever.

  • Simon

    Piers, you did a fine job. Yes, “first time” jitters with a big (even if she’s dieting) guest. You laughed a little too loud and too often. Otherwise, great.

    Piers Morgan is the prodigy who edited a top British newspaper while still in his 20′s, has met all the greats, has had talk shows in the U.K., and is seasoned, sophisticated, and ready to be provocative with any interview subject, and no doubt push even dull people into being interesting. This goes back to Paar, David Frost, Cavett and other provocateurs.

    Yes, he did get some quotable remarks from the Great Oprah.

    Larry King put in his time and has his place in history. His style and Morgan’s are not similar and there’s no need to choose sides.

    • J

      The guy edited a British sleazy tabloid in his 20′s (which is why he could never land an interview with Madonna) and hosted a crap game show in the US…sorry Simple Simon, but you can’t polish a turd…

      • Mr. Hanky

        Of course you can, J. You just need the Christmas spirit!

      • Olu

        J. Piers Morgan isn’t perfect, but the “sleazy British tabloid” is the UK’s most read newspaper. You sound so negative it almost seems he offended you personally.

  • mags

    As I sat watching, I was thinking…”I really like his style” and thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I will watch this whole week and see by the end if I still feel the same. IMHO anybody is an improvement over Larry King – what a bore.

  • Dave

    Amazing first interview and I look forward to becoming a fervent fan of Piers. Such an improvement over Larry King!!!!

    • Shawn

      Is he married?

      • Marianna

        Morgan? I believe so, yes. He also has children. I’m not sure how many but four sounds about right.

      • Shawn

        Darn. I gotta upgrade from Larry.

  • jfms777

    Oprah is a great interviewee. But it seemed so “scripted,” edited, with all imperfections removed. I hope future interviews reveal some spontaneity.

  • Gethin E Dalton

    Piers laughed insincerely, too often. Piers’ personality, his impressive approach and his crafty questioning gave Oprah the opportunity to be frank, far more responsive and interesting than she has ever been in the past with other TV hosts. Larry King’s replacement is worthy and the show is a hit in the making. But King was so inept and useless any 4th grader would have been more entertaining and gleaned more popularity. Let’s see how Piers handles Howard Stern.

    • Bob A. Booey

      He won’t handle Howard Stern, he will only hope to contain him.

      • Paulann7326

        People are afraid of the Great & Powerful O. He’s always been more like Simon Cowell than the kiss up he was tonight. I think the Stern interview will be better.

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