David Letterman 'crushed' over Oprah Winfrey snub
David Letterman has joked that he is "disappointed and crushed" he was not invited to a recent taping of Oprah Winfrey's farewell show that marks the end of her longtime syndicated talk series.
The gala, which took place in Chicago on Tuesday, featured celebrities such as Tom cruise, Katie Holmes, Patti LaBelle, Usher, Halle Berry, Diane Sawyer and Arnold Schwarzenegger's estranged wife Maria Shriver.
"I spent the last 12 to 15 years kissing up to Oprah. Every day I get out of bed and I think, 'What can I do to suck up to Oprah? Guess who wasn't invited? Thank you very much, Oprah," Letterman, 64, said on his CBS talk show "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Wednesday, May 18.
He added that he was "more than upset - crushed. Disappointed and crushed," adding: "I want to just bask in the glory that is Oprah. Who doesn't? So I'm laboring with a broken heart here tonight."
A spokesperson for Winfrey's production company, Harpo, Inc., had no immediate comment.
Letterman has often poked fun at the veteran daytime talk show host and had running gag on his show called the "Oprah Log," which would show him talking about his goal of appearing on Winfrey's program.
At the 1995 Academy Awards, which Letterman hosted, a joke that featured him pretending to introduce Winfrey, 57, to actress Uma Thurman as "Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah ... Have you kids met Keanu?" fell flat. Winfrey and Thurman, who were sitting in the audience, laughed politely.
The relationship between Winfrey and Letterman appeared to be strained for years. She often rejected offers to appear on Letterman's former NBC talk show.
In 1993, Winfrey told Time magazine that while she had appeared on the program twice, she felt that during both times, "I was sort of like the butt of his jokes. I felt completely uncomfortable sitting in that chair, and I vowed I would not ever put myself in that position again."
Winfrey also added that she had a "great deal of respect for his talent."
The two appeared to reconcile in 2005, when she was a guest on the "Late Show." Letterman finally appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2007. Winfrey said at the time that her relationship with him had warmed.
Earlier that year, he and Winfrey appeared together in a commercial for his show that aired during the Super Bowl. They reunited on a similar television ad that also featured Letterman's longtime rival Jay Leno of NBC's "Tonight Show" in 2010. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" debuted in 1986, airs in 150 countries and has won 48 Emmy Awards. An estimated 40 million people watch the series every week. Its final episode is set to air on May 25.
Winfrey got a standing ovation from the 13,000 fans who attended her farewell gala, which also featured her longtime partner Stedman Graham and performances from singers such as Aretha Franklin, Beyonce and Stevie Wonder.
Footage from the taping is set to air on May 23 and May 24.
Winfrey is one of the most powerful celebrities in the world and recently made it to No. 2 on Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list. The talk show has topped the roster four times in the past seven years and earned a reported $290 million last year. Singer Lady Gaga is No. 1 this year.
Winfrey launched her own cable channel, OWN, on January 1. The network features documentary and reality programs that feature Shania Twain, Lisa Ling, and other television personalities.
Check out David Letterman's commercials with Oprah Winfrey below.