All in the name of love...for Bono, of course.
The things I do. Buy Gear with a scantily clad woman on it, for a Bono article. Tape Leno who I hate, for U2...lol
Anyhoo, here's someone's recap of the taping, which happened yesterday:
Bono Sells the Cause to Oprah's TV Audience
@U2, September 17, 2002
By Tim Cunningham for @U2, with Matt McGee
Bono the Salesman made his pitch to a new crowd today: Oprah Winfrey Show
He was the main guest on today's taping of the nationally syndicated
program, which will air this Friday, September 20th.
He told the in-studio audience that he had come on the show to sell the idea
of helping Africa to the American public -- that he needs voters to pressure
the government to dedicate more funds to the cause, and that the Oprah
Winfrey Show represents one of the largest audiences of women aged 25-50
that can be addressed at one time. He admitted to being nervous, even
claiming to have vomited backstage before the show.
@U2 has this recap of the show from fellow U2 fan Tim Cunningham, who was in
the audience today to take it all in.
There is the Bono that is most well known, the Bono who smiles coyly at
20,000 people screaming his name; then there is the Bono that some people
expect there to be, but never really get to see. That is the Bono I saw
I was lucky enough to know someone who knows someone at the Oprah show who
invited me to the taping which took place at Oprah's Westside of Chicago
studios today. We arrived at 10 a.m. to flashbacks of Elevation Tour GA
lines as there were already 100 people in line. The vast majority of them
were Oprah's target audience, many of whom had no idea about the topic of
the show, but a good handful of the 300 were U2 fans.
You could tell that all of Oprah's people were REALLY excited about the
guest as the various producers who spoke to the audience were as much in
shock about it as the audience. They intially brought four people on stage
to see who was 3Ž42@biggest Bono fan, so they asked who knew Bono's birth
name, the original names of U2, how many studio albums U2 have released, so
on and so forth. They all got Oprah t-shirts.
Just prior to Oprah coming on stage, Bobby Shriver sat down in the second
row. [@U2 note: Bobby Shriver is the son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He's a
friend of Bono's who helped Bono gain access inside Washington, DC, to lobby
for his Drop the Debt and African HIV/AIDS relief campaigns.]
Then Oprah came out and she, too, looked really pumped, even pointing out
that you had to know someone to get a ticket to the taping. She was all
happy until her teleprompter broke soon after arriving onstage.
Finally after that was fixed they showed a montage of clips set to U2 music
with Oprah narrating over it. She then introduced Bono who walked out in a
nice looking (read: professional) suit.
Oprah then introduced another video montage of Bono's life from childhood to
The typical talk show banter focused on Bono's humanitarian work. Chris
Tucker was beamed in live via satelite to discuss his feelings on traveling
to Africa with Bono, then Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was beamed in to
give his thoughts on Bono. Two college students who had done work down in
Africa when Bono, Tucker, and O'Neill were visiting were in the studio and
were asked to give their reflections on the crisis in Africa.
The regular Oprah show ended at that point. But there is a new feature this
season which they called "After the Show" which will be airing on the Oxygen
TV network sometime on Friday. This 30 minute segment was made up of a
question and answer between Bono and the audience. [@U2 note: According to
Oprah.com, "After the Show" airs at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET weeknights.]
The show ended with Bono giving Oprah his blue shades and Oprah kissing his
cheek, leaving a lipstick stain.
Sitting there in the audience, I saw several things I never really saw
before. Bono walked out in front of 300 people and was genuinely nervous.
For the first two segments he seemed to constantly bite his thumb and during
commercial breaks he asked Oprah if everything was going alright. He got up
during the commercial breaks to say hello to the college missionaries in the
audience as well as to ask the audience "is there anything I should be
talking about that I haven't?" I thought it was very humble of him to ask
the audience if he was doing a good enough job.
Throughout the taping I realized just how passionate Bono is about the
cause. Most of the interviews that have been done about this are short,
edited versions that don't reveal all that much, but this interview showed
just how much devotion he had to making a difference in Africa.
After the show there were a few people waiting outside the exit of the Harpo
Studios garage, and eventually Bono emerged in a black towncar. He got out
of the car to tell the crowd that he couldn't stay as he had to go do more
work. He then said something to the effect of "hopefully this will all work
out and the people won't be burning an effigy of me in the streets." He got
back in the car and drove off.
Sure there are plenty of details that have been left out but that can all be
seen on the show when it is aired this Friday the 20th.
Special thanks to Meghan Patke for getting me the tickets.
And special thanks to Tim for sharing his recap of what happened today and
what we can expect to see on Friday's show(s)!
© @U2/Cunningham, 2002.