Oprah Winfrey doesn’t like surprises. That’s because she’s known to freak out. Big time.
Case in point: In 1997, Winfrey’s show producers shocked the daytime host with an unannounced visit from her longtime television idol Mary Tyler Moore. (See Oprah lose her sh– at the 2:42 mark in the video above.)
But before she bawled her eyes out and flailed her arms in excitement over her surprise guest, Winfrey tossed to an adorable reenactment of “The Mary Tyler Moore” intro — famed hat toss and all.
“I wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore,” Winfrey said, explaining the intense level of her fandom. “I wanted to live where Mary lived, I wanted Mr. Grant in my life, I wanted my boss to act like that, I wanted Ted,” she added.
Once Moore hit the stage, a rattled Winfrey told the feminist icon of TV: “You have no idea what you’ve meant to me… I just want to say, there’s many times in our lives when there are those of us who only had the television for inspiration, and you were one of those women who was a light. You know, Maya Angelou says there are some people who have a certain way of being in this world, and that’s what you brought to this character.”
Six-time Emmy-winning Moore died at the age 80 on Wednesday following a bout of pneumonia, according to her family.