Financially troubled country music institution the Grand Old Opry has accepted a buyout offer from media mogul and car-giveaway queen Oprah Winfrey in a deal that guarantees the stage concert’s existence well into the next century. There was just one condition – a name change. Oprah insisted that the theater be renamed “The Grand Ole Oprah.”
Opry General Manager Ralph Jackson Rogers spoke from his Opry office: “We were in a bind, and I got a call from the horse’s mouth herself,” Rogers explained. “My secretary told me she had Miss Oprah Winfrey on the phone and I thought she was just pulling my damn leg. I picked up the phone and she said ‘Hello, it’s Opraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!’ the way she does you know, so I knew it was her. I was shocked.”
Winfrey, a country music fan, heard the Opry was facing financial difficulties from her close friend, Gayle King. “I was doing a segment for my show, CBS This Morning,” explained King, “and I overheard an employee talking about cutbacks.”
“I got back from Nashville and rushed right over to tell Oprah about the Opry,” said King. “And Steadman too,” she added. “He was there too.”
Winfrey immediately researched the Opry’s financial state. “As most of my devoted followers already know,” said Winfrey, “I moved to Nashville as a teenager. I would be spiritually devastated if the Opry disappeared, so I decided the right thing to do was to buy it.”
Winfrey revealed a childhood dream that one day she would be the star of her very own musical theater. “Well,” admitted the multi-billionaire, “as most of my devoted followers already know, I can’t sing. Steadman tells me that all the time. He was here just the other day when Gayle came over to tell us both the news. Now I own the Opry and we’re thrilled! Steadman and I are thrilled!”
The Grand Ole Oprah will debut next spring in a star-studded extravaganza produced by The Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah now operates the Opry, but not everyone is as exited as Oprah, Steadman, and Gayle at the change.
Local fan and devoted audience member Mary Coursey remarked, “What’s she gonna buy up next, NASCAR? Then she’d go and rename that ‘Oprah’s Go-Kart Festival’? Now I’m not saying nothing prejudiced, but ever since Obama got in, there’s been some mighty big changes in this country. Still,” Coursey reluctantly added, “I’m glad the Opry will be around for my grandbabies to enjoy. I know Oprah’s one of the good ones,” she added, “but down here we’re still gonna keep callin’ it the Opry!”