Oprah Winfrey walked away from her daily talk show in 2011 and she ascended into the basic cable heavens. But she returned to Earth on Tuesday for a surprise appearance on "Live With Kelly and Michael" and dubbed the co-hosts, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, talk show royalty.
Ripa and Strahan were interviewing writer-director Tyler Perry, whose two new series "The Haves and the Have Nots" and "Love Thy Neighbor" premiere on Oprah's cable channel OWN on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, when Ripa referenced the last time Perry was on the show and they called and left a voicemail for Oprah. Perry took out his phone and dialed Oprah again, but this time, Oprah strode out from backstage with her phone.
The apparently shocked hosts did their best to make the one-time talk show powerhouse feel at home, offering their seats and having her put her feet up (on Michael's back).
Winfrey proceeded to call Ripa and Strahan the "reigning king and queen" of talk, according to the Associated Press.
Oprah praised Strahan's Oprah impression and told them she was "delighted" to be there for the first time. She invited Strahan to her farm in Maui.
"Live's" ratings have been on an upswing recently, topping the top-rated syndicated talk show "Ellen" in many recent weeks.