*David Letterman says Oprah Winfrey starting “hating” him way before the infamous “Oprah – Uma – Uma – Oprah” bit at the 1995 Oscars.
Winfrey was believed to have turned against the late night host during Letterman’s opening monologue at the ceremony, when his attempt to poke fun at Winfrey and Uma Thurman’s unusual names fell flat. [See clip below.]
However, Letterman admitted on his talk show that the animosity arose from an entirely different incident.
Asked by guest Jon Stewart about the hostility, Letterman said: “This pre-dated the Academy Awards. She hated me long before then.”
The comedian went on to describe how he once ate lunch with then-girlfriend Regina Lasko at the same restaurant as Winfrey and her partner Steadman Graham.
He continued: “I said to Regina, ‘This is hilarious, I’m going to make Oprah buy us lunch.’ So I called the waiter over… and I said, ‘The woman over there has been kind enough to take care of our check,’ and he says, ‘Oh, absolutely, thank you very much.’
“So as we’re leaving, and the waiter and Regina and myself are at the door, I wave to Oprah. She waves back. Now the waiter thinks, ‘Oh sure.’
“So then we walked [out] and got a free lunch. That’s where it started.” [Watch clip below.]
Letterman and Winfrey buried the hatchet on screen when Winfrey appeared on his CBS talk show in 2005.