If you’re anything like the staff of The A.V. Club, you’ve spent the years since the finale of The Oprah Winfrey Show thinking to yourself, “The Oprah Winfrey Show was a great talk show and all, but what happened to those chairs that the audience used to sit in when they visited the studio to watch Oprah do stuff?” And now, half a decade later, we finally have an answer to that prolix musing: The chairs are being auctioned off to benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, which supports a girls’ boarding school that Winfrey founded in South Africa.
When the press release announcing the auction crossed the A.V. Club transom, it ignited discussion of whether we should attempt to purchase an “Oprah chair” for the office. That debate continues, but in the meantime, those who want their own sittable Oprah memorabilia can peruse the listings at ScreenBid, a site specializing in the sale of bric-a-brac that is no longer required by Hollywood’s dream factories. (If you’re not interested in an Oprah chair, maybe you’d like a prop newspaper from the Adam Sandler film Grown Ups 2. “Zoo Will Investigate,” the headline reads. We all remember that moment from Grown Ups 2, when the zoo decided to investigate.)
The auctions open this Thursday, May 5. Before the bidding begins, though, we wanted to perform due diligence on the Oprah chairs, so we got some answers via email from a spokesperson at OWN, Oprah’s cable network:
The A.V. Club: What have these chairs been doing for the last five years? Were they used for non-Oprah purposes?
OWN: The chairs have been held at Harpo Studios the last five years.
AVC: Is it possible that Oprah ever sat in any of these chairs? Did she touch any of them, at least?
OWN: We aren’t able to confirm which of the 246 Season 25 audience chairs Oprah may have sat in herself.
AVC: How comfy are the chairs?
OWN: The chairs were specifically designed for audience members to enjoy a live taping of [a] The Oprah Winfrey Show episode, with a thick cushion on both the back and the seat for comfortable seating.
Now A.V. Club readers can make an informed buying decision. You’re welcome!