Lately Oprah Winfrey’s trusted cabal of experts and superfriends seem to be as omnipresent as she is, even acting as hosts of an XM Satellite Radio kaffeeklatsch. Here’s a cheat sheet to four members of Team Oprah.
Scientific Name Secondus bananaus
Distant Relatives Ethel Mertz, Helen Willis
Profile Perpetually mentioned best friend and ex-talk-show host whose super-duper-tight relationship with O has flummoxed American television audiences for what feels like an eternity. Widely considered Oprah’s most important sounding board. Susceptible to a common affliction known as THS (Terrible Haircut Syndrome).
Scientific Name Hardassy trainerus
Distant Relatives Jack LaLanne, Billy Blanks
Profile No-nonsense personal trainer whose inescapable 1996 best-seller Make the Connection detailed one of Oprah’s many workout plans. Probably the only person who gets paid to tell Oprah what she can and can’t do — which, if you think about it, makes him quite possibly the most powerful person on the planet.
Dr. Robin Smith
Scientific Name Poppis psychologicus
Distant Relatives Dr. Joyce Brothers, Anthony Robbins
Profile Scarily poised psychologist and seminar guru prone to gushy gobbledygook like ”Don’t manipulate, motivate!” and ”Don’t dominate, collaborate!” Enjoys talking about empowerment, often with a far calmer demeanor than Dr. Phil. Also bears an uncanny resemblance to Prince John from 1973’s animated movie Robin Hood.
Scientific Name Expertus queereye
Distant Relatives Thom Felicia, Todd Oldham
Profile Fan of finely decorated living spaces, groundbreaking furniture, and generous portions of hair product who first came to O’s attention while rearranging a small space on a 2001 episode; now her go-to guy for all things design — and a favorite of screeching female audience members who evidently couldn’t care less that he’s gay.