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No-longer-a-mystery man and Oprah reunite

Oprah Winfrey, mystery man

Oprah Winfrey cries on a man's shoulder at Barack Obama's Grant Park rally on Nov. 4, 2008. (Courtesy CNN / November 5, 2008)


Riding a wave of fame that began when Oprah Winfrey cried on his shoulder at Tuesday's rally, sudden-celebrity Sam Perry appeared on Winfrey's live show Friday. "Sam Perry! ... Please stand up!" Winfrey called from the stage. Perry bounded forward and the two embraced like old friends.

In the first moments of Friday's broadcast, Winfrey recounted her chance meeting of Perry, an Obama campaign worker from California, who just happened to be standing in front of the Queen of Daytime Talk during Tuesday's rally in Grant Park.

That night, networks repeatedly beamed live footage of Winfrey leaning forward and resting her chin on Perry's shoulder. The chance encounter with the media titan thrust Perry into the spotlight. The next day, Winfrey talked about Perry on her show, explaining that she didn't know his name and calling him only "Mr. Man." Immediately, media outlets-- including CNN, Inside Edition, Extra and Access Hollywood-- ran segments about the mystery man and reporters launched an intensive search.

A friend of Perry's reportedly called Harpo Inc. to identify him, and Winfrey quickly booked him on the show.

During Friday's broadcast, Winfrey apologized for not asking Perry's name during the rally. She recounted how she had made her way through the crowd and said, of Perry, "I only saw the back of his head!"

Perry, a communications director and fundraiser for Silicon Valley for Obama, said he was happy to have shared the moment with Winfrey. He added that his jacket had not been soiled by mascara, as Winfrey had earlier suggested.

"I was just sobbing on his shoulder, mascara everywhere," Winfrey had said.

On Friday's show, panelist Alexandra Wentworth (a comedian married to ABC newsman George Stephanopoulos) joked that Perry had been in an Oprah-Obama sandwich at the rally. Longtime Winfrey buddy Gayle King asked what many were thinking, "Did you want to say, 'Hey, get off me!'?"

No, Perry happily replied.

Related topic galleries: Grant Park, Dining and Drinking, Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood (Los Angeles, California), Wine, Beer, and Spirits

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