The stadium was packed and all of the celebrities were waiting backstage with their tearful tributes. This was it! After 25 years as a member of Blockbuster Video, Oprah was officially bringing her membership to a close. Tom Cruise came out and embraced Oprah and tears fell down her face and it was incredible. Everyone who had ever worked at that Blockbuster in the 25 years that she had been a member there, renting that BBC documentary Planet Earth, and the Bridget Jones movies, and season one of Alias, which she didn’t like that much, every employee returned for the fairwell, walking down the aisle carrying vigil candles. It was a lot of employees, you can imagine, because of the high turnover of employees at a place like Blockbuster. The only former employees who did not join in the procession were those who were currently serving prison sentences, but that was only 171 of them. Everyone was on their feet. Beyonce played “Halo.” (Oprah once rented the videogame Halo thinking it was a science fiction movie. She yelled at Steadman for 20 minutes while he fiddled with the DVD player trying to get it to work. Eventually their personal chef brought up fresh-made cheddar popcorn and they just watched 60 Minutes.)

“Open your heart,” Oprah said, with tears in her eyes. “Anything is possible if you dream it, even canceling your Blockbuster membership.” It was incredible and very moving. Celine Dion was there, too.

Comments (22)
  1. Oprah was able to close her Blockbuster account because she finally saved up the money to just buy a copy of The Color Purple.

    For every man, woman, and child in America.

    • I heard that Oprah owns the color purple. As in the actual color.

      The entire Videogum layout is in dire straits. Prince is inconsolable.

  2. The weirdest thing was that the Blockbuster location had been closed for 5 years as has every other Blockbuster location.

  3. Meanwhile, at a Publix Supermarket in Valdosta, GA , Jenny Jones waited for her manager to give her a price check on a can of Del Monte Canned Peaches while the grocery bagger impatiently snapped her gum behind her.

  4. When I turned 18, I got my own Blockbuster card so I could rent rated R movies… though I think I could anyway because my parents didn’t really care. Anyway, it was always really annoying that you couldn’t get rated R even though you were 17 and could see them in theaters but because of parent stuff and that chain’s issues, etc. you couldn’t rent them. So when I turned 18 I got my own card. Then, right before I went to college, I put my little brother down as someone who could my card… but I restricted his use to PG and G films. And I did it at the Hollywood Video too. Wahahahaha. #confessiongum

  5. It’s going to be really sad in 2017, when Oprah closes her spiritual union with Stedman Graham after 25 years.

    But she’s got a great group of special guests lined up.

  6. is it just me or is this one kind of shorter than normal for the “you get to make up the story” piece? usually these are always longer

  7. I worked at a Blockbuster and gave everyone everything for free and got caught living out of there after my landlord kicked me out. But the thing that got me fired was playing music in the store instead of a 5 minute trailer on repeat.

    • I actually slept on the roof most nights, but I would go in and sleep in the office if it was raining,

      • I would like to hear more.

        • Well there was one time when I was tripping at 10 in the morning and a lady came in and was requesting a movie that wasn’t out yet, so I tried explaining that to her, but she just grew angry with me. Her yelling turned into roaring and before I knew it she had turned into a stegosaurus. It was crazy. But all the sudden I couldn’t remember if the stegosaurus was an herbivore or carnivore, so I had no idea how much danger I was in. I played it cool and ducked behind the counter and tried baiting her by throwing licorice toward her. She wasn’t taking the bait. She got impatient and left. I put on Jurassic Park.

        • One time someone returned a copy of Half Nelson with a porno in it. I decided to just put it back on the shelf anyway. That turned out to be a huge fucking mistake, according to Blockbuster. But still not anything worth getting fired over.

        • I only worked there about a month, but the craziest part was how it always smelled like farts. Like maybe our customers were just really gassy because of all the junk food we sold them? Or maybe people just saved up all their farts for our store? Blockbuster: Where people go to fart. Fuck that place.

          • Thank-you! Those were enjoyable. The six months I spent at McDonalds were much less amusing, unless you find repeated instances of women confusing a boy for a girl (longish hair tucked under hat on a barely pubescent face…ah, youth) to be funny. Or the general manners of the regular clientele, for that matter.

            “Hey girlie,” the obese older woman said as I wiped down the table next to her. “Get me some cookies!”

            You kind of had to be there.

  8. Fun Blockbuster story – I once received a letter from a debt collection agency trying to recover the 33 cents I owed Blockbuster on a video (I’m old) I had returned late and apparently only partially paid for. I wonder if this excellent use of resources has anything to do with Blockbuster’s stunning continued success.

  9. My brother used to work at a Blockbuster. There was so much employee theft at that place. It was crazy.

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