How a call from Oprah 'healed' Busy Philipps on 'Busy Tonight'

Kelly Lawler

Who wouldn't cry if Oprah gave them a call?

Actress Busy Philipps, who hosts E!'s "Busy Tonight" (Monday-Thursday, 11 EST/PST), has long hoped for such a stroke of wonder, and it happened one fateful December night on her talk show.

After a running joke about a yellow "Oprah phone" on her set, it rang, and Oprah Winfrey was actually on the other end. Philipps, unaware of the secret plan and sick with a cold, burst into tears as soon as she realized what was happening. 

Busy Philipps getting a call from Oprah on "Busy Tonight."

Speaking about the moment to the Television Critics Association Tuesday, Philipps said she was glad no one told her Winfrey was going to call. 

"That was a true surprise; they really kept it from me," she said. "And I think that was the right choice for our executive producer to make, because my reaction was so genuine and real."

Philipps noted that she was sick during the taping of that show, but as soon as Winfrey said hi, her health improved.

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"I felt better! It was like the adrenaline or something," she said.

Tina Fey, an executive producer of the series, proclaimed, "Oprah can heal people!"

Busy Philipps speaks in E!'s "Busy Tonight" panel during the NBCUniversal TCA Winter Press Tour.

Fey also noted that Philipps got more than just a call from Winfrey. When interviewing guests, she often asks them to repeat the "Oprah moment," just as Winfrey used to ask for repetition on her daytime talk show. "We are all Oprah's children," Fey noted.

And, since they happened to be speaking on Winfrey's 65th birthday, Philipps offered her best wishes. 

"Happy birthday, Opes!"