Oprah and Tyler Perry Team for a Very ‘What the Hell?’ OWN Ad — WATCH

Oprah as Sofia

In 1982, American author Alice Walker penned an epistolary novel profound and touching enough to win numerous literary prizes (including a Pultizer), to inspire cinematic and stage adaptations, and to launch the career of none other than Oprah Winfrey. That book is The Color Purple, a certified tear-jerker that touches on the severely heavy issues of poverty, racism, and sexual abuse. A story that deserves the attention of any sensitive high schooler or established literary critic… but, apparently, a story not above the reach of parody. Oprah has released a new promotional ad for her OWN Network, embodying her Color Purple character Sofia alongside none other than Tyler Perry… in drag as his ubiquitous character Aunt Madea.

The mention of this pairing might inspire a vociferous “What the hell?!”, and one that will only grow louder with the viewing of the below video. It’s strange, disjointed, and a bit uncomfortable… and because of each of these elements, quite fascinating. Check out the commercial below, and experience a broad range of conflicting emotions.

Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter

[Photo Credit: OWN]

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.