Oprah Insisted on Wearing Red Suit to Match Bows Before Car Giveaway – and Gayle King Wasn't a Fan!

·3 min read

Gayle King was not initially thrilled with best friend Oprah Winfrey's famous red suit worn in her unforgettable car giveaway.

In the debut episode of PEOPLE's Pop Cultured, King opens up about the significance behind Winfrey's outfit worn during her iconic "You get a car!" giveaway on a 2004 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

"Oprah is a girl who will tell you all the time, love is in the details," King, 67, explains, noting how Winfrey obsessed over every single detail for the giveaway. "She wanted to make sure that every car had a bow and not just a regular bow. It had to be an oversized, jumbo red bow."

The talk show host was so particular about details that the night before the show, she made her staff replace the bows on the vehicles with larger ones. Winfrey also paid close attention to the bow's color and ensured that her own outfit would match perfectly.

"I remember her looking at different shades of red to make sure it was the right shade of red," recalled King. "It was a whole big thing."

oprah red suit
oprah red suit

George Burns/Harpo

RELATED: Oprah's Best Friend Gayle King Reveals the Unique Way She Was Behind the 'You Get a Car' Giveaway

After finally deciding on what to wear, Winfrey presented her outfit to King. But in true best friend fashion, King's initial response was, "You're not gonna wear that, are you?"

"She said, 'It will be a great picture. It will be a great picture with the red,'" King recalls of their conversation. "She might have said something like, 'It won't be jarring to the eye.'"

As fans know, Winfrey stuck with her gut and wore the iconic red suit, which has since been immortalized in millions of memes.

"The truth is she could have sat up on that damn car buck naked, and that would have looked good too," jokes King.

For more on Oprah Winfrey's iconic "You get a car!" giveaway, check out the full episode of PEOPLE's Pop Cultured on PeopleTV and YouTube below.

On the day of the big reveal, King flew from Connecticut to Chicago just to watch the iconic moment unfold.

"I wanted to see it for myself," she says, noting that Winfrey was just as excited. "It was such a secret, so I don't even think Oprah could sleep that night, because she was so excited about what was going to happen the next day."

RELATED: Oprah Winfrey Reflects Back on the Famous 'You Get a Car!' Giveaway

After Winfrey uttered those now-famous words on the show, it became one of the most memorable giveaways in the history of daytime TV. The Pontiac G6 maxed out at just below $30,000 per person, with the talk show host's overall giveaway totaling $7 million.

"That was one of the happiest days of my life," Winfrey says in the episode. "It delights me, it makes me so happy, to see other people be happy and to be able to do that. That's one of the great joys of my life."

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