CHICAGO – In what is becoming an annual event, Tyra Banks hosted The Tyra Banks Day After Christmas Special on E! television that was taped the day after Thanksgiving. Her all-star guest list included a phone sex professional, former Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson, NBC weatherman Al Roker and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. It was the last segment of her show with Jesse Jackson that caused a media buzz. The following is an excerpt from that interview.
TYRA BANKS: Thank you so much for presenting us with your presence today, Reverend Jackson!
JESSE JACKSON: Oh it’s my pleasure, Tyra.
TYRA BANKS: I was surprised you were available. I mean, not just the day after Thanksgiving, but on a Sunday even!
JESSE JACKSON: Why does that surprise you? I always have time for you, Tyra.
TYRA BANKS: Now, you stop that Reverend! What surprised me is, you weren’t somewhere giving a sermon.
JESSE JACKSON: A sermon?
TYRA BANKS: In church?
JESSE JACKSON: (Jesse Jackson stared at Tyra)
TYRA BANKS: Because you’re a Reverend?
JESSE JACKSON: Oh!… I see what you mean. The thing is, I don’t actually have a church, Tyra.
TYRA BANKS: What do you mean you ain’t got no church? Where do you preach?
JESSE JACKSON: Let’s just say I’m an equal opportunity preacher. I take the word of God to the man on the street.
TYRA BANKS: So what do you do on Sundays?
JESSE JACKSON: Oh, mostly I spend the day with my accountants.
TYRA BANKS: Count’n the money?
Jesse and Tyra high-five enthusiastically.
TYRA BANKS: (Looking at the audience with her hand cupped to her ear) Do I hear an amen?
The studio audience yelled “Amen!” and Jesse Jackson gave them a thumbs up.
TYRA BANKS: Did you have a nice Christmas, Reverend Jackson?
JESSE JACKSON: Yes, it was very nice.
TYRA BANKS: Did you do that whole family thing?
JESSE JACKSON: Oh yes. All the kids came over and we exchanged gifts and thanked the Lord for our bounty.
TYRA BANKS: And throughout the years you’ve certainly hoodwinked you some bounty, huh Rev?
Tyra and Jesse Jackson laugh and high-fived each other again.
TYRA BANKS: So what did you get for that young child of yours?
JESSE JACKSON: The young child?
TYRA BANKS: You know, the uh, illegitimate one?
TYRA BANKS: What?
JESSE JACKSON: You know, I completely forgot about her.
TYRA BANKS: Huh uh! Oh no you didn’t! You did not just say you forgot about that child.
JESSE JACKSON: Well I don’t ever see her.
TYRA BANKS: Huh uh! Oh no you didn’t! (Tyra squirms in her chair, shaking her head)
JESSE JACKSON: Listen Tyra, I’m a busy man. On a any given day I’m consoling people, blackmailing corporations or funneling money from my non-profits into Caribbean bank accounts.
TYRA BANKS: Consoling? Who are you consoling?
JESSE JACKSON: Well, once I consoled Lebron James after his former coach in Cleveland said mean things about him.
TYRA BANKS: And what the hell was that about? You’ve got black men slaughtering each other in record numbers in south Chicago, the city where you live, and you’re running to the aid of a multimillionaire basketball player because somebody said mean things about him?
JESSE JACKSON: Let’s not forget Tyra, I’m a man of the cloth.
TYRA BANKS: Just what does that mean, exactly?
JESSE JACKSON: I’ve never understood the phrase myself. I should get one of my assistants to look it up.
TYRA BANKS: Oh no you don’t! Huh uh! You just stay away from those assistants. You don’t need another baby.
The audience laughed nervously.
TYRA BANKS: And when you leave here you better call that child and then go buy her a Christmas present.
The audience began to murmur and someone yelled out “Yeah, get her a Christmas present!”
JESSE JACKSON: (To the audience) Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!
TYRA BANKS: I guess this is one of the reasons Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me.’
JESSE JACKSON: Jesus said that?
TYRA BANKS: Who the hell do you think said it?
JESSE JACKSON: I knew it was a Jew, I just didn’t know which one.
TYRA BANKS: I’m being told we’re just about out of time Reverend.
JESSE JACKSON: It was a pleasure, Tyra. And please, keep in mind I’m just proof that the Lord works in mysterious ways.
TYRA BANKS: Yeah well, next time I see you, you better show me proof you got that child something for Christmas!