Sally Jessy Raphael, 89, Makes Rare Daytime TV Appearance on “Sherri” — and Talks Online Dating!

The daytime TV icon told Sherri Shepherd only one of her mystery men "made the cut"

<p>Courtesy SHERRI</p> Sally Jessy Raphael and Sherri Shepherd

Courtesy SHERRI

Sally Jessy Raphael and Sherri Shepherd

Sally Jessy rides again!

Daytime TV icon Sally Jessy Raphael was back on the small screen on Monday, May 20, joining host Sherri Shepherd for a riotous chat about her career and love life on Shepherd’s syndicated talk show Sherri.

The 89-year-old strutted onto Shepherd’s set as sprightly as ever, in her signature red glasses and hair to match, to a standing ovation from the studio audience — whom Raphael referred to as her “family.” As Shepherd noted, audiences still love her.

“When I started watching you, you showed me the importance of a studio audience,” Shepherd said.

Raphael, whose own show, Sally, was one of the first to incorporate audience questions and participation as a key element, said that the energy a studio audience brings means “everything” to her.

<p>Courtesy SHERRI</p> Sally Jessy Raphael and Sherri Shepherd

Courtesy SHERRI

Sally Jessy Raphael and Sherri Shepherd

“You know, we had three ladies, who were called ‘the church ladies.’ They showed up every show, and when things weren’t going well — that’s usually my fault — I’d look up and I’d see those ‘church ladies’ and I’d say, ‘It’s ok. I can do it!’ ” she recalled.

Raphael proved herself to be as feisty as ever, ribbing a former Sally show staffer — who is now an executive producer on Sherri — for her height, and commiserating with Shepherd about their own diminutive statures.

When Shepherd noted that Raphael still holds staff reunions decades since her show went off the air, the veteran host joked that it was because “we like to drink!”

“Well, there has to be a reason for a reunion,” she quipped.

Noting that Raphael has spoken about being fired 27 times over the course of her career, Shepherd asked how she dealt with those setbacks.

“You eat chocolate, listen to Judy Garland music, lie on the sofa and go, ‘Oh, whoa is me!’ ” Raphael replied. “Until you realize you gotta support a family. Get up and get goin’!”

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And Raphael isn’t slowing down anytime soon, either in her professional or her personal life. She’s currently developing a new podcast and teased the potential return of her short-lived short-form interview show, Sally Jessy Rides.

“You gotta have somethin’ to do, somethin’ to love and somethin’ to hope for,” she said.

“It’s gotta get you outta bed,” Shepherd concurred.

<p>Jim Lord/Getty</p> Sally Jessy Raphael in 2002

Jim Lord/Getty

Sally Jessy Raphael in 2002

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“Well, depends on who you’re in bed with,” Raphael said.

It turns out, the octogenarian has had quite the busy dating life since husband Karl Soderlund’s death in 2020. She told Shepherd that she met her current significant other online.

“I got a lotta guys online,” she added. “I got a doctor, I got an astronomer, I got a lawyer … And one has made the cut.”

As Shepherd put it, SJR came, she slayed, she conquered!

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