Oprah gives audience a trip to Australia

They shrieked, they gasped, they cried, they hugged — and that was before Oprah Winfrey's studio audience got a trip to Australia.

Winfrey kicked off her 25th and final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Monday with promised surprises. After teasing the 300 audience members with a suggestion she might take them on a trip to New York, Philadelphia or Los Angeles, she said her last season merited something "bigger."

"So I started to think about where would I most want to go," she said over the din of an audience that suddenly understood they were going somewhere far away.

"Maybe I should take you all with me to the other side of the world. We're going to Australia," Winfrey shouted.

With that, a mock-up of a Qantas Air Lines jet rolled onstage, its door opened and actor John Travolta stepped out dressed as a Qantas pilot.

Winfrey, who opened her 19th season six years ago by giving cars to everyone in her studio audience, will take this group in December on an eight-day, seven-night trip.

There were some surprises for Winfrey as well. Actor Don Johnson , who declined to appear on the program when it first aired in 1986 — when he was a much bigger TV star than Winfrey — came by to explain he'd wanted to appear but "Miami Vice" bosses wouldn't let him because he was too busy.

"But I understand things have been going OK for you," he joked to Winfrey.

Winfrey teared up during a surprise appearance from Paul Simon , who sang a song he'd written in honor of the show's 10th season with updated lyrics.

The rest of this week's show will include an appearance by country music stars The Judds , and a return to Williamson, W.Va., where she filmed a town hall episode about AIDS in 1987. The week will end with a live show on Friday, in which Winfrey will announce her first book club selection in nearly a year.

Clinton on 'Daily Show'

Comedy Central says former President Bill Clinton will visit "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart "on Thursday.

He is expected to talk about the Clinton Global Initiative, which annually convenes world leaders to grapple with pressing global concerns. This year's meeting is set to take place next week in New York.

Clinton appearance on "The Daily Show" will be his sixth. The show airs Monday through Thursday at 10 p.m. Central time.

Another year older

Today's birthdays: Feminist author Kate Millett , 76... actor Walter Koenig , 74... singer-actress Joey Heatherton , 66 ... actor Sam Neill , 63... actress Faith Ford , 46 ... actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry , 41... rapper Nas , 37 ... singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse , 27.