‘Today:’ The Co-Hosts Comment on Past Drama and What They Think of ‘The Morning Show’
Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Craig Melvin, and Carson Daly of the Today Show were recently interviewed on a myriad of topics including the current state of morning news as well as their thoughts on the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show. Critics and viewers have commented on the similarities between the tumult that took place on Today and the scripted version of the Jennifer Aniston/Reese Witherspoon vehicle.
The co-hosts gave some insight on what makes their show work and why they are sticking with their current formula.
Exits of Curry, Lauer, Bush, and Kelly
The Today Show is no stranger to controversy. With the high-profile terminations of Ann Curry, Billy Bush, Matt Lauer, and Megyn Kelly over the past few years, the co-hosts have seen their own show making headlines. Yet they maintain that Today can hold its own due to its substance and resilience.
“It’s bigger than us. It’s bigger than them. It’s bigger than everybody,” Kotb told Variety of Today’s legacy in news. :This thing has been around for years and I think if anyone thought this show was either made or would fall apart based on them, they were mistaken and it will be the same for all of us whenever we go by whatever means we go.”
Kotb went on the share that just like most families, they have their share of trials. “Sure, we are a family. Families have some dysfunction,” she said. “We are still us. You see us kind of unvarnished.”
Roker commented that change is the one constant in any field. “There were always transitions, and there will always be transitions,” he said.
Like Kotb, Guthrie considers their crew to a familial unit. “This show has often been compared to a family, for better or for worse, but I’m happy to take that. We are a family,” she shared. “Families go through ups and downs, and usually in good families – and this is a good family – you get closer. We have been through a lot of stuff together.”
Does anything on ‘The Morning Show’ look familiar?
When asked if they see any parallels between the firing of Matt Lauer in 2017 due to allegations of sexual misconduct and the plot of The Morning Show, where Steve Carell’s character is fired for the same reason, the Today Show team did not have much to say.
Kotb and Melvin commented that they saw the first episode, Daly shared that he had viewed the show and loved the acting, and Guthrie hadn’t watched the series but brought up another portrayal of the news industry that she feels is spot on.
“I haven’t seen it, but my husband has seen it,” she said of the Apple TV+ series. “I don’t think we have any reason not to see it, but we have no lives. Broadcast News is the greatest show ever about news and I compare everything to Broadcast News.” Guthrie was referring to the 1987 Academy Award-nominated film starring Holly Hunter and William Hurt.
Offering a lighter tone
With today’s political climate in a complete uproar as well as reporting on international disasters, issues of war, and violent crimes, the Today crew is thankful that their show offers some news on the fluffier side.
“We are often put in a place to come out of a story that’s tragic and have to switch gears, and that’s a really hard thing to do,” Daly said.
Melvin acknowledged the show’s variety as reflecting genuine daily life. “I think one reason the show has resonated with people for 65 plus years now is the show, I think, is an accurate reflection of who we are as people,” he said. “No one spends all day talking food or all day talking politics, or all day talking music, but we spend a few minutes on politics. We talk sports.”
Kotb appreciates the comfort that Today can bring viewers. “I was walking home the other day, and this woman comes up to me and says, ‘I love watching you guys in the morning. You make me feel safe,’” Kotb shared. “That does speak to tone…I think some people are trying to sell the news. They want to scare you. I feel like our delivery is not with a sledgehammer, and I feel like we do it in a way that is balanced. We don’t try to scare people.”
Guthrie agreed, noting the show’s time frame requires them to provide viewers with a respite from hard news. “I think we work really hard on the issue of tone. These are serious times we are living in, and it’s such an unusual show across four hours,” she said. “You can start interviewing the Vice President of the United States, and you can end with Oprah on a beach. That can happen.”
With the apparent bond the ‘Today’ co-hosts have created, the NBC morning news show will have no problem maintaining its popularity with viewers.