Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meredith Vieira

It was a "blubberfest" on the Today show this morning (Hoda Kotb's words, not ours) as the team celebrated Meredith Vieira's last day.
The highlight? A Glee-like performance to Journey's Don't Stop Believin' that had Vieira bounding through the bowels of 30 Rock dueting with Matt Lauer on the pinao, high-fiving Abe Vigoda, playing air guitar with Jimmy Fallon and jumping around with correspondent Jenna Bush Hager.
Things got serious around 8:50 a.m. on the plaza when Vieira, surrounded by Lauer, Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and tons of fans, took her final bow. Each host gave a short tribute.
Curry: "We love you so much, our door is always open. We are always your family."
Morales: "You've changed everyone's life. And I think that you've touched everyone. You've shown us from day one when you took over this job that this is all about you being just the way you are...because you are amazing just the way you are."
Lauer: "Your talent and your sense of humor is what I will remember most. It's amazing someone who has talent as big as yours how small your ego is."
Noting that "life is about change," a tearful Vieira showed a bracelet given to her by husband Richard just before she started the show 5 years ago. The charm read: "We are with you. Love, Richard, Ben, Gabe and Lily." Vieira continued: "And that's the reason I'm leaving. So, I'm taking this off after the show...and I'm going to pawn it." (No, but seriously she said, she's going to put it in a safe place.)
And with that, Lauer wondered: "What do you get for the girl who's given us so much?"
A framed photo of the team peaking out of the crown of the Statue of Liberty, of course.
"One of my favorite memories," Vieira said.