Before Matt Lauer and Ann Curry, there was a legacy of legends like Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw and weatherman Willard Scott. This morning, Today celebrated 60 years on the air, and they're still going strong!
As Tom Hanks wheeled out a huge birthday cake, Ann Curry rocked a Today show themed white dress. The show's official anniversary tomorrow marks the 1952 launch when Dave Garroway created the morning news, talk and entertainment program.
Bob Thompson, Television and Pop Culture professor at Syracuse University told the Chicago Tribune, the Today show created a template that everyone is still using a half-century later."
Celebrating in style, the anchors and hosts participated in a special lighting of the Empire State Building last night which shone in — you guessed it — colors of red, orange and yellow. Not only that, the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, NYC fireboats near the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls waterfalls were also illuminated with the morning program's colors.
Todd Gold, executive editor at Xfinity TV also told the newspaper, the show became the leader because it not only informed viewers, it communicated among a likeable group of "friends" from their hosts, anchors and personalities with hard and soft news.
"As serious as [former hosts] Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs were, you got the impression they also liked each other, and that made it really very pleasing in the morning." He pointed out, "That was the template carried on right from Tom Brokaw to Jane Pauley to Matt Lauer to Katie Couric, to the present day."
Congrats and here's to another 60 years, at least!