'Today' Show Team Reunites in the Studio for First Time Since March
By Antoinette Bueno
Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
The Today show family -- including Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Carson Daly and Craig Melvin -- were back in the studio on Wednesday's episode, marking the first time they've all been together on set since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The team made sure to put some distance between themselves while hosting, and reflected on their time apart.
"Like all families, being isolated from one another has been challenging," Daly said. "It's been full of emotions. But at the end of the day, we just missed each other."
Prior to their on-set reunion, the Today show team held an outdoor picnic in one of their producer's backyards in upstate New York, where they again practiced social distancing. Footage from the sweet reunion after four months of not seeing one another was shown on air. Al Roker couldn't hold in his excitement, screaming "yes!" and jumping up and down as he greeted Kotb and Guthrie from a distance.
The group shared how much they all missed one another.
"I always think about the time in the makeup room, which is literally more therapy than anything," Kotb said, as Guthrie -- who previously defended her on-air appearance during the pandemic -- cracked, "I miss makeup and hair, too, just saying."
"You know, I learned that we lost Big Dave," Daly said. "This is a guy I spoke to every single morning about Harley Davidsons and Corvettes on Long Island, and beer, and all this man talk, and we lost him. Not being there to sort of ..."
"Grieve," Roker filled in for him.
During the picnic, the group also talked about not being together during the George Floyd protests, and Guthrie praised Melvin's coverage. Melvin was clearly moved by his co-workers' support.
"Some of the text messages that I've gotten from you during all of this have mattered more in the moment that I was in than you'll probably ever know," Melvin shared. "So thank you for that."
Guthrie said she would never take seeing everyone in person for granted ever again.
"I guess to me this whole time period is a testament to bonds that are greater than physical closeness," she said. "They're real closeness, emotional closeness, and our friendships have carried that and kind of lifted us up. And I feel that ... we're far away, I feel as close to you as ever -- if not more. And especially because these are trying times and when you feel scared and sad and discouraged, you lean on each other, and I feel that way about you all."
"I was really proud of her in that moment, especially," Guthrie said of Kotb showing her vulnerability. "Because she opened the way for a lot of people to say, we are all so blessed and lucky -- if it hasn't touched us yet. But that doesn't mean it isn't a time of uncertainty and sadness and anxiety. And it's OK to feel what you're feeling. And it's OK to let it out sometimes. It's OK to do that, then take a breath, and smile. And move on, which she does better than everybody else. I think that's in her heart, and why everyone loves her."