Friday, January 14, 2022, marks a big anniversary for NBC, NBC News and television in general, it will mark 70 years of the pioneering morning show “Today.”
The show has obviously changed a lot over seven decades, but some elements remain the same.
Weather anchor Al Roker’s had one of the longest tenures in the show’s history and recently, he reflected on the anniversary.
The first of decades of early mornings began with Dave Garroway when he launched “Today” in 1952.
“It was really a gamble because nobody was doing television that early in the morning,” said Roker.
In fact, only a third of American households had a TV back then.
“For the first time, people saw what goes into the making of a television broadcast,” added Roker. “It really was, revolutionary. People didn’t think it was going to last. But it did.”
Curious passersby could peek through the show’s Rockefeller Center street-side window just as they do today with doors also opened now to the studio plaza.
“People are still waving holding signs and hoping that someone back home sees them,” said Roker. “How great is that?”
Although not everything from those early days has transcended time like a simian co-host named J. Fred Muggs, the “Today” team has always made room for joy and laughter in the morning.
“We poke fun at ourselves far more than anybody possibly could, but you can do that when you A, love each other, and B, trust each other,” said Roker.
While making sure the original morning mission of reliable news, information and entertainment endures.
“We are, in a sense, a video and oral history of the last seven decades of this country,” said Roker.
And one TV personality has seen it up close for 26 years.
“You look at literally the pantheon of icons who’ve come through this, this broadcast and, and you, you– you think, ‘Wow, how did, how did I end up here?'” pondered Roker.
Inside Studio 1A, where an indelible foundation was built 70 years ago.
“Today” celebrates its 70th anniversary on Friday. The man who created “Today” was Pat Weaver a former NBC president who was also the father of famed actress Sigourney Weaver, well known for her many roles including ones in “Avatar” and the “Alien” film franchise.