There’s only one veteran TV personality who might really know what Matt Lauer’s been going through since Ann Curry’s dramatic ousting from the Today show: Jay Leno, who’s been the subject of vitriol and derision basically since the day NBC picked him to host Today‘s late-night counterpart. (The height of it probably came during the Great Conan Disaster of 2010, the sequel to Leno and David Letterman’s original Late Night Wars over who would replace Johnny Carson.)
It’s no surprise, then, to learn that Lauer and Leno are good pals — and it’s doubly unsurprising that when the former stopped by the latter’s show last night, their conversation barely touched upon the beating Lauer’s been taking since Curry got axed.
Leno did ask Lauer about how he’s been holding up, and the morning show host replied that he’s trying to accentuate the positive: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people still invite us into their homes to deliver the news. I am not a guy who complains. … I love this job, I really do.”
Lauer also gave his colleague Kathie Lee Gifford a shout-out, thanking her for her continued support, and joked about his co-host Savannah Guthrie supposedly flipping him off during a March broadcast.
But mostly, their conversation revolved around current events — Lauer’s interview of the Boston Marathon bombers’ carjack victim — and the usual softball topics that are bread and butter to both hosts (“Gangnam Style,” Martha Stewart’s dating life, golf cart hovercrafts). It did, however, end on a heartfelt note: “Through good times and bad times, you have been a terrific pal to me,” Lauer told Leno without prompting.
Hey — if nothing else, at least these guys have each other.