UPDATED with video: Former Fox News Channel primetime star Megyn Kelly debuted in the 9 AM hour of NBC’s Today this morning, telling viewers “we will be dissecting the latest tweet from President Trump.”
“Oh wait!! We will not be doing that!” Kelly joked to her live studio audience from her new set at 30 Rock.
“I’m kind of done with politics for now,” said Kelly, dressed in pink pussy-bow blouse and black skinnypants with white ruffle hem. “You know why, right?” said the former news show host, who got candidate Donald Trump so riled during the first GOP debate when she referenced remarks he’d made about women over the years, even before the Access Hollywood tape was unearthed.
“It’s everywhere. And it’s just gotten so dark!” the former Fox News It Girl complained on this morning’s debut with no hint of irony. Kelly became a household name, and the darling of late-night TV, after Trump said he could see blood coming from her “wherever” during that debate.
“If my producers and I do our jobs, you’ll find out what you need to know today to get yourself through the day to have a laugh with us, a smile, sometimes a tear and maybe a little hope to start your day. Some fun!” Kelly on Monday morning promised her studio audience.
But first, she introduced herself to non-Fox News-watching Today show viewers.
“Some of you may know, I started my career as a lawyer…But after nine years, it wasn’t fulfilling to me any longer. And then I went on to become a TV anchor. Which was good until it wasn’t.
“I knew I needed to make a change, and then came 2016, she continued. “So much division and outrage. I wasn’t happy. But I was scared to change. For years, I had dreamed of hosting a more uplifting show.
“Then, last summer, I was finishing up my memoir – called Settle for More.”
While on book tour and, maybe more importantly, with her contract coming up, “I had my first meeting with NBC News, who offered me a job, hosting a program whose mission would be to deliver hope. And optimism. And inspiration. And empowerment. And to have fun!” Kelly told viewers.
Kelly may have to work harder to win over John Oliver’s viewers – if there are any Last Week Tonight fans who also watch broadcast morning TV.
Hours before her 9 AM debut Today, his HBO program’s “And Now This” segment celebrated the transition of FNC Kelly to Today Show Kelly:
It began with the promo NBC had been running for her debut, in which Kelly is heard saying: “In a world and a country that is incredibly divided right now, my hope is that this show can be a unifying force.”
That was followed by “a look at the unifying force” that is Megyn Kelly – clips of Kelly back when she was tearing up the ratings turf at FNC.
The clip job began with Kelly saying, “Gay rights are more and more protected in this country; Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much.”
No one brought this up on Megyn Kelly Today launch, while she was interviewing cast and creators of NBC’s returning comedy series Will & Grace.
Among other clips, Oliver showed Kelly delivering such zippy FNC talking points as:
For all you kid watching at home, Santa is white;
Jesus was a white man too;
The New Black Panther Party out there saying we got to go kill some cracker babies;
Do you hate white people?
Is President Obama playing the race card?
Last night’s Democratic debate found five presidential contenders suggesting black lives may have more value than all lives;
Look at that moron;
Cupcake Nation alert!