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NBC's 'Today' show returns to glory days

TV-Today-Gumbel Pauley
NEW YORK (AP) - The glory days returned for the "Today" show - for one day at least - as NBC's morning show brought back Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley for a one-day nostalgia turn as co-hosts on Monday.

Gumbel and Pauley, who worked together on "Today" from 1982 to 1989, joined birthday boy Matt Lauer on the set. It wasn't ceremonial: with Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales off, Gumbel and Pauley had to work.

"Getting up was a little difficult and the studio has changed enormously," Gumbel said. Pauley said the fast pace makes the experience go "like a bat out of heck."

NBC hoped the trio's easy camaraderie enticed viewers. After a well-publicized tumble last year, the show runs second in the ratings to ABC's "Good Morning America." Pauley, who does occasional reports for the show, left as host in 1989 while Gumbel gave way to Lauer in 1997.

There were a few film clips of Pauley back in the big hair days. "I understand Gene Shalit's standing by to review 'Back to the Future,'" Al Roker quipped during a weather segment.

Gumbel and Pauley easily navigated a cooking segment (poached salmon and pasta). That was like old times, but the segment on what is trending on Twitter wasn't.

Not everyone's memory was clear. A sign held up by a fan outside the studio misspelled Gumbel's name.

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rozemay December 31 2013 at 8:46 AM

I don't think it matters who they bring back to the Today show, it's a done show.

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cray542464 December 31 2013 at 8:00 AM

I miss Jane, but I sure as hell don't miss Gumbo.

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lmroth1 December 31 2013 at 6:49 AM

Though I see Gumbel on Real Sports on HBO all the time and like him very much (he seems more comfortable now doing sports topics), it was great seeing Jane and hope she is doing very well. I go back to the very beginning with this show and have seen all the pairings and have always watched NBC in the morning. In my opinion, Bryant and Jane and Matt and Savannah were/are the best of the duos. I did like Ann Curry and Soledad O'Brien. These reunions are fun and it was a nice touch to see Jane's kids, who were protected from fame all these years.

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bwaymike December 31 2013 at 4:55 AM

Loved seeing Jane again. As for Bryant Mumble....not at all. That voice is like chalk on a blackboard and he is still insufferable to watch. I had forgotten all about Mumble Gumbel and hope to again.

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ejperez3 December 31 2013 at 4:28 AM

Gumbel is a black racist a$$hole.!!

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budga December 31 2013 at 3:32 AM

The reunion was positive. This was the first time I had watched TODAY in its entirety in some time. It was great to have Jane and Bryant on in the morning again. Yet the show had little of substance. No well known celeb was in the studio for an interview. No authors were discussed or interviewed. The show consisted of much fluff. On Tuesday, it is back to CBS This Morning for me.

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Jackjmass December 31 2013 at 2:36 AM

The originals of everything are still the best.

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jmccann31 December 31 2013 at 12:18 AM

It would be great if they would do a couple shows a week. I believe the ratings would go way up.
Matt could do the other three. It was great to see Jane's twins. My gosh! where does the time go?

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jeepman53m December 30 2013 at 11:26 PM

gumbel removed his head from obamas rectum just long enough to make his TODAY SHOW appearance...another sickening black man lauding this hapless fool in the white house ONLY because of his skin color!

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2 replies to jeepman53m's comment
cakibler December 31 2013 at 12:21 AM

Just couldn't resist the opportunity to slam the President of the USA could you? Some folks just have no class.

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2012 Clark 2012 December 31 2013 at 3:15 AM

I agree 100%

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tazgadon December 30 2013 at 10:25 PM

Show business has become sickening...it's like one big repeat...new and fresh faces are far and few between. I guess Hollywood is really just one big redundant family?

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