In 1991, the entire country was subjected to watching an awkward segment from television personality Katie Couric‘s first NBC Today show, in which she and co-anchor Bryant Gumbel discussed her impending maternity leave. Almost 30 years later, Couric has decided to rehash old traumas by sending a clip of the exchange to her newsletter fans.
“I was about to go on maternity leave and let’s just say, Bryant Gumbel didn’t quite get it,” says Couric, who discovered the clip while writing her memoir. “It’s pretty shocking to watch it now, 28 years later!”
In the clip, a pregnant Couric tells Gumbel she will be leaving the television show for nine weeks in order to give birth and recuperate. Gumbel jokes that women shouldn’t need that long of maternity leave and that she should be able to pop out her baby and get back to work like the “good old days.”
“Get my vittles on the table! Get them vittles out there,” he jokes. As Couric begins to explain the struggles of pregnancy and the necessity of maternity leave, something even more uncomfortable happens… the touches.
Gumbel randomly reaches out for Couric’s pearls, presumably to untangle them. Couric thanks him, and puts her necklace back in place. As the two continue talking, the touching happens again– this time, by Couric. The pregnant television anchor reaches out and playfully pushes Gumbel’s arm, then touches his face, and then his hand. After a few more seconds of talking, Gumbel stretches out on the couch, reaching one arm behind Couric’s back, as he continues to playfully tease about her maternity leave. That segment finally ends with a big hug between the two.
But that is not all.
The show returns from break for a final segment in which the two anchors reminisce over Couric’s “embarrassing moments” from working on the show, as a sendoff to her leave. Gumbel briefly pats Couric on her thigh as the two say their goodbyes.
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