The actual birthday is tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 14, but NBC’s venerable “Today” show has been throwing itself a 60th birthday party all week long.
Sixty years is not a bad run for anyone — a marriage, a big company or a TV show. For the record, the 60-year-old, top-rated “Today” is not the oldest continuously running show still on the air. Wikipedia’s list — here — places “Today” at No. 5. No. 1 is also on NBC: “Meet the Press,” 64 years-old.
But of the list’s Top 5, “Today,” born in 1952 (you can even watch the very first show below), surely ranks No. 1 by far as the most-watched of these longest-running TV institutions.
And so, the show deservedly marked its own birthday with a big, star-studded party Thursday night in New York that drew just about every living alumnus and alumna from the show’s illustrious history. And, of course, the show itself aired a slew of special segments all week long. Among them: A look back at the world in 1952, the year the “Today” show first made its appearance. It’s the perfect lead-in to the actual first show, which follows it below.
Host Dave Garroway introduced the first show on Jan. 14, 1952, with these words, after he himself was introduced by announcer Jack Lescoulie: “Well, here we are and good morning to you — the very first good morning of what I hope and suspect will be a great many good mornings.” He was right, of course.
The show’s 60th birthday — mentioned all week-long — kicked into high gear on Friday with a special show titled “Today at 60.”
The “Today” show anniversary was so important that at least two prominent politicians came out to mark the occasion with greetings and salutations.
Then there was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who declared Friday, Jan. 13 (yes, Friday the 13th!), “Today Show Day in New York” in honor of the Manhattan-based TV show.
And if we may: Let’s just go ahead and declare today to be “Today Show Day Here on This Web Site” too. Happy birthday, “Today”!