Matt Lauer’s over-the-top Halloween costume as “Baywatch” babe Pamela Anderson wasn’t his idea, and it’s possible he would have vetoed it if he had the “power” to do so, he told Jay Leno Tuesday night on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”
“Let’s talk Halloween because you guys seem to have so much fun on the show,” Leno said to Lauer. “You dressed up as Pamela Anderson this year. [Was] that your idea?”
“Clearly not. No,” Lauer said. “I don’t have veto power — which is somewhat obvious.”
Lauer explained that the producers of “The Today Show” wanted the show’s co-hosts “to do iconic characters from the ’90s and ’80s” for the show on Halloween morning.
So, with “Baywatch” star Carmen Electra due to appear on the show that morning, Willie Geist somehow got to play David Hasselhoff for Halloween, while Lauer, 55 — and the reigning, long-running star of “Today” — had to agree to dress up as Pam Anderson.
The get-up was not universally well-received, with some critics wondering what lengths “The Today Show” will go to in its quest for eye-catching stunts that might elevate the show into the top spot in morning TV again.
On “The Tonight Show,” though, Lauer never let on that this particular “job requirement” — that he dress up in a “Baywatch” bathing suit and prance around like Pam Anderson — may have struck him privately as a new low point in his career at “Today.” However, it did seem that way to many who watched.
Lauer also presented Leno with a special undergarment that Lauer wore in order to properly wear the female “Baywatch” swimsuit he wore on “Today” that morning. Leno could barely touch the thing.
Watch what happened, above.