Meredith Vieira's Teary, Montage-Heavy Today Show Farewell

The peppy soundtrack and glum faces drew comparisons to David Lynch

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Today was Meredith Vieira's last day as co-host of NBC's Today show, an event we confess we didn't realize was happening until just after 9 a.m., when messages like "The Today Show is being directed by David Lynch today" and "THE TODAY SHOW IS ON CRACK" started popping up in our Twitter feed. When the New York Times' Brian Stelter tweeted that the crew was "lip-syncing "Don't Stop Believing" live thru the studio" we knew we had to get a TV.

We unfortunately missed the Journey singalong. (We'll post it when it's available online and embeddable. Until then, here are some still photos from NBC documenting the moment, sans song.) Hopefully it was more joyful and spontaneous than the other music moments, which juxtaposed archive footage of Vieira being happy and goofy with live (or recently pretaped) shots of her looking like she's about to collapse in on herself. Everyone else on the set looked the same way (A regular person tweeter named Allison Hudson captured up the mood best: "Has anyone informed the Today show staff that Meredith is just exiting and isn't being executed at the end of the show?")

Unclear. This first 11 minute farewell was split up evenly between Vieira's big interviews and shots of her dancing and high-fiving and cheering people up. But the sepia tone made us nervous.

Carole King played "You've Got a Friend In Me" live on the set. Matt Lauer explained it was the "one song that kind of sums up the way we feel about you" and that Vieira played the originally version 30 times in a row when she graduated high school. Then Carole King came on and reassured her she'd still have friends even though she wasn't hosting the Today show anymore. That made her cry, and start singing along. To be fair, we would have done the same thing.

Finally, and most strangely (this is the part that probably reminds people of David Lynch), the rest of the cast put on orange t-shirts with their names on them and gathered around Vieira on a three-step riser. They told her much they loved her and how much she changed their lives and how she "taught us to be great teammates. Then Ann Curry said, "Our door is always," which made us feel bad, because that's what the movie detectives say to Clint Eastwood when they don't want him to come back. Vieira, crying again, said, "I don't want to go."

So same time, same place tomorrow, guys? We vote for "My Heart Will Go On" as the next group number.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.