Ryan Seacrest, Matt Lauer get a little 'All About Eve' on 'Today'
Ryan Seacrest and Matt Lauer had a nice, civil chat Wednesday morning about one of them allegedly being set to take the other's job, and here's a hint: The discussion wasn't about seeing Lauer on the "American Idol" stage.
Despite speculation a hyped "big NBC announcement" from Seacrest might have something to do with the "Today" show, the real news was the less dramatic revelation that the E! fixture and "Idol" star would be joining the peacock network's prime-time Olympics coverage this summer.
(Gosh darn if that one tweet didn't come from the exec producer of both "Today" and NBC's Olympics coverage.)
Lauer and Seacrest did have some fun with the gossip, however, which had dragged out for a day after an injury delayed Seacrest's appearance on the morning show.
Lauer dealt with the buzz directly, asking his guest the question more than once. "What kind of conversations have you had with NBC about joining the 'Today' show? ... What conversations have you had with NBC officials about joining this program? I want names and dates."
Seacrest played along, and eventually the two revealed that they'd had dinner and discussed the situation, but not before going through an exchange reminiscent of "All About Eve," the Bette Davis classic in which the admiring, seemingly naive understudy schemes to rip the established star's life out from under her.
"Do you see yourself doing a job like this?," Lauer asked.
"You know, I don't know," Seacrest said. "I see you doing this for as long as you want to, so maybe the question is, how long will you be on the 'Today' show? ... Because fans, myself included, think you should be here for years to come."
Niiiiiice, Ryan. Smooth.
Lauer followed with more smoothness about how Seacrest would be great in a job like his, how there was no tension between them — and a mention that, for the record, Lauer had paid for dinner.
Watch the whole exchange, below.
Photo: Ryan Seacrest at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Jan. 15. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times