“You’ll know who I am by the songs that I sing.”
That lyric from the John Denver ballad “Today” featured prominently in Megyn Kelly‘s Today debut Monday, an hour the former Fox News host repeatedly insisted would be hopeful, empowering, optimistic and “fun.”
“I am done with politics,” Kelly told the in-studio crowd during the third hour of NBC’s daily morning show, which opened with her giving a monologue about why she’d transitioned from cable news to daytime TV. “For years, I had dreamed of hosting a more uplifting show. But how? Where? What?” she said, giving a brief overview of her career as a lawyer and TV anchor but omitted any mention of Fox News Channel, the network she left in January.
In the first of many references to her memoir, Settle for More, Kelly explained that “more” now means “more time with my family, more joy in my life” and promised that her audience would “know who I am by the songs that I sing.”
Other notable moments of the hour included:
* An audience Q&A segment that included one softball query from a crowd member before Kelly’s husband, Doug, “surprised” her with a bouquet of flowers
* An interview with the cast and creators of Will & Grace
* A pre-taped segment in which Kelly rode a tandem bicycle around Times Square with Al Roker
* A toast with the rest of the Today cast: Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Jenna Bush Hager, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Dylan Dreyer, Craig Melvin, Sheinelle Jones and Charlie the dog. (Roker was absent because he’d left for jury duty.)
* A pre-taped segment with a Chicago nun working to improve her neighborhood. Kelly called the piece “a story that will make you say, ‘Yes! There is goodness in the world.'” (Unfortunately, the timing in the live segment at the end got botched and the story’s big finish — the nun got a big check and a giant hardware store gift card to help with her work — was interrupted by a commercial break.)
What did you think of Kelly’s Today debut? Grade it via the poll below, then head to the comments to offer more of your thoughts!