You ever have a first week of work where seemingly everything went wrong? Well, now you have something in common with Megyn Kelly.
The former Fox News anchor, who bolted to NBC News back in January for a reported $17 million, made her debut on the venerable Today show on Monday, hosting an all-new hour titled Megyn Kelly Today. But after the numerous stumbles Kelly suffered during her premiere week, NBC might want to considering retitling it Megyn Kelly: Is Today Over Yet?
Some of those gaffes were Kelly’s fault, and some were out of her control entirely. But they all added up to a colossally disappointing first week for NBC’s shiny new hire. (To be fair, the ratings were decent — nearly 3 million viewers tuned in to see Kelly’s Monday debut — but she’s still trailing her main rival, ABC’s Live With Kelly and Ryan, in the key daytime demo.)
Let’s take a quick look back at Kelly’s week from hell, with five awkward Today moments that went viral for all the wrong reasons:
1. Calls homosexuality “the gay thing” during a Will & Grace interview, annoys Debra Messing
Part of Kelly’s new job is promoting NBC shows, so of course she welcomed the reunited cast of Will & Grace to her show this week. But she seemed less than comfortable with “the gay thing” when bringing out superfan Russell Turner to meet the cast — and we say that because she (puzzlingly) told Turner she really thinks “the gay thing is gonna work out great” for him. (She also asked Turner if he “became gay” because of Will — which was supposed to be a joke, we think?) Debra Messing later went on Instagram and said she regretted going on and was “dismayed” by Kelly’s comments. And this was only Monday! We’re off to a great start!
2. Asks Jane Fonda about plastic surgery, gets the death stare
Not content with alienating the LGBT community with her comments on Monday, Kelly proceeded to alienate a Hollywood legend on Wednesday, ruining an interview with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda by asking Fonda about her plastic surgery. It’s actually pretty great TV: As soon as she brings it up, Fonda’s eyes flash with rage — giving birth to a billion Twitter GIFs — and the terrifying death stare she affixes on Kelly makes the outmatched host stumble over her words. Fonda’s dumbfounded response: “We really want to talk about that now?”
3. Gets way too excited talking about murder
Tone is always a tricky thing in daytime, and Kelly hasn’t really mastered the art of the graceful segue just yet. The proof: This Daily Show compilation of clips from Kelly’s first week, where she has to transition from jovial breakfast-time banter to hard-hitting stories about murder… and yeah, she’s finding out that it’s a lot harder than it looks.
4. Camera guy wanders into the shot, mutters an on-air obscenity
This is less an example of Kelly’s futility and more a sign that this week was just flat-out cursed. During Kelly’s otherwise unremarkable interview with soccer star Carli Lloyd on Thursday, one of her cameramen blocks the shot and — even worse — says “S–t” on camera, for all of daytime to hear.
5. Blames her first-week woes on “the media” (of course)
So how did Kelly wrap up her garbage fire of a first week? By making a snide remark about “the media response” to her debut — you mean the media posting video of what you said and did, Megyn? — and thanking her viewers for their continued support. Well… it can’t get any worse, right?
Grade Megyn Kelly’s Today show premiere week via the following poll, then hit the comments to flesh out your thoughts.