Serial hugging, even between people who barely know each other and possibly don’t even like each other, is a time-honored convention of daytime television.
The premiere of Megyn Kelly Today—NBC’s high-dollar bet that the former Fox News star will arouse feelings of love and devotion among a largely female morning-show viewership that isn’t watching the top-rated Live with Kelly and Ryan on ABC—was a veritable orgy of cuddling, squeezing, clinching and grasping as the 46-year-old Kelly determinedly demonstrated how adorably endearing (and, yes, affectingly vulnerable) she can be.
“I’m so excited—so excited! I’m also a little nervous, so please bear with me,” Kelly confided to the delightedly squealing crowd after she strutted into camera-range for extended introductory remarks (see below) before her dogged hugfest.
First Kelly hugged her husband Douglas Brunt, who’d walked tentatively through the live studio audience to present the mother of their three kids with a bouquet of two dozen roses (allegedly a surprise!) and congratulate her on her new $17 million gig.
Then Kelly threw her arms around each of the four stars of Will & Grace, who waited patiently for their hugs, like children in line for Santa, before doing three segments of NBC cross promotion for their freshly revived sitcom.
Were the regular folks in the expensively constructed studio—boasting an industrial-strength kitchen looming behind the wicker coffee table brimming with books and an unlit scented candle-- really that shriekingly ecstatic when Kelly announced the old news that Will & Grace, after an 11 year absence, has been already renewed for a second season? Or did electric prods in their seats cause them to scream so loudly? (By the way, note to control room: perhaps next time there could be fewer shots of the orange-jacketed gentleman wind-milling his arms in a desperate attempt to rev up the crowd.)
Then Kelly hugged a Will & Grace superfan named Russell Turner (apparently a gay attorney, just like Will Truman) who—another surprise!—will be flying with a friend to Los Angeles on United Airlines (presumably without being dragged from the plane) in order attend a live taping of his favorite situation comedy.
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