Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie are all smiles as they turn to face the Today show cameras at Faneuil Hall. (Photos by Regina Mogilevskaya)
While most of Boston slept (or repeatedly hit snooze on their alarms), hundreds of excited fans lined up outside Faneuil Hall this morning to catch a live taping of the Today show. Many of them were enthusiastic college students who took their place at the barricades as early as 5 a.m., coffee in one hand and homemade signs in the other.
Despite the chill, hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie were warmly (and raucously) welcomed as they took a break from Rockefeller Plaza and reported live from Boston. Throughout the morning, they were joined by popular Boston faces like Mindy Kaling, the Dropkick Murphys, Dennis Lehane, the Celtics dancers, and Mayor Menino, who officially declared February 15, 2013, as “Today Show Day” in Boston. Oh, Menino.
Colorful signs welcome the cast and crew of the Today show to Boston.
With Boston being a long-awaited pit stop on the show’s Friday Field Trip series, today’s episode covered all local colors of our fair city, stretching from Southie to Fenway. In one segment, not only did Matt and Savannah dissect the origins of the Boston accent, but they even competed against one another to see who had it down better.
Though consciously wading in dangerous territory, the hosts interviewed Bob Ryan, a columnist for The Globe, about the diehard sports fan culture in Boston. “When a Yankee fan walks into the cathedral, do biohazard alarms go off?” Matt joked about Fenway, which he and Savannah had paid a visit to the night before.
Savannah and Matt talk sports politics with Bob Ryan.
Today’s special guest was Mindy Kaling, a Cambridge native best known for her role as Kelly Kapoor in “The Office” and her show “The Mindy Project” on FOX, which she develops, writes, and stars in.
“It’s so cold out and these guys have been here since 5 a.m,” Kaling said. “Are they drunk? They’re so into it. That, to me, is Boston. It’s do or die. It’s so cold here you have to be a toughie.”
After the interview, Kaling kicked off her purple pumps and changed into a pair of warm boots, making her way across the crowd to greet fans and pause for pictures.
“What am I most excited about being in Boston? Savannah’s outfit, hometown accents, and my family and friends in Weston,” Kaling said.
Mindy talks to Savannah about Boston.
Mindy Kaling waves to a group of fans.
To complete the morning, Matt and Savannah (and a dedicated horde of audience members) retreated into the warmth of the Faneuil Hall rotunda, where they chatted with Menino and took in a performance by the Dropkick Murphys, who performed “Rose Tattoo.” After an eventful couple of hours, the Today show cast and crew bid adieu.
Mayor Menino patiently awaits his interview with the Today show hosts in Faneuil Hall.
Savannah talks to Mayor Menino.
Matt Lauer takes a photo with a fan (whose sign reads “Keep Calm and Al Roker On”).
Dropkick Murphys lead singer Ken Casey serenades excited fans.
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