Kelly made her morning show debut on Monday, and her Today show family was by her side in a show of support
On Monday, Kelly — who previously hosted The Kelly File on Fox News before leaving the network in January — debuted Megyn Kelly Today, officially taking over the morning show’s third hour, which was previously hosted by Tamron Hall and Al Roker. The unexpected shakeup in the morning show’s lineup prompted Hall, 47, to leave the network in February.
Roker, 63, who’s been Today‘s weather and feature anchor since January 1996, has continued his regular morning duties at NBC — and even made a special appearance on Kelly’s debut show.
“As you know, I’m the new kid here on The Rock, and my new family at Today had some advice and some revelations that they wanted to share with me,” Kelly, 46, told her studio audience Monday. “Did you know Al Roker really rides his bike to work every single day?”
The show then cut to a segment of Roker pulling up to pick up Kelly on a tandem bike at 4:15 a.m. Kelly popped on a helmet, hopped on the bike, and the two cycled through Times Square together.
“I still love coming to this building — there’s nothing like it in the world,” said Roker as they pulled up to Rockefeller Center, where Hoda Kotb was waiting for Kelly with open arms.
Kotb, 53, led Kelly to hair and makeup, where Kotb’s co-anchor Kathie Lee Gifford imparted some words of wisdom on the NBC newbie.
The key to being successful in morning television is “being authentic,” said Gifford, 64. “People aren’t sitting at home wanting to see perfect people. They see them later on the soap operas.”
“I wish you such success, honey,” she said as the two hugged. “Mostly, I wish you joy. You can do this!”
Morning television is “different, but I think it’s different in a really nice way,” said Lauer, 59. “It’s a little bit more like you’re part of the family. I think that’s going to be great, because you’re going to be perfect at that.”
Next, Kelly stopped by the Top of The Rock with Savannah Guthrie.
“I think a lot of people are really inspired by you,” said Guthrie, 45. “I think they’re going to be really excited to get to know this other side of you that we know.”
“I am so grateful to all of them — everyone here at NBC has given me the warmest, most beautiful welcome since I got here,” Kelly told her audience as the segment wrapped — but ‘lo and behold, the entire cast of the Today show showed up to surprise her on stage with a tray of mimosas.
“Before we propose a toast, you’ll notice somebody’s missing,” Lauer said. “Al Roker had jury duty, but he left you a message.”
“Megyn, I’d love to be there, but I’ve got jury duty,” said Roker via video message. “The jury has already voted, the verdict is in, you’re a hit!”
“May we propose a toast?” Lauer said. “Here’s to the newest addition to our family. Here’s to many happy mornings, here’s to Megyn Kelly Today.”
Earlier this month, Kelly told PEOPLE she’s been “having so much fun [at NBC] it’s almost not right.”
“I’ve been having a great time,” she said. “Just today in the audience, there were two people up front who were die-hard Fox viewers and remain die-hard Fox viewers and used to watch me every night on The Kelly File. They were so sweet. They said: ‘Oh we miss you, we miss you.’ The woman held my arm and said,’‘You seem so happy,’ and I am. She saw it and I feel it and it’s just been rewarding.”
Megyn Kelly Today airs weekdays on NBC (check local listings).