Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel circa 1994: ‘What is internet, anyway?’

Laura Donovan Contributor
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If the concept of the Internet was too much for “Today Show” hosts Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel to handle in the early nineties, does that mean they’re at least mildly perplexed by today’s iPad?

During a 1994 episode of the “Today Show,” Gumbel and Couric expressed confusion over the mysterious Internet, which, at the time, was just edging its way into common usage.

“What is internet, anyway?” Gumbel asked. “What do you write to it, like mail?”

“A lot of people use it, I guess they can communicate with NBC, writers and producers. Allison, can you explain what internet is?” Couric asks aloud.

“That little mark, with the ‘a’ and then the ring around it?” Gumbel said of the @ symbol.

The @ symbol, or rather, “the little mark,” indicates “at,” Gumbel said, adding that co-host Couric wasn’t as quick to understand the meaning as he was.

“Katie said she thought it was ‘about’…But I’ve never heard it said…and then it sounded stupid when I said it,” Gumbel said.

“You don’t need a phone line to operate the internet?” Couric asks.

Watch Gumbel and Couric express confusion about the internet here