‘God’s gift to music’ jumps ‘Today’ show barricade during live broadcast

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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You never know what will happen on live television, but the cast of NBC’s “Today” show learned one possibility on Tuesday morning.

During a live shot from Rockefeller Plaza, “Today” co-hosts Meredith Vieira, Al Roker and Willie Geist had the beginning of their 8 a.m. hour interrupted by a member of the crowd. Vieira and Roker relived the incident moments later during their broadcast. (h/t Three Fingers of Politics)

“Well we’re certainly awake now,” Vieira said. “There’s a gentlemen behind me — behind the barrier there and as we started to talk he just suddenly said — Al you caught the words.”

“He said, ‘I’m God’s gift to music,’ or ‘I got God’s gift to music,’” Roker said.

“Then he hurled himself over the barricade,” Vieira added.


Geist explained he was unaware of what was going on.

“He was directly behind me,” Geist said. “I didn’t see what he was doing. I thought it was some guy screaming until you jumped forward.”

Vieira credited security and the New York Police Department for keeping the situation under control.

“We’re lucky that we have great security here that’s on hand every day,” Vieira said. “And the New York Police Department, so they were able to get him down on the ground very quickly and hopefully everything is fine now.”

“Today” news anchor Ann Curry later tweeted about the incident:

Drama @todayshow: man suddenly jumped over the plaza guard rail, speaking incoherantly. All ok. Weirded out, but ok.

According to the New York Post, a 33-year-old man from Brooklyn was arrested in the incident.