Megyn Kelly kicked off her heavily promoted NBC morning show on Monday with a bit of synergy for network peer Will & Grace — and an awkward joke that left some online scratching their heads.
During a segment with the cast of Will & Grace — including stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally — Kelly invited a superfan of the groundbreaking comedy named Russel Turner to meet his television idols. “Is it true that you became a lawyer — and you became gay — because of Will?” Kelly asked in a joking manner. Turner responded in good humor: “I look at Will Truman, I’m like, ‘He has it made’: lawyer, best apartment in New York City, and gay?” he quipped. “Come on, trifecta.”
Kelly then revealed her show was awarding Turner two free tickets to a live Will & Grace taping in Los Angeles, an announcement which left the fan and the audience giddy with excitement. Said Kelly as the crowd applauded: “I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing is going to work out great!”
Online, many pointed out that the segment created an incredibly awkward bit of television.
Kelly’s segment with Will & Grace also touched on the cultural impact the NBC sitcom had when it premiered, and the host cited former Vice President Joe Biden who said: “no other show had as much effect, as calling people’s attention to gay rights.”
“It was surprising and incredibly gratifying,” co-creator David Kohan said in response. “We never set out — there was nothing — we were not an ideological thing. We were not set out to posit ideas into the zeitgeist. We were trying to do a show with four characters and trying to be funny. It was very satisfying. It gave a sense of something else was accomplished here.”
Megyn Kelly Today airs in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour of NBC’s Today. To kick the series off, the host attempted a joke to indicate a change in direction. “We will be dissecting the latest tweet from President Trump,” she told her audience before knowingly backtracking: “Oh no, we will not do that. We will not be doing that. The truth is, I am kind of done with politics for now.”