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'Today' draws fans, aloha in Waikiki

By Mike Gordon

LAST UPDATED: 12:33 p.m. HST, May 20, 2013

Photo Gallery: Today Show shoots in Waikiki

NBC's "Today" show brought its three-ring circus to Waikiki Beach in a broadcast that started at 1 a.m. so it could be seen live in its regular time slot on the East Coast.

More than 250 people were on hand when the show started, standing in the sand at the water's edge outside the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. They held colorful signs and took photos with their smartphones. Waikiki resident Paul Simon wore a rubberized horse head and held a sign that read "Hi mom."

The 38-year-old Simon didn't have an answer for the obvious question of why. "Because," he said. "I don't know. Why not?"

That wasn't the case for Melissa Kim, a 28-year-old event planner from Kailua. She arrived at 10:30 p.m. so she could get a prime spot along a plastic barrier the separated the crowd from "Today" hosts Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist.

"I have the biggest crush on Matt Lauer," Kim said. "Don't tell my husband. Today's our wedding anniversary. He's at home with our son."

The broadcast was the first of a five-stop, cross-country tour that NBC calls "Today's Great American Adventure." The show's anchors finished today's show at 4 a.m. and cleared the hotel by 6 a.m. in order to catch a flight to Bozeman, Montana and Tuesday's broadcast from Yellowstone National Park. After that they travel to Chicago, Orlando, Fla., and the Jersey Shore in New Jersey.

The show was a sometimes raucous event that included Tahitian dancing from Tihati Productions, complete with drums, Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele, luau food, North Shore wave photographer Clark Little, poi pounding and a visit by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

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serious wrote:
Good publicity. Should have done it in the midst of winter on the mainland. The first item was the high cost of living here in Paradise. They should have mentioned the Jones Act and the one party system that supports it.
on May 20,2013 | 10:05AM
allie wrote:
true but it is not a worthy or serious news show
on May 20,2013 | 01:04PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Monkeys clamoring and climbing over each other in Hawaii, trying to get 3 seconds of fame. More like fright. Get a grip people, it's only Television. Besides, you set the record for camera mugging every weekend in the "pitiful" Friday Pulse section. Sheesh!!!
on May 20,2013 | 10:18AM
1R1E wrote:
arent you just a ray of sunshine, y u mad?
on May 20,2013 | 10:47AM
IAmSane wrote:
P.S. GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!!!!111111
on May 20,2013 | 11:06AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
on May 20,2013 | 12:57PM
allie wrote:
yup..kinda silly
on May 20,2013 | 01:05PM
bookworm808hawaii wrote:
Why complain about someone else having a good time. It's all fun!
on May 20,2013 | 11:11AM
Hawaiians wrote:
hilarious what people Peep too.
on May 20,2013 | 12:55PM
iwanaknow wrote:
I watched the replay this morning getting dressed to go to work.............all good fun ya?
on May 20,2013 | 11:44AM
Aquarius1 wrote:
Matt Lauer needs all the help he can get.
on May 20,2013 | 12:11PM
Wazdat wrote:
Nice. Hawaii is still da spot for paradise in the USA
on May 20,2013 | 01:03PM
allie wrote:
sort of an eroding, corroding paradise
on May 20,2013 | 01:05PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
Why am I not surprised by your comment, Al-Lie?
on May 20,2013 | 01:18PM
hanalei395 wrote:
You should be surprised she's still here.
on May 20,2013 | 02:48PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Typical annoying clueless television stars...showing of "Hah-why-yee" to the U.S. Along with "You-kah-lay-lee" and calling ti leaf hula skirts "grass skirts". And the leaves weren't even shredded. They saw the ti leaves up close, and still called it "grass skirts".
on May 20,2013 | 02:35PM
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