December 30, 2013 7:34am PT by Hilary Lewis
'Today' Reunion: Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel Look Back, Cook on Monday's Show (Video)
Former Today anchors Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel returned to their former morning show Monday, joining Matt Lauer as co-hosts.
"I feel like I should have come to work in a Delorean today," Lauer said of his blast from the past on Monday's show. The two former anchors, who hosted Today together from 1982 to 1989, filled in for Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie, who were off Monday. Al Roker was reporting from the site of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.
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From 7-9 a.m., Pauley, Gumbel and Lauer read the news, engaged in morning-show banter, watched clips of old segments, reminisced and answered questions from viewers, including whether Gumbel still hates cheese. The answer? A definitive yes.
"I'd rather eat a pound of dirt," Gumbel said.
He did share some of his favorite foods, hosting a cooking segment shortly before 9 a.m. in which he showed viewers how to make a variation on a Cuban salad, poached salmon and a simple penne pasta dish, his go-to dinner.
As for what it was like returning to his old stomping ground, Gumbel said, "Getting up was a little difficult, and the studio has changed enormously."
Pauley added, "But once you're here, you're here."
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Monday was also Lauer's birthday, and Pauley used the occasion to introduce, for the first time on Today, her twin children, Ross and Rickie, who were also celebrating their 30th birthday.
Gumbel gave Lauer a 1987 bottle of port from the show's trip to Australia that year, emblazoned with his and Pauley's names
Pauley and Gumbel weren't the only familiar faces on Monday's show: Willard Scott taped a message for his former colleagues and Meredith Vieira called in. Gumbel then gave a shout-out to former Today movie critic Gene Shalit, who Gumbel says he corresponds with "every once in a while, and he's doing well."
Among the old clips shown were a karaoke segment from 1984 in which Gumbel and Pauley sang, and one from the '80s in which they discussed their New Year's resolutions.
Watch a couple of clips from this morning's show below.