10:58am PT by Hilary Lewis
Watch Meredith Vieira in a Deer Costume Surprise Matt Lauer on His Red Nose Day Bike Ride
On Monday, Matt Lauer continued his 225-mile Red Nose Day bike ride as part of the first U.S. Red Nose Day charity broadcast, set to air on NBC Thursday night.
The Today co-anchor, who is biking from Boston to New York City to raise awareness and funding for programs that help impoverished young people, has received support from passers-by as he documents his journey on the NBC morning show. But he got a surprise from a former colleague during a stretch of Monday's ride in Exeter, Rhode Island.
As he checked with his Today colleagues back in New York via video, Lauer began talking about that day's ride when he noticed something off the side of the road.
It was his former Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, dressed in a deer costume and driving a golf cart. As she pulled onto the road next to him, Vieira started shouting about 2009.
"Remember me?" she asked. "You tried to run me over on Long Island?"
In 2009, Lauer was riding his bike over the weekend on Long Island when a deer leapt in front of him. He slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting the animal and was thrown off the bike and onto his shoulder, which later required surgery. The then-co-anchors joked about the run-in at the time, with Lauer saying in an email that he thought "the deer was hired by the competition."
In response, Vieira told substitute co-anchor Lester Holt, "I’d hire the deer — but just to graze him."
On Monday, Lauer alluded to the 2009 incident by saying of Vieira's deer, "This one was particularly annoying."
He then stopped for a bit to give her a hug and kiss, saying "How are you, my dear?"
Later Lauer joked, "Finally you get to use that deer outfit again, right?"
Vieira quipped, "Remember that last time, huh?"
Lauer told Vieira that he biked 47 miles yesterday, the first day of what Today is dubbing his "Tour de Red Nose," and had traveled 24 miles on Monday by the time he saw her.
He's set to finish his bike ride in New York's Rockefeller Plaza on Thursday.
Watch Lauer's run-in with Meredith Vieira as a deer in the video below.