fought with Today
show execs over booking Darva Conger
as a guest. The Mr. Nice Guy of morning TV admitted that when he learned the bride of Fox's now-infamous PR nightmare, Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire
, wanted to extend her 15 minutes of fame on the popular morning show, he wanted to divorce himself from the proceedings.
"I've now done three interviews with Ms. Conger and I'll be candid with you," Lauer told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. "I've been with the Today show now six years, and in that time I've had one disagreement with our executive producer [Jeff Zucker] that resulted in words being exchanged. And that was the day ? the second interview."
Lauer added that he initially gave the golden-locked opportunist the benefit of the doubt. "I kind of thought after the first interview you know, maybe she made a mistake," he said. "Maybe she just took on this show and didn't realize the consequences of it."
But when Lauer spotted the "reluctant" celebrity trying to weasel her way into Vanity Fair's post-Oscar soiree, his open mind practically slammed shut. "And so we did interview her again," Lauer recalled, "and I said to her in the hallway afterward, 'Now you're not coming back, right?' And she goes, 'No, I'm going home.' "
Sure enough, the ol' ball and chain recently found her way back to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to discuss her Playboy pictorial, and after the interview Lauer couldn't help but toss the ex-bride a zinger. He asked her, "You're not coming back now, are you?" Conger replied, only if she did "something amazing." "Well, then," Lauer responded, "it's been really good knowing you."