From dressing up as Peter Pan to covering the Olympics, we revisit the top moments in Katie’s career.
Katie has been lighting up our TV screens for more than twenty years. As we look forward to the premiere of Katie this fall, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of Katie’s most memorable moments so far. From her days hosting network news to her cameo appearances in TV shows and movies, these are the events that have shaped Katie’s life and career.
George H. W. Bush Interview, October 1992
Katie’s impromptu nineteen minute interview with President George H. W. Bush in 1992 garnered her instant attention early in her career. Because she was at the White House only to interview First Lady Barbara Bush, she had not prepared any questions for the president. But when he showed up unexpectedly, she proceeded to question him on a variety of topics, including the Iran-Contra affair and the presidential race. It’s not every day you get an unexpected interview with the president and Katie did not let the opportunity go to waste!
Sully Sullenberger Interview, February 2009
Katie was the first journalist to interview pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger in February of 2009, just two weeks after he heroically landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. The exclusive interview aired on 60 Minutes.
Columbine High School Shooting Interview, April 1999
Two days after the Columbine High School shooting, Katie talked to Craig Scott, a 16-year-old survivor who lost his sister, and Michael Shoels, the father of slain Isaiah Shoels. The interview was so moving and powerful that her executive producer, Jeff Zucker, told Katie to ignore the commercial break, a rare occurrence in live TV.
Sarah Palin Interviews, September 2008
Katie’s series of interviews with Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin received the Alfred I. du Pont–Columbia University Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Journalism Excellence.
Katie hosted the Olympic Games six times while at NBC. From 1992 to 2006, she hosted the Games live from Toronto, Athens, Salt Lake City, Sydney, Atlanta and Barcelona.
Dressing up as Peter Pan, October 1999
In one of TODAY‘s most memorable Halloween celebrations, Katie dressed up as Peter Pan, making her entrance by flying over the crowd at Rockefeller Plaza. In her less than graceful flight, she accidentally kicked one viewer in the head with her slipper.
Hosting Jay Leno, May 2003
Katie charmed a late night audience with her quick wit when she traded places with Jay Leno and hosted The Tonight Show. It was the first time since 1992 that anyone other than Leno hosted, and the show’s viewership practically doubled for Katie’s late night debut.
On-Air Colonoscopy, March 2000
Just one month after losing her husband Jay to colon cancer in 1998, Katie returned to TODAY with heartfelt thank yous to her fans and a new mission to promote awareness about the disease. Her on-air colonoscopy in 2000 led to a 20% jump in the nationwide screenings rate, a phenomenon which researchers at the University of Michigan dubbed “The Katie Couric Effect.” Katie refers to it as “The Jay Monahan Effect.”
9/11 Coverage, September 2001
Katie covered the September 11th attacks as they unfolded, live, from the anchor chair on the TODAY show and a few days later from the wreckage at Ground Zero. Although she was extremely worried about her parents who lived just minutes from the Pentagon, she maintained her composure as she delivered news of the tragedy to the country. Katie considers this one of the most important days of her career.
In 2002, Katie finally took to the silver screen as a prison guard in Austin Powers in Goldmember. But the electrifying performance was not her last. Katie returned to Hollywood as Katie Current in Shark Tale and most recently with a cameo on FOX’s Glee.