Katie Couric unearths cringe-worthy 1991 footage of Bryant Gumbel talking maternity leave: ‘Why so long?’

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Katie Couric’s “Wake-Up Call” newsletter reminded readers how times have changed over the past 28 years.


Katie Couric unearthed a decades-old video of her former “Today” co-host Bryant Gumbel making cringe-worthy comments about her upcoming maternity leave.

Couric reached into the archives to help promote an op-ed in her “Wake-Up Call” newsletter about mandatory paternity leave. The footage, first spotted by Mediaite, features several comments made by Gumbel that wouldn’t fly in 2019.

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Luckily for Gumbel, the awkward segment occurred back in 1991.

The co-hosts appear to be simply having fun, but the footage is a reminder of how times have changed. A pregnant Couric told viewers that she would be away for the NBC morning show for several weeks because of maternity leave, but Gumbel didn’t seem to support the decision.

“Why so long?” Gumbel asked, joking about “the good old days” when women didn’t miss work after giving birth.

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“Get my vittles on the table, get them vittles out there,” he joked.

Couric and Gumbel were clearly goofing around at the time, although the conversation would be presumably frowned upon in the current politically correct landscape.

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“I’m not due for three weeks, so I’m going to relax for three weeks, as much as you can relax when you’re carrying around 30 extra pounds,” she said. “Then, hopefully, I’ll have the baby and everything… it’s a major shock to your body, I hope you realize when you have a baby and it takes a while to get back to normal.”

Gumbel, who appeared completely dumbfounded, responded that Couric’s ancestors “didn’t worry about that shock to your body” that comes with childbirth.

“They came right back to work,” he said.

Gumbel then scolded Couric for missing a day of work earlier in her pregnancy and criticized her choice of movie rentals. The co-hosts were also somewhat touchy with each other, another indication that the segment is from 28 years ago.

Couric has promised to continue digging up old footage and publishing it in her “Wake-Up Call” newsletter on occasion.



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