Brian Williams: I grew up on SpaghettiOs and Spam

March 4, 2013 at 4:41 PM ET

NBC News, SpaghettiOs / Facebook /
Brian Williams revealed that he used to eat SpaghettiOs and Spam as a child.

Brian Williams has been all over the world and interviewed countless icons in his career as a reporter, but when he sat down with WNYC's “Here’s the Thing” with Alec Baldwin this week to talk about his life, the most surprising anecdote he shared turned out to be about his childhood meals.

The Nightly News anchor, who spoke candidly about his experiences covering national disasters, interviewing President Bill Clinton late night on Air Force One and what it was like for Tom Brokaw to pass him the evening news torch, also described what he ate as a child during his middle-class upbringing.

“I did not know vegetables came fresh,” Williams told Baldwin. “I thought they were frozen bricks in the field. Salad was one-eighth of a head of iceberg lettuce sliced with a steak knife with a spoonful dollop of mayonnaise on the top.”

He says his mom, like so many mothers across the country, creatively improvised with canned products.

“My mother’s goulash was one can SpaghettiOs and a quarter-pound ground beef,” he continued. “We had Spam. We had what everybody else had.”

Williams isn't the only one to reveal a soft spot for Spam. Late last year on NPR's “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me," host Peter Sagal challenged Martha Stewart to make a classy version of Spam. The expert entertainer didn’t hesitate.

“I would fry it in butter,” Stewart challenged back. “I would eat it with Dijon mustard on nice country white bread, crusty bread. It is delicious.”

And Spam confessionals aren’t reserved for public radio. Our own Savannah Guthrie recently defended the faux meat, admitting that she tried Spam sushi in Hawaii. “It’s delicious,” she argued.

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