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Video: Tom Cruise roasts Matt Lauer

TODAY staff and wire
updated 10/27/2008 8:36:32 AM ET 2008-10-27T12:36:32

Tom Cruise took some shots at Matt Lauer on Friday — this time for fun. But Lauer got in the last word.

The actor was a surprise guest at a Friars’ Club roast of the TODAY host. He joined Martha Stewart, Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira to sling insults, proving some of TV's sunniest personalities could work blue.

Cruise said Lauer was the man "we wake up to every morning — only because we had the channel on NBC before we fell asleep."

Cruise and Lauer famously locked horns during a 2005 TODAY interview during which Cruise called the anchor "glib." At the roast, Cruise joked that Lauer had given him some advice before his now-famous couch-jumping interview with Winfrey: "Go crazy. Trust me. Trust me. People will love you for it."

The actor also recounted a golf outing Lauer had with O.J. Simpson. "Matt said to O.J., ‘If people have your memorabilia, go back and get the (stuff) back. People will love you for it.' "

Cruise later dragged NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker into the joke, saying that Lauer told Zucker, "Jay Leno’s contract is up. Why don’t you let him go while everyone still thinks he’s funny? People will love you for it."

The Scoop's Courtney Hazlett reported that according to a Friars’ Club source, Cruise wrote his own material and that he did not refer to his notes during his delivery.

TODAY
Couric, Lauer's former TODAY co-host, suggested Cruise was threatened by Lauer. "He wants to be the only heterosexual man in the room who everyone thinks is gay," she said.
Couric, Lauer's former TODAY co-host, suggested Cruise was threatened by Lauer. "He wants to be the only heterosexual man in the room who everyone thinks is gay," she said.

Zucker, former executive producer at TODAY revealed the origin of Lauer's popular travelogue feature, "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?"

"We got that idea when I got a call from his wife one morning at 3 a.m.," he said.

His colleagues and comedians like Richard Belzer roasted Lauer for being a germophobe and having a clothes budget rivaling GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s.

Matt Lauer Friars Club Roast
Evan Agostini  /  AP
Lauer's colleagues and comedians roasted him for being a germophobe and having a clothes budget rivaling Sarah Palin.
"I always say, a lot of the outfits you see him wear on the TODAY show, they also make for men," Williams, the Nightly News anchor, said.

The celebrity-filled dais at New York's Hilton Hotel included Aretha Franklin and Donald Trump.

Apparently Cruise didn't have time to spare, since he made for the exit shortly after his speech. That led Lauer to call after him.

"Tom, can you stay?" Lauer said. "I'll get a booster seat."

Al Roker, the master of ceremonies for the surprise roast, quickly responded that Cruise couldn’t stay because his spaceship was waiting outside.

-- The Associated Press and msnbc.com's Courtney Hazlett contributed to this report

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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