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Couric and Gumbel revisit famous TODAY moment, struggle with new technology in BMW's Super Bowl ad

Former TODAY anchors Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel team up one more time in BMW's Super Bowl ad, and once again they're having trouble understanding fancy new technology.

The ad starts with a famous 1994 clip from TODAY where the two are faced with the task of trying to tell their viewers how to send an email to NBC. The anchors are confused by the format of the email address and try to puzzle out the meaning of the "at" symbol. 

"Katie said she thought it was about," says Gumbel in the classic TODAY moment.

"Or around," says Couric.

"I've never heard it said, I've only seen the mark," continues Gumbel. "What is 'Internet' anyway, do you write to it like mail?"

"Allison," Couric asks her producer and begins listening to her earpiece, "can you explain what 'Internet' is?" 

Cut to present day. The two are seated in BMW's new all-electric car built in a carbon neutral wind-powered factory. As before, they're a bit befuddled by the gizmo.

"And it's built using wind, like from a wind mill?" asks Gumbel.

"Or a fan? Or a turbine? Or a fan...bine?" says Couric.

"What is i3 anyway?" asks Gumbel.

"Allison," Couric says into a cellphone, "can you explain what i3 is?"

Looks like some things never change!

Couric told TODAY that it was fun to revisit this old clip that had become a piece of viral Internet lore. 

"It was the object of ridicule all over the Internet, and I thought it was funny," said Couric. But while it was certainly worthy of mockery, it also captured a period. It was not so long ago when email and the Internet were novel, and not something that was in everyone's pockets.

"There's people who look back and say that in hindsight, there was this transitional technology," said Couric. "It was really so new back then and then we see how it evolved."

Couric said the segment itself didn't stand out much, except for two key details.

"It was during a co-op, for the stations that don't show local news (at :26 and :56 past the hour). I vaguely remember the segment," she said, "but I do remember the sweater and that hair."

Email ben.popken@nbcuni.com or tweet @bpopken.

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