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Carson Daly's most memorable moments, from Mariah to McCartney

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    The Band Perry Performs On NBC's "Today"

    From 'TRL' to TODAY: Carson Daly through the years

    In honor of Carson Daly joining TODAY as host of the new Orange Room digital space, we take a look back at his life and television career.

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    From 'TRL' to TODAY: Carson Daly through the years

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    Carson Daly joins TODAY -

    In honor of Carson Daly officially joining the TODAY team on Monday, Sept. 16, we take a look back at the host's life and television career.

    Since March, Daly has been a frequent face on TODAY, guest hosting for Willie Geist in the third hour and filling in for Kathie Lee Gifford on the fourth hour. Here, he joins Savannah Guthrie on Aug. 2.

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    In the kitchen -

    While lending his talents to TODAY, Daly donned an apron to cook simple summer salads with Giada de Laurentiis and Natalie Morales in a segment on July 30.

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    'The Voice' -

    Daly joined NBC's "The Voice" in 2011 as a producer and host. Here, he stands next to "Voice" coach Cee Lo Green and contestant Juliet Simms.

    "The live shows on the Voice — those were a highlight for me, I love live TV," Daly told TODAY.com.

    Tyler Golden/NBC / Tyler Golden/NBC
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    Award winner -

    Daly shows off an award "The Voice" won for Best Reality Series - Competition at the Critics' Choice Television Awards on June 10 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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    Carson Daly poses with "Voice" coaches Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine before the second season of the reality competition.

    Art Streiber/NBC / Art Streiber/NBC
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    Family man -

    Carson Daly arrives at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards with his girlfriend Siri Pinter on Sept. 23, 2012, in Los Angeles. The couple has two children together, Jackson James and Etta Jones.

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    'Last Call with Carson' -

    Carson Daly interviews "Heroes" actor Masi Oka on his show, "Last Call with Carson Daly," on March 20, 2009. Daly has hosted the late-night program for 12 seasons straight, since 2002.

    NBC via Getty Images / NBC via Getty Images
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    Proud papa -

    On "Last Call," Carson Daly interviews TV personalities Jack and Kelly Osbourne on March 27, 2009.

    "I’m really proud that 'Last Call' has been on for over a decade — we had thousands of diverse guests – it was great practice for TODAY," Daly told TODAY.com.

    NBC via Getty Images / NBC via Getty Images
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    New Year's Eve -

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Carson Daly celebrate the start of 2009 at "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" in Times Square on December 31, 2008.

    Daly has rung in the new year with millions of people across the country since he started hosting the special in 2003.

    "All the New Year’s Eve specials in NYC have been bright spots for me, they are a lot of fun," Daly told TODAY.com.

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    End of an era -

    After ten years on-air, "Total Request Live" came to an end on Nov. 16, 2008. During the three-hour "Total Finale Live" show, Daly talked to singers Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez.

    When asked about his time on "TRL," he told TODAY.com, “There were a lot of highs and lows to that. I’m proud of what we did in New York there after 9/11 – I was part of the team that went back to work right away. We were one of first productions that went back on air, and we had to really think about what to tell the kids watching 'TRL.'"

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    Musical guest Soulja Boy rehearses for "Last Call With Carson Daly" on Nov. 29, 2007.

    Daly's show was the first late-night talk show to resume production during the Writers Guild of America strike, which started on Nov. 5, 2007, and came to an end on Feb. 12, 2008.

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    Mother and son -

    Carson Daly and his mother, Pattie Daly Caruso, arrive for the Breast Cancer Heroes Luncheon hosted by Lifetime Television on Sept. 27, 2004 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.

    Daly's mom is a breast cancer survivor who was honored at the luncheon. Her fight with cancer inspired Daly to become a breast cancer activist.

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  • Hilarie Burton, Angelina Jolie, Carson Daly

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    Sitting with celebrities -

    Daly talks with host Hilarie Burton and actress Angelina Jolie during MTV's "TRL" at the MTV Times Square Studios on July 14, 2003 in New York City.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    Hangin' with Madonna -

    Carson Daly chats with Madonna in 2003.

    "My time with Madonna through the years were some of my favorite moments," he told TODAY.com.

    WireImage / WireImage
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    From 'TRL' to TODAY: Carson Daly through the years

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    'Spring Break' -

    Daly poses with rapper 50 Cent during MTV’s 2003 “MTV Invades Miami” as a part of the network's annual “Spring Break” series.

    WireImage / WireImage
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    Carson and Britney -

    Pop singer Britney Spears frequently found her videos in the “TRL” countdown. Here, she joins Daly on the show’s set in 2002.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • MTV TRL: Jimmy Fallon

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    Black and white -

    Jimmy Fallon, who did an impression of Daly on "Saturday Night Live," jokes with and dresses identical to Daly on an episode of “TRL” in 2002. Daly’s wardrobe often reflected current trends in pop culture.

    "I'm from California, so I've always had a sort of laid back approach to apparel. I'm from the beach," Daly told TODAY.com. "But I always call what I wear the 'Johnny Cash look.' I wear a lot of black, and a lot of jeans."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Tiger Woods Promotes "EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002" Video Game on MTV's "TRL" - March 4, 2002

    From 'TRL' to TODAY: Carson Daly through the years

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    Tiger on 'TRL' -

    Tiger Woods joined Daly, an avid golfer, in 2002 to promote “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002” video game. While the focus was mostly music, “TRL” featured a wide range of guests including musicians, actors and athletes.

    WireImage / WireImage
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    From 'TRL' to TODAY: Carson Daly through the years

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    Teen Choice Awards -

    Daly accepts his Teen Choice Award for “Choice TV Personality” on August 12, 2001. He won two Teen Choice Awards during his time hosting "TRL."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • MTV TRL: Marilyn Manson

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    Hot off the record -

    Shock rocker Marilyn Manson joins Daly during “TRL’s” Spankin' New Music Week in 2000. During these episodes, musicians would premiere new videos that would likely be seen in the show’s countdown.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    Pageant host -

    Daly laughs with former Miss Kentucky, Lexi Kemper. Daly hosted the Miss Teen USA competition in 1999.

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Some of you may not be old enough to remember that Carson Daly used to hang out with all of the cool kids on MTV way back when that channel loved music and he hosted “Total Request Live.” For the last decade, he’s also hosted his own late-late night talk show “Last Call” on NBC and, most recently, NBC’s mega hit “The Voice.”

As Daly prepares to take on a new role for TODAY as host of the Orange Room, we asked the 40-year-old TV and radio veteran to share some of his career highlights. First of all, he said, he loves live television, so his time on “The Voice” and his New Year’s Eve specials rated highly. But “Last Call” has a special place in his heart, too, especially one particular cruise he took with a music icon.

TODAY anchors welcome Carson to the family

“I’m really proud that 'Last Call' has been on for over a decade — we had thousands of diverse guests — it was great practice for TODAY,” he told TODAY.com. “I got to ride around in New York with Sir Paul McCartney on a yacht and talk about him and Lennon writing songs in Liverpool. It was surreal.”

Today
Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie and Carson Daly host TODAY in August.

Of course, Daly couldn't take a trip down memory lane without considering his four years on "TRL." Although his job was to interview the rich and famous, Daly said the show's work after the 9/11 attacks stands out in his mind as one of his proudest achievements.

“There were a lot of highs and lows to that," he said. "I’m proud of what we did in New York after 9/11. I was part of the team that went back to work right away. We were one of first productions that went back on air, and we had to really think about what to tell the kids watching 'TRL.' Twelve years later, people still say to me, 'I remember that day when 'TRL' came back on after 9/11.'"

Drinks, hijinks: See Carson Daly's best TODAY moments

As the first host of "TRL," Daly had his share of memorable interviews. He's had a longstanding friendship with Madonna over the years, and in 2002 he interviewed Michael Jackson in Times Square and went record shopping with the King of Pop.

"That was a thrill for me," Daly said. "The major players, if you will, in music, were always exciting."

We agree. Here, we pick a few of our favorite Carson Daly moments.

In 2001, Mariah Carey showed up unexpectedly on "TRL" wearing an over-sized T-shirt that said “Loverboy” and a pair of heels, while pushing an ice cream cart. Then, she stripped off her clothes to reveal gold go-go shorts and a green “Supergirl” halter. Then she said she needed therapy. And then it got really weird. Daly just kept asking, "What are you doing?" but handled the situation with humor and kept his cool.

We didn't ask Daly if he considered his 2003 MTV roast a highlight, but we sure do. The fun times included Madonna mocking his flourishing love life.

And Britney Spears delivered some zingers. "My friend Carson is the kind of man who will talk to anyone, any time, about anything while still managing to say absolutely nothing at all.”

Even ex-girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt appeared to give him a hard time about their break-up. (They had a sweet moment on "Last Call" two years later when they made up and he confessed he had a tattoo of her name on his leg that he had to cover up.)

Daly was also a good sport when his friend Jimmy Fallon impersonated him on "Saturday Night Live." The two buddies reunited on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" to remember those (not so) great times for Daly. Ultimately, Daly proves he's not afraid to laugh at himself and that's what's led to many of his most memorable moments.


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