BC Beat

Men Moving Synchronously = Funny

8/19/2008 08:54:45 AM

If you’ve ever wondered what Matt Lauer and Al Roker look like in spandex, today’s your lucky day.

Yes, the Olympic Games are still going on, and the Today show is still in Beijing, where hosts Lauer and Roker suited up for a demonstration of "male tandem rhythmic gymnastics." After getting a lesson in ribbon-twirling from Canadian rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Orlando, the two performed their own routine–featuring a key assist from Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.

It’s a typically cute Today show routine where Lauer and Roker show themselves to be good sports who are willing to look ridiculous. Williams continues to get mileage out of playing off his leaden-anchor persona. And NBC gets another laugh from a well-worn comic trope: men moving synchronously.

The precursor for this one, of course, is the classic 1984 "men’s synchronized swimming" short from Saturday Night Live, starring Martin Short and Harry Shearer as hopelessly uncoordinated brothers who are determined to win the gold medal. (It also features Christopher Guest as their instructor–an obvious prototype for his later role as Corky St. Claire in Waiting For Guffman.)

By Joel Topcik