The Summer Garden at New York’s Rockefeller Center was filled with fans the other night. Literally. Six-foot steel fans turned the stagnant humid air into a steamy breeze, while guests roamed around waving little paper and balsa wood numbers. All the fanfare was for the new “Today Show” Windows on the World studio, which will allow the public to watch the show in progress from the sidewalk.
Among the 300 guests were Maria Shriver; former “Today” hosts Barbara Walters, Jane Pauley and Deborah Norville; HBO’s Michael Fuchs; Connie Chung, and Ron Perelman who showed up with Patricia Duff — quelling rumors the couple had called it quits. “They did something like this for me when I started,” said Conan O’Brien, looking around the party. “Although it wasn’t as big — it’s hard to compete with a window.” O’Brien said he planned to walk by the windows naked, or at least with his pajamas on, “like Hef.” But the “Today” staff doesn’t seem concerned about spectators pulling pranks.
“I don’t think people will be acting up out there,” said Bryant Gumbel. “But if someone does do something out of line, I think they’ll be sorry.”
“It’s terribly exciting,” said Katie Couric,”although we’ll never really be off stage, so I won’t be able to tell Bryant if he has poppy seeds stuck in his teeth.”