For the most part, I don’t watch network news. I used to be a hardcore news junkie, and my drugs of choice were always MSNBC and CNN, which I still turn to today when I want to catch up. I make an exception for Sunday morning shows like Meet the Press and Face the Nation, and I guess I watch network news in the mornings, if you consider Today and Good Morning America network news (which I don’t). So, basically, the only times I’ve ever formed an opinion of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is when he’s doing something funny, like appearing on The Daily Show (where he and Jon Stewart have a passionate love-hate bromance), or on 30 Rock, where his dry, sardonic humor works beautifully, or on that episode of SNL when he hosted.
So my opinion of Williams was already pretty high – anyone who has that kind of hilarious repertoire with Jon Stewart is aces – but I must now begin to look at Brian in a whole new light. You see,
ladies bitches, Brian is hung like a horse. He’s so hung, he can even joke about it uncomfortably in Elle Magazine. Through the interview, the Elle interviewer and Williams begin to talk about fashion and the dreaded pleated pants. The Elle reporter says “I actually have a close friend in DC who still wears pleats. His wife confessed to my wife that he couldn’t move to flat fronts because his penis was just too large.” Brian’s reply: “Well, I’m with him. It’s a huge issue. Kidding!” Oh. My. Pleats. Honestly, though, the whole interview is hilarious:
ELLE: For our amusement, please share an especially painful memory from adolescence involving a girl.
Brian Williams: I found out after a junior high school summer vacation that my girlfriend had cheated on me, so I sent her what I thought was the craftiest sleeps-with-the-fishes, Mario Puzo–themed message: a 45 of the Ace song “How Long Has This Been Going On.”
ELLE: You’ve described your late mother as a “very old-school Catholic” who would take the $7 train ride from New Jersey to New York for confession.
BW: I know! I feared she was a member of the Gambino crime family.
ELLE: But seriously, how bad does a sin have to be to be worth seven bucks?
BW: I’m sure what she was confessing to wouldn’t impress anyone. She probably said, “I used the Lord’s name in vain, and I went right on red even though the sign said not to.” She just didn’t like it when Monsignor Bulman turned to his left and looked through the screen. And having been there, I agree with her.
ELLE: You’ve said that the very day in 1985 that you met your wife, Jane, who’d come to work at WTTG in Washington, DC, you told the station’s sports director that you intended to marry her. Was this a daily occurrence—your announcing after lunch that you planned to marry someone?
BW: It was a one-time thing. You don’t toss those words around! I got off the air at 1 p.m. I’d met my wife within that last hour. Later that afternoon, I sat in Bernie Smilovitz’s office and said, “I think I’m off the market.” That’s the exact expression I used.
ELLE: What kind of first impression could she have possibly made?
BW: I actually heard her before I saw her. We wear this cable in our ear—this little piggly curlicue thing called an IFB—and I had her in my ear first. Voices are a huge part of attraction. When I was growing up, every teenage boy listened to Alison Steele, the New York DJ known as the Nightbird, and we all had a mental vision of her. When you’ve got great pipes, it’s the most romantic thing in the world.
ELLE: So Jane’s got a hot, sexy voice?
BW: Yes, she does. And I always insist that she do our voicemail at home.
ELLE: Your daughter Allison recently graduated from Yale. What have you done that has most mortified her?
BW: There’s no question that I have an inner Clark W. Griswold. So I have a deal with my wife and two kids that when my shorts move out of the mainstream, or when I wear any pants product that can be construed as a “man jean,” I am to be told. You notice how pleated khakis have become a huge social divider? You see the fashion-forwards going to a plain front, and then you see the pleated community seemingly unaware of this trend change.
ELLE: You still see a lot of pleats in Washington.
BW: DC sometimes lags. Obama’s still rocking the pleated pants.
ELLE: I actually have a close friend in DC who still wears pleats. His wife confessed to my wife that he couldn’t move to flat fronts because his penis was just too large.
BW: Well, I’m with him. It’s a huge issue. Kidding!
ELLE: When you were seven, you wrote to LBJ offering him advice on how to buck up during the Vietnam War. If LBJ had decided to write you back and advise you how to land chicks, what advice would have been most useful?
BW: I think the basic advice that I could never follow was “Approach them.” I always marveled at my friends who had the courage of infantrymen to go up to a girl at a bar. I’d go to the same bars on the Jersey Shore but I could never muster the courage. Luckily, since I’ve been married for 23 years, I don’t have to date anymore.
ELLE: Let’s be honest about this. If you were single today and you walked into a bar, you’d be swimming in women.
BW: Aw, no, I don’t think so. I’m a haggard, weather-beaten 51-year-old man.
ELLE: Clooney’s almost 50! You think he allows that kind of thing to go through his head while he’s eating his morning toast?
BW: I’m a worn-out vessel, a shell of my former youthful self. I’ve given many good years to my trade, flying around the world to dangerous places.
ELLE: Precisely. All you’d have to do is wear one of those khaki TV-anchor vests, and I guarantee you’d be fighting them off.
BW: No. Because you still need the courage to engage in conversation, which I never had. I would sooner—and often did—walk into a burning building than talk to a young woman in a bar.
ELLE: After the Olympics, you left the city of Vancouver an online thank-you note. A woman named Mimi, from Coral Springs, Florida, left a comment that read, “Bri, you are SO handsome.… All I need is one night.” She also wrote, “I love nice restrooms. Bathrooms must be nice! A person’s ladies’ room says a lot about them.” Is Mimi—a woman passionate about news and bathrooms—a typical Williams groupie?
BW: Not as a subset of our fan base, no. I do read Web comments. But only to a point. When they move toward a restroom of any kind, I call it a day.
The stuff about his wife is lovely. It’s also like, “UR DOIN IT WRONG, LAUER.” Finally, and NBC dude who has a drama-less marriage. Actually, I think Chris Matthews has a drama-less marriage too, right? Eh. Getting back to my new favorite topic, Williams Dong, do you think he was just being jokey and silly, or did he accidentally blurt out the truth? I’m finding him sexier by the minute.
Oooh, look at his hands! They’re huge! Honestly, that’s the best indicator.
Header: Brian Williams on November 4, 2009. Credit: WENN.