03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Live From Philadelphia! Etc.

Really at this point we just wanted to be the first to say it, since there's a debate tonight and, well, it's going to be live and moderated by Brian Williams who is also hosting SNL this weekend yada yada yada. Can you say "busy week?" Let's hope he doesn't get confused and call anyone an ignorant slut. Tonight's Nightly news did seem a little looser, perhaps because they're on the road for a reason other than fire, flood and devastation — must feel nice — or perhaps because at one point BriWi slipped into a Boston accent (let's hope he doesn't get confused and tell anyone that they're retaaaahded), or perhaps it's because today's sign-off music was not the stately John Williams NBC Nightly News theme but something that I could have sworn was the strains of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (or possibly the Pointer Sisters "Jump For My Love?" I have no problem with BriWi's gravitas level doing SNL, but closing nightly news with a song that goes "Jump in and feel my touch/If you want to taste my kisses in the night then/Jump for my love?" Just sayin').

My point — and I do have one, dammit — is that the MSNBC-NBC synergies here have the potential to give this debate serious numbers, and the broadcast teased accordingly with a strat-chat with Tim Russert, who will be grilling the candidates tonight with Williams, about what, if anything, Barack Obama can do to challenge Hillary Clinton now that he's made a big show of taking the gloves off. Frequent reminders to tune in to MSNBC at 9 may pay dividends with Nightly's audience — whose loyalty may also have been goosed by the return of Tom Brokaw in a special interview with Warren "My Last Name Sounds Like A Delicious Cornucopia Of Food" Buffet.* Also notable on this broadcast: Mika Brzezinski! I haven't seen her do a reported segement like that on NBC thus far, though I could have missed it; either way, a welcome addition to the rotation. On the whole, everyone seemed rather jovial this evening, which is funny because man they must be tired (I know something about the SNL schedule, which means that Williams has probably already logged some late hours in prep). Either way, I just wanted to be the first person to use "Live from Philadelphia, it's Brian Williams!" It's like the Diss Angel thing, I take my puny victories where I may find them.

A program note: Just as BriWi teased the debate on MSNBC, so, too, shall I tease HuffPo's liveblog coverage by myself, Glynnis MacNicol and John Neffinger, starting at 9 pm ET. City of Brotherly Love, wooo!

Update: The song was Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom." Backstory here!

*For people who aren't very good at French.