Landing a celebrity interview is always a big deal for anyone producing a television program, provided the correspondent conducting it realizes what's going on.
While working on location in London for the Summer Olympics, the "Today" show was caught off guard by former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.
The 49-year-old, widely recognized as one of the greatest boxers in history (and a former Olympian, to boot), appeared on NBC's morning talk show on Monday, where no one seemed to know who he was:
According to the Daily Mail, a "Today" reporter outside Buckingham Palace had been assigned to gather opinions on Queen Elizabeth II's appearance with James Bond during the opening ceremony. Among several responses is Holyfield's 1-second blurb: he found her role "Wonderful."
How they missed this is uncertain. A screenshot below shows other spectators watching Holyfield from a respectful distance, and we'd be remiss not to mention Holyfield's uniquely identifiable right ear, which earned its shape after an infamous encounter with Mike Tyson's mouth.
A screengrab of the brief "Today" show encounter, via Twitter:
— Josh Adams (@jladams97) July 30, 2012
Holyfield later confirmed his identity on Twitter, then posted again to affirm that mistakes happen and it's "all fun:"
So far as Olympic-sized reporting mistakes go, NBC's Holyfield gaffe was pretty harmless, but certainly bad enough to warrant a few snickers at the network's expense.
[hat tip: Reddit]
Check out the gallery below to see some of the best photos from day three of the London Summer Games.