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DHP & JL on The Today Show

THE TODAY SHOW (TV program - NBC) with host Matt Lauer and Katie Couric May 18, 2000

Interviewed by Matt Lauer. Jane was wearing a light gray, striped suit. A slightly scruffy David was wearing white pants, a white T-shirt and an orange polo shirt.
Matt Lauer:   This is the best kept secret since last week when George Clooney appeared on ER. Was there major precaution taking during the taping of the episode to make sure nobody knows what happens?
David Hyde Pierce:   Well, we didn't, no, we didn't go to crazy lengths. I mean, we shot the show, we talked some about actually not filming the ending in front of a live audience. And then we wanted them to see it. So we did it.
ML:   So there are a group of people out there, a couple of hundred people who know exactly what happens.
Jane Leeves:   Yea. Kelsey talked to the audience before we shot it and you know, said we're working on the honor system here. Please, you know, let everybody experience it like you are. So . . .
DHP:   And also, we have them all in a warehouse. (laughter)
ML:   Still? They haven't actually gone home yet right?
DHP:   They had no choice.
ML:   Did you have any input, either of you, in how this story turns out?
DHP:   Well, they, you know what, they came to us.
JL:   We were consulted yes, in a way. But, they came up with the actual story and told it to us. They brought us in and told the story to us.
DHP:   We were blown away. We didn't have to have any input, it was just...
ML:   Just in case people haven't been watching for seven years, let's just recap a little bit. You play Niles Crane.
DHP:   First of all, those people have been wasting their lives. (laughter)
ML:   You're kind of an uptight psychiatrist.
DHP:   Yes.
ML:   Horniest man on television.
DHP:   Well, thank you.
ML:   And . . . no, my pleasure. And for seven years you have held feelings for Daphne. Why haven't you ever shared them?
DHP:   Uh, it's been, over seven years, it's because of great writing. The writers have put the perfect obstacles in our way. First I was married. I thought happily married, but I was wrong. And then I was in the middle of a divorce so I thought that wasn't a good time. And then, finally, when I got free and clear of my ex-wife and was ready to declare by feelings (looks to Jane)
JL:   I ran off with his divorce lawyer.
ML:   Donny. The guy you're about to marry apparently. What have your feelings been for Niles all this time? Have you been clueless to his affections?
JL:   As far as the show is concerned, yes. This is the first year I've had anything to do with this relationship. You know, which has been nice because I've been so oblivious to it the past seven years. But I think she's always known something in the back of her mind. And I always like to think that it's, she just thinks Niles is too good for her. And everybody always says 'Oh, you English and your class system' and I say 'Well, exactly!', you know. But that's what it is.
ML:   So the wedding to Donny is supposed to take place. Does it happen?

(Jane and David humming, looking around set)
ML:   No, I work for NBC, you can tell me.
DHP:   Oh, it is just among us?
ML:   Just among us.
DHP:   Ok.
ML:   No hints.
DHP:   You people . . .
JL:   You people, yes. We've been, you know, attacked in the green room upstairs.
ML:   You talk about the great writing though. Isn't it more fun to play out a storyline of unrequited love? Then when sometimes two characters get together?
DHP:   Well, if there's actually sex . . .

(Jane laughs)
ML:   These are hints, this is good.
DHP:   I'm just saying that that would certainly be as much fun as unrequited love.
ML:   But are you nervous that if you two do get together that the audience will be less satisfied with that relationship then they were with the not getting together?
JL:   Hmmmm.
DHP:   I think, you know, that's always a danger. Honestly. And it's something that we all weigh when we think about do we get together or not. But you also have to weigh that after seven years you don't want to, you know, you want to respect your audience. And have it be believable. And . . .
ML:   Too long a tease.
DHP:   Too long a tease and you start, it starts to be diminishing returns. It's not as funny, it's not as interesting. So there has to be some kind of change.
ML:   Ok. I'm not going to ask you about any more hints. A couple of changes, though, I do want to talk about. Next year you go to Tuesday night from Thursday night. How do you feel about that?

(Jane and David look about set, Jane starts to fake cry)
ML:   Wait, wait. A look is worth a thousand words.
DHP:   We were petrified that they would keep us on the same night.
JL:   Yea, we're thrilled about it. (laughing)
DHP:   Yes.
ML:   I mean, are you really nervous about it. But it's a great compliment that what they're saying is that you're such a strong show that you can anchor another night.
JL:   Oh, is that what they're saying?
DHP:   I think that's a great way to look at it and the (mumbles to Jane about interrupting her) the bottom line for us is we have to do our work regardless of the night. I think the show is good and if the show continues to be good people will watch it.
ML:   Also, in terms of the show continuing to be good. A couple of writers, from what I understand, who've been with the show basically since it's inception, are now leaving.
DHP:   Um hm.
ML:   New blood a good idea? Or does that make you nervous?
JL:   Makes us nervous but we have been assured by the wonderful writers that have left us that they would never leave us unless we were in good hands. And I know that we are. These are writers that are taking over that have been with us for while now.
DHP:   Yea, there's been a bit of overlap. These are not like brand new people coming in. So they know the show and they understand it.
ML:   Were you following the whole Friends situation like the rest of us were?
DHP:   Probably not like the rest of you. (laughing)
ML:   What do you think?
JL:   Good for them.
DHP:   Yes. Cuz I was worried for them. About, you know, where they would get their next meal. (laughing) Now they'll find it.
ML:   Do you think it was money well spent by NBC?
JL:   Oh yea. you know, I mean, I think the thing is, when you have hits, the thing to do is nurture them, you know. And protect them and obviously they're making money on the show, so let's spread it around a bit.
DHP:   Yea, anytime we pay, you know, actors on television a lot of money, it's a good thing.
ML:   I had a feeling you wouldn't say anything other than that. The season finale of Frasier is tonight. I am a huge fan. I can't wait to see it. I have the tape and didn't watch it cuz I want to be surprised tonight.
DHP:   That's very cool.
ML:   Nice to see you both and good luck.

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Thanks Tané for a wonderful job. As always, it is much appreciated.

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