ABC’s ”Good Morning America” celebrated its 40th anniversary Thursday with a crowded studio filled with the men and women who hosted the day-opening broadcast through its history.
Starting with original hosts David Hartman and Nancy Dussault, producers cleverly moved through the hosts chronologically as they raised coffee mugs and looked at the camera with the show’s signature greeting, ”Good Morning, America.”
For many years the No. 2 morning show behind NBC’s ”Today,” the ABC show has been on top the past few years with current hosts George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, although its ratings have sagged a little this season.
The hosts reminisced about times good and bad. Hartman remembered taking a trip to the Soviet Union with the show in the waning days of the Cold War and returning home to kiss the driveway in front of his house. Charles Gibson recalled how he felt going to work on Sept. 12, 2001, with Diane Sawyer, following the terrorist attacks, knowing it would be the most important broadcast of his career.
”We figured tone was as important as the facts,” he said.
Mostly, though, the show kept things light. They showed a blooper reel and revealed the viewers’ vote for the show’s funniest moment: when Joan Lunden showed a Vanna White doll where the dress had slipped a little too far down the plastic, and Gibson laughed as Lunden attempted a quick toy cover-up.
Kathie Lee Gifford, now a host on the rival ”Today” show, recalled her time on ”Good Morning America” during the 1980s, including meeting future husband Frank Gifford backstage.
”I’m walking down the hallway and I see the greatest pair of buns that I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said about the late football star and broadcaster.
A ”Good Morning America” superfan, once treated to breakfast in bed by the show, on Thursday was given a new car.
A long line of former news anchors, weather forecasters and medical reporters all joined in the party, sitting in director’s chairs on the set.
”We know that they’ve become your family as well,” Roberts said to viewers.