Megyn Kelly’s First Week at NBC Got Attention for All the Wrong Reasons

She might be done with politics. But Kelly’s talent for delivering cringeworthy moments remains.

It’s Friday and Megyn Kelly might need something stronger than a mimosa to get her to the weekend.

Despite her new NBC morning show’s promise to be a “fun and uplifting” experience, Kelly’s debut this week has been anything but. Megyn Kelly Today, which premiered Monday, was widely panned by critics, many who say the clunky rollout has only underscored NBC’s inability to figure out just what to do with Kelly in its roster. Early numbers also indicate the show is struggling to find an audience. 

The former Fox News host has had trouble interviewing her celebrity guests. Strung together, the segments show that while Kelly might profess to be done with politics, her reputation for delivering cringeworthy moments is far from over.

Here are some of the worst moments from Kelly’s debut this week: 

While interviewing the cast of Will & Grace, Kelly asks a fan whether he “became gay” after watching the character Will:  

She then repeatedly referred to his sexuality as the “gay thing:” The fan took the question in stride, but her choice of words and questions did not go unnoticed. Debra Messing later said she regretted appearing on the show, saying she was unaware that the cast’s PR tour included a stop on Kelly’s show: 

Kelly asks Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery, clearly irritating the legendary actress. “We really want to talk about that right now?” Fonda shot back. 

Ignoring Kelly’s question, Fonda proceeded to discuss her upcoming movie with Robert Redford: “Seemed like the wrong time and place to ask that question,” Fonda later told Entertainment Tonight.

A member of Kelly’s camera crew accidentally gets in front of a shot. Upon realizing, he says “shit!” on live television:

And off air, midway into her first week, Elle publishes an interview with Kelly where she appears to blame ESPN’s Jemele Hill for courting controversy for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist:

Kelly’s response drew criticism on social media. Hill also weighed in with a succinct “LOL”:


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.