Today host Matt Lauer and bubbly weatherman Al Roker act like great buddies on camera, but behind the scenes their relationship is riddled with bitterness and hard feelings, sources say!
Bad blood began flowing after Matt, now 59, was hired to work with Al, 62, for WNBC in New York in the early 1990s' and he says, "Roker said something to me that I did not appreciate, live on television."
Matt had mispronounced Al's name and the wisecracking forecaster shot back — "Wow, not so easy in the big leagues, is it, pretty boy?"
That was the first of many digs by Al over the years "thin-skinned" Matt couldn't handle, insiders add.
"Al is paid to not only be the weatherman, but to be comic relief," notes a source. "Al needles Matt, but many times, Matt can't take the joke, and it creates bad blood."
Their rocky relationship continued after Al was hired as Today's weatherman in 1996, and Lauer came on board as co-anchor the following year.
Matt's bitterness peaked in 2012 when ABC's rival Good Morning America beat the NBC morning show in the ratings for the first time in 16 years and Matt's co-anchor Ann Curry was axed.
Al fueled rumors Matt masterminded Ann's firing during a segment with the U.S. women's rowing team.
When a rower mentioned celebrating wins by tossing a teammate into the water immediately after a race, Al chimed in: "Which is different than our tradition, which is you throw one of us under the bus. But that's another story."
"I don't know that Matt has ever truly forgiven Al for saying that on air," says the mole. "Al was publicly fanning the flames."
Matt also resents that "the cast and crew seem to flock toward Al," the source says.
"They will tell Al anything."
While Matt publicly insists he and Al "are dear friends now," that's baloney, says the source.
"They know they need each other for Today to be a success," the source says. "But dear friends go out together after work, visit each other's homes, ask about the family.
"Matt and Al do none of that."
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