Matt Lauer celebrated 20 years on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, January 6, 2017. That means he started at the morning talk show on January 6, 1997 when Katie Couric was always an anchor. It just so happened that she had been Matt's co-anchor all week while Savannah Guthrie is on maternity leave. It was good for Couric to be there to help Matt celebrate his 20 years because she was there with him during his first 10 years.

Matt's celebration

Katie Couric, Al Roker, and Carson Daly shared their favorite memories about Matt. Couric reminded viewers about the time Lauer went bobsledding with Roker at the Winter Olympics in 2006.

Roker remembered the time Lauer went surfing with Sir Richard Branson in 2004. Daly remembered a more recent time when the guys went fishing together in 2014. Hashtag #ML20 was trending all day as viewers shared their favorite Lauer moments. Clips were played showing Matt's Halloween costumes over the years.

The entire staff and people on the plaza were dressed in black t-shirts with a big white 20 written on them. They all got into the act by forming a huge 20 on the ground. Al brought back three adults who made a cheer for Matt, Katie, and Al 20 years ago. After showing the clip of the original cheer, the women performed the same cheer they performed 20 years earlier.

Matt was truly surprised when his co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and meteorologist Dylan Dreyer showed up even though they are on maternity leave.

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They both gave birth to boys in December. Celebrities who sent their taped congratulations included Tom Brokaw, Elton John, Tom Hanks, Jon Hamm, Annette Bening, Kevin Hart, Jay Leno, Howard Stern, and Ellen DeGeneres. A cake for Matt was presented at the end of the show. Lester Holt sent out a tweet congratulating his NBC colleague.

Tomorrow is Katie Couric's 60th birthday, so a cake was presented to her. Needless to say, much of Friday's show was a celebration. The celebration continues next week when the show marks its 65th anniversary. Matt's former co-anchor Meredith Vieira returns as Guthrie's replacement.

Matt Lauer's career on 'Today' show

During Matt Lauer's 20 years on the "Today" show, he has covered breaking news, travelled the world, and interviewed politicians, dignitaries, and celebrities. In fact, Matt has interviewed three sitting presidents, and one President-elect. He interviewed royalty, including Prince William and Prince Harry on June 19, 2007. He has broadcast seven Olympic Games and travelled around the world more than 10 times. The 59-year-old anchor signed a contract with NBC News last Fall, which gives him job security for another two years.