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October 13, 2015

Brian Williams Forgot That Monday Was a Holiday

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 6th 2010 11:31AM
Brian Williams at work on July 5, 2010Don't you just hate having to go into work when it's a holiday? Either you have to come in because you are supposed to, or you used up all your off time on that whirlwind trip to Graceland and can't spare the day. It's a sucky feeling, to tell you that much; no one's on the street, your favorite coffee shop and/or lunch spot are closed, and the office sounds as quiet as a church.

But what if you don't remember it's a holiday and come into work anyway? Think that can't happen, that people mark these holidays on their calendars in January and hold them so precious that the day is embedded in their brains?

Well, it happened to Brian Williams. If you were surprised to see him manning the desk on 'NBC Nightly News' last night, he was equally surprised that Monday was a holiday and that he was supposed to take the night off.

As he wrote in his blog yesterday, he miscalculated, figuring that since July 4 was on a Sunday, that there was no holiday on Monday:

"I guess I didn't think it through. I saw that July 4th fell on a Sunday this year, and figured Monday would be a standard workday," he wrote. "I tore myself away from my beloved Jersey Shore (where my son reports it's one of the all-time great beach days) and came into work today, only to find: it was as if someone made an announcement that the last person left in New York City would have cooties."

Either that's a man who's supremely dedicated to his job, or a guy who doesn't seem to get the concept of how American holidays work. But, since BriWi has given us so many laughs on 'SNL,' 'The Daily Show' and elsewhere, and because he's such a good guy -- he and I swapped New Jersey diner picks at last winter's NBC press tour party -- here's a few tips for him on how to tell it's a holiday:

1. You go for the mailbox, looking for your residual check from '30 Rock,' your copy of Us Weekly and the weekly Stop & Shop circular, and it's not there.

2. You go to the bank, looking to cash that two-dollar printer paper refund check from Staples, and it's closed for the day.

3. Your bag full of spent fireworks and Topps hamburger patty boxes (bought and frozen before their massive recall a couple of years back) goes uncollected.

4. You tune in to the 'Today' show and you see Lester Holt, Amy Robach, and someone from The Weather Channel you've never heard of.

5. You go to work and the aforementioned Holt is in your makeup chair, reading from a news script and drinking out of your 'Firemen Like It Hot And Smoky' mug.

Here's how Williams opened the broadcast last night:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Do you have any other tips for BriWi so he doesn't make this mistake again?

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Which is worse? Forgetting to come to work, when it isn't a holiday, or coming to work, when it is a holiday?

Obviously, the former.

Besides, it wasn't that easy to tell if it was a holiday. Many of my neighbors had taken down their flags. So, it didn't look like a holiday. While there was no mail, the libary was opened, since it was closed on Sunday. While many retailers were closed or had reduced hours on Sunday, Monday was a normal shopping day.

July 07 2010 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cynthia taylor

Brian Williams is such a pro as in professional and star in all ways. I can believe that he would not know he wasn't supposed to work. His work ethic is legendary and many people could learn from his "mistake". A good producer could put together a great story about people, famous and everyday people who make such sacrifices for their professional commitment. My own physician husband was asked to teach Meryl Streep how to perform a physical for the movie "Before and After" which was being filmed in the Berkshires. He turned down the offer because he had patients booked who had appointments with him-the patients come first-no question about it. We still tease him about his missed opportunity. I'll bet there are many stories out there.

July 07 2010 at 3:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kathy Thomas


July 07 2010 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't buy this story. I am an avid Nightly News Watcher and I know I heard Lester Holt on sundays newcast say that Brian would be in tomorrow.

July 06 2010 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I had almost the reverse situation. We don't have fireworks shows near my house (well, other than neighbors lighting them up) so I usually watch the fireworks that they show on tv. Except that I thought the 4th was on Monday (I mean, why else would I get that day off, right?)... it wasn't until Monday morning that I said "wait, I missed the fireworks?" And my sister asked "didn't you notice the neighbors setting off their fireworks last night?" and I replied "I thought they were just doing that because it was close to the 4th!".

July 06 2010 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, my son just started a new job recently and no one in the business, a small machine shop, told him they had Monday off. He got up at 4:30 AM drove 30 miles only to find no one working. Would be nice to let the new guy know what is going on. Kind of rude if you ask me. They all got a chuckle and thought it was funny. Sounds like a set up to me. And after being off work for almost a year, he doesn't have a lot of extra money. I would have been P. O's

July 06 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kay's comment

Kay, you touched on my point which is did we really need to have Monday off? Seriously folks, can't anyone celebrate the 4th ON the 4th? Why does the government workers need yet another paid holiday off? Most of the people I know still had to work Monday. And that was kind of cruel to make your son drive all that way into work, especially when every penny counts these days. Good grief !!

July 07 2010 at 12:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steven R. Russell

None perfect this side of heaven! Zero! So why point a finger?

July 06 2010 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steven R. Russell's comment

Because he's an arrogant a-hole, who happens to think he's perfect. That's why!!!

July 07 2010 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
del cring

Just how well-informed is Brian Williams?? (Be care-ful how you dive in, Brian....it may be the shallow end!)

July 06 2010 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I find it hard to believe that this was just an honest "goof" on Brian's part. With all the people that he is surrounded with every day at the network, including I'm sure at least one personal assistant, and scheduling of his time around the country, and family members, etc., there is no way he could be so far removed from reality and make that big of a mistake on his own.

July 06 2010 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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