Brian Williams = 'If Walter Cronkite and Jon Stewart Had A Baby'

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame Thursday night and received an introduction from rock star Bruce Springsteen, who proclaimed: "To paraphrase a friend of mine, if Walter Cronkite and Jon Stewart had had a baby, and if due to the ongoing controversy over same-sex marriage they had to abandon that baby on the New Jersey Turnpike, and it grew up to be a news anchor, its name would be Brian Douglas Williams."

After playing that clip of the ceremony on Friday's Today, news anchor Natalie Morales gushed: "Very good one. There's an intro like no other. Williams, a Jersey boy through and through, born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and he spent much of his childhood in Middletown....Congrats, Brian."

Co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: "That's like a Brian Williams dream sequence right there....Now what do you do, come to work and read the news? I mean, gosh."

In another honor for the broadcast network, on Tuesday it was announced that former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw would be getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

Here is a full transcript of the November 14 Today segment:

7:13 AM ET

NATALIE MORALES: And a big honor and a huge surprise for NBC's own Brian Williams Thursday night. He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, but it was a surprise to almost everyone when The Boss showed up to make the presentation. Take a look.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Brian Williams Honored; Bruce Springsteen Surprises NBC Anchor]

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: To paraphrase a friend of mine, if Walter Cronkite and Jon Stewart had had a baby, and if due to the ongoing controversy over same-sex marriage they had to abandon that baby on the New Jersey Turnpike, and it grew up to be a news anchor, its name would be Brian Douglas Williams.

MORALES: Very good one. There's an intro like no other. Williams, a Jersey boy through and through, born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and he spent much of his childhood in Middletown.

Late Soprano's star  James Gandolfini, by the way, also inducted posthumously on Thursday night as well.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Congratulations-

MORALES: Congrats, Brian.

GUTHRIE: That's like a Brian Williams dream sequence right there.

MORALES: That's like up here. Yes.

GUTHRIE: I know.

MORALES: Amazing.

GUTHRIE: Now what do you do, come to work and read the news? I mean, gosh.

MORALES: I know.

WILLIE GEIST: Brian talked about, too, as a young man, hanging out at these bars around the Jersey shore, hoping maybe Bruce would show up that night to play. And now Bruce is introducing him, inducting him into the hall of fame. Pretty cool.

GUTHRIE: Pretty awesome.

GEIST: Congrats, Brian.

NBC NBC Nightly News Today Video Brian Williams Bruce Springsteen

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