Karl Stefanovic went hard on Labor leader Anthony Albanese after he made an embarrassing gaffe on the first official day of the election campaign, but after 25 years in the public eye, the Today show host has made a fair few of blunders of his own - as Nine’s chief political editor, Chris Uhlmann, was quick to point out on Tuesday morning.
Taking a cheeky swipe at Karl during a live cross for Today, Chris said, “When I think of some of the things you've done in your career, mate, I'm surprised you're standing there!”
Without skipping a beat, Karl laughed, “Same, same, same!”, as a female voice could also be heard cackling away in the background.
“Don't worry about that, you're not the only one!” he added, before Chris said, “It's a mystery to us all!”
The pair had been speaking about how the opposition leader should pick himself up from an embarrassing slip up which saw him unable to name the current unemployment rate or the official interest rate when asked by journalists.
“It's like when we all make mistakes,” Chris said, “And when you make mistakes in broadcasting, Karl, you can't dwell on it, because then the next performance is affected by that. You have to be able to get it out of your head.”
Karl then replied, “'What do you mean? When I went to sleep interviewing you yesterday?” prompting Chris to say, “That was bad, I think that's going to resonate through your career.”
Chris later compared the election campaign to the 40 days of Lent practised by many Catholics, saying, “This is a trial that's going on right now, but there is the possibility of both crucifixion and then redemption at the end.”
“We all know at the end of these 40 days who gets redeemed. Like you,” he added, having another go at Karl.
“Second comings and all that,” Karl slyly replied, “We like that, don't we?”
“Ah, dear. It's always better the second time around, Karl! See you, mate,” Chris said, ending his live cross.
It seems the duo were referencing the fact that 47-year-old Karl returned as host of Today in 2020 after two years off air following a couple of scandals that damaged Karl’s public image.
The first was the viewer backlash that ensued when he started dating shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough, in 2016, just months after announcing his split from wife of 21 years, Cassandra Thorburn.
"Personally, it was a bit hard because I thought a lot of people do go through relationship difficulties and unfortunately, for me, that was in a very public way, but that's what happens when you're a public person," Karl told 3AW of the public's reaction at the time.
"I got divorced, I did find love again, and I'm sorry if people are offended by that, but it's made me really happy."
Cassandra, who is the mother of Karl’s eldest three children and a fellow journalist, had put her career aside to help Karl focus on his, and he had previously acknowledged that part of his success was owed to her.
The second major scandal came a year later when his long time co-host Lisa Wilkinson, announced she was leaving the Today desk and cited the pay disparity between herself and Karl as a crucial reason for her departure.
In her biography, It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This, Lisa later wrote, “We had fallen out on the issue of the massive gender pay gap I’d been experiencing for years sitting next to Karl – despite together, taking the show to number one in the extremely lucrative breakfast TV ratings.”
After a disastrous ratings period following Karl's departure, he was called back to return to Today in 2020, this time, alongside his current host Allison Langdon.
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