In case you haven’t been watching, Lester Holt has been killing the news game during his latest gig as the front man for NBC Nightly News.
The staff at NBC’s flagship evening program was shook when Brian Williams got caught in a lying scandal in February. At the time that the news broke, NBC Nightly News lost 700,000 viewers in one week alone—and in one of the most competitive months of the year for evening news programs at that.
But despite the odds and the strong competition from David Muir over at ABC’s World News Tonight, Holt has consistently been kicking ass and taking names ever since he took over Williams’ anchoring job. Thanks to his fabulous reporting while on the ground in Baltimore for the riots and protests, Holt brought NBC in the lead in total viewers for the first time in five weeks. Hard numbers show that NBC won by .5% over ABC with approximately 7,726,000 people tuning in.
We think that Holt is one of the most underrated men in the media industry, so here’s all the reasons why we think he is and will always be news bae:
1. He Paid His Dues
Holt has been on his grind since 1981. He landed his first gig at WCBS-TV in New York City where he worked as a reporter from 1981 to 1982. Then Holt went on to report for a sister station in Los Angeles, then Chicago and eventually landed his own show, Lester Holt Live as well as spots on Dateline, Today, and now NBC Nightly News.
2. He Gives Kevin Hart A Run For His Money
Time and time again, this man has shamelessly shown us his sense of humor. You probably remember that hilarious fan video where Holt and Williams’ old reporting clips were spliced together to rap along to the lyrics of Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” But have you seen Holt recite the lyrics to Boys II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You”? We. were. dying. Please watch above.
3. He Can Dance His Ass Off
We kid you not, this dude can cut a rug, too. Check out this awesome video of him dancing with Al Roker last Halloween dressed up as the Blues Brothers.
So freakin’ cute.
4. He Travelled Around The World Doing What He Loves
Holt didn’t let his local reporting gigs limit him. Holt travelled all the way to Iraq, Northern Ireland, Somalia, El Salvador, Haiti, Japan, Egypt, Lebanon and England to cover some of the biggest news stories in history. His travels have led him to break stories on major issues like the Egyptian Revolution and the nuclear crisis in Japan. In the video above, he travelled to the Caribbean to trace his roots in Jamaica.
5. He’s Extremely Accomplished
Holt has snatched some really impressive awards in his day. In 1990, he won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his news coverage for 48 Hours. In 2010, he also won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program as an anchor for the Today Show. He’s also interviewed some of our favorite celebrities including Whitney Houston and Jennifer Hudson. He even appeared Law & Order: SVU!
6. He Keeps His Cool
It takes some seriously thick skin to be on TV in front of millions of people night after night—especially when something goes wrong during a live broadcast!
In probably one of the biggest news gaffes of all time, Holt was put to the test when one of his colleagues on air missed his cue while taking a bathroom break. SMH. Of course, Holt gracefully handled the situation like a pro.
7. He’s A Music Man
It’s well known that Holt has a passion for jazz and playing the bass and electric guitar. Playing music may not be his day job, but he’s pretty damn good at it.
8. He’s A Family Man
There’s nothing better than happy (and loyal) family man. Holt’s been married to his wife Carol since 1982 when he was just starting out as a journalist. His son, Stefan, has proudly followed in his footsteps as anchor in one of Holt’s old stomping grounds, Chicago.