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Katie Couric's Farewell Tour

The cast of Broadway's
The cast of Broadway's "Jersey Boys" and Harvey Fierstein, center, serenade Katie Couric on her final "Today" show yesterday. (Photos By Richard Drew -- Associated Press)

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Thanks largely to Katie's toothy-grinned charm, "Today" has not lost a week in the ratings race in more than a decade and is one of the most profitable TV series in terms of ad revenue.

Meredith Vieira of ABC's "The View" was picked to replace Katie; NBC is redoing the "Today" studio to erase the last traces of Katieness before Meredith starts in the fall.

Having thoroughly mined the Valley of the Ordinary, it's time for the House of Katie's Bad Hair and Clothing, where the Good Witch of Stretched to Within an Inch of Her Life, Joan Rivers, and winged monkey/celebrity haircutter Jonathan Antin actually find nice things to say about her looks over the years.

Katie, to her credit, is more honest:

"Why didn't you guys stop me?" she asks rhetorically. "Why wasn't there someone saying: "No! You can't go out like that."

Finally, Katie and her merry band of "Today" Show On-Air Talent make it to the Castle of Celebrity Singers, where all song choices are chockablock with Katie Couric Meaning.

"Because I knew you, I have been changed for good," sings Trisha Yearwood and Idina Menzel, who won a Tony playing the Wicked Witch in Broadway's "Wicked," from which the song comes. Katie dedicates the performance to those Ordinary People who appear on the show today, whose lives she has touched.

Tony Bennett sings "The Way You Look Tonight," which was performed at Katie's wedding to her husband, Jay Monahan, who died of colon cancer in 1998, while in his early forties, prompting Katie to undergo the very first televised Celebrity Colonoscopy, which this morning she calls her proudest accomplishment.

Then Bennett sings "The Best Is Yet to Come." As in CBS News.

"Tony's got a new duet CD out this fall; we look forward to that," Matt tells viewers.

And, finally, the cast of Broadway's "Jersey Boys" sings a reworked version of "Bye Bye Baby":

Bye bye Katie,


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