The Fix's Callum Borchers breaks down NBC's Lester Holt's approach to moderating the first presidential debate on Sept. 26. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post; photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Before Monday's presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump started, Lester Holt told the crowd that "in a moment it'll just be the three of us — and hopefully just the two of them. That's what it's all about."

He wasn't kidding about that "just the two of them" thing.

Holt stepped way out of the way during the opening segment and really let Clinton and Trump go at it. He was so quiet as the two major-party nominees sparred that journalists and other viewers started to wonder if he was still there.

Fifty-six years ago, TV networks' original vision for presidential debates involved the two candidates discussing policy differences without a moderator. In the early going Monday, Holt gave voters a small taste of what that would be like.

Here are the key moments from the first 2016 presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Sept. 26. NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt moderated the debate at Hofstra University in New York. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)