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.
lester holt has gone to the loo
— libby watson (@libbycwatson) September 27, 2016
Did Lester Holt step out for food? Could he grab me some?
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) September 27, 2016
Lester Holt staring into the ocean like: pic.twitter.com/b8wRQtWM43
— Kendall (@kkaut) September 27, 2016
Lester Holt might as well try to beat traffic at this point. #debatenight
— Danny Davis (@aasdanny) September 27, 2016
Well at least we know Lester Holt is a great eavesdropper. #Debates2016
— Morgan Murphy (@morgan_murphy) September 27, 2016
So Lester Holt is no longer involved in the debate?
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) September 27, 2016
Where have you gone, Lester Holt,
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
(Woo, woo, woo)
— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) September 27, 2016
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.