We thought we'd heard the last of Billy Bush, the debonair former host of Access Hollywood and The Today Show. The former host has been rather quiet in the past few months — as you may recall, the network ousted Bush last October when a 2005 tape of the host on Access Hollywood surfaced. The tape, perhaps most famous for introducing the term "pussy grab," featured Bush, President Donald Trump, and a heaping spoonful of misogyny. For the 45-year-old, the discovery meant career death. (For real estate mogul Donald Trump, it meant ascension to the Oval Office.) It seemed that the tape would be the end of Billy Bush, but according to a recent Instagram post dredged up by People, Bush may be returning to the small screen.
"Look at me, I’m Billy B., trying to get back on TV," Bush sang to the tune of "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee." The video, posted to his personal Instagram, features the former host getting his locks chopped. He implies in the video that the haircut is part of his comeback efforts.
“My hair’s long and flat, and it makes me look fat, and I can’t be,” He continued. "I'm Billy B." It's all very cheerful and self-referential — Bush seems to be in good spirits, which leads us to believe that Billy B. might indeed be returning to TV.
When Bush took his leave of the 9 a.m. slot at The Today Show last year, he'd only held the position for all of a few weeks. His presence was meant to enliven the early portion of the daytime news show, but he was suspended immediately following the release of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape. Bush anchored the NBC entertainment news show from 2004 - 2016, at which point he moved to The Today Show. In the now notorious tape, Bush said very little, but laughed alongside Donald Trump as the President detailed his own non consensual sexual behavior.
"When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump explained on the tape. “You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
Bush's silence in this encounter made him seem complicit in the exchange. Melania Trump later claimed that Bush encouraged the President's "boy talk."
On October 17th, only weeks after the tape made the news cycle, NBC News senior vice president Noah Oppenheim announced, "Billy Bush will be leaving the Today show’s 9 a.m. hour, effective today. While he was a new member of the ‘Today’ team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward." According to The New York Times, the former host departed with a payout worth millions of dollars.
"I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues," Bush said in a statement at the time. "I look forward to what lies ahead."