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Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY

Jay Leno had Matt Lauer has a guest on his Tonight Show Thursday, and while he didn't get into the Today show controversy involving Ann Curry, Leno did say to Lauer that he has "taken a lot of hits in the press lately" and asked how the morning show anchor is holding up.

"It's been an interesting year; no question about it," said Lauer, 55. But, he added, "I am not guy who complains. I'm the luckiest guy. I love this job. I really do."

Leno then brought up Kathie Lee Gifford and a recent letter she circulated among the NBC staffers voicing support of Lauer.

"Kathie Lee did something very, very sweet a couple of weeks ago," said Lauer. "She went around and she just passed around a note and had member of the staff just sign it, saying, 'Things are going to be okay.'"

Lauer went on to say, "She's kind and she's compassionate -- and she's been there."My mother always told me in times of adversity you find out who your friends are -- Kathie Lee's a great friend."