So long, Lester Holt? Illinois Supreme Court unveils new jury orientation video

It’s unclear whether the new video means the iconic video featuring Holt that has played at Cook County courthouses for years will no longer be used.

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NBC Nightly New anchor Lester Holt appears in a juror orientation video for the Cook County Circuit Court.

The Illinois Supreme Court has unveiled a new jury orientation video for all 24 circuit courts in the state. But the fate of the iconic Lester Holt tape shown to prospective jurors in Cook County is unclear.

Screenshot from YouTube

Have Lester Holt — and his well-known mustache — been replaced?

The Illinois Supreme Court Tuesday unveiled a new jury orientation video for the state’s 24 circuit courts.

But it is unclear whether the new video with NBC5 reporter Lisa Parker would replace the iconic video featuring Holt that has greeted prospective Cook County jurors for decades.

A spokeswoman for Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans’ office Tuesday couldn’t say whether the Holt video will remain or would be tossed in favor of the new video.

“We found that many circuits in Illinois didn’t have a jury orientation video,” Cook County Judge Celia Gamrath is quoted as saying in a news release by the Illinois Supreme Court.

“Also, some of the videos out there had become dated.”

Gamrath is the chair of the Illinois Judicial Conference’s PR Task Force, which created the video.

The new video has been approved by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Holt video was produced by the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Chris Bonjean, a spokesman for the Illinois Supreme Court, said.

The old video, recognized by many Chicago area residents, features Holt with the thick caterpillar mustache he sported when he was an anchor and reporter at CBS2 Chicago, years before he became the national anchor for NBC Nightly News.

In a 2013 interview with WGN Radio, Holt said he was open to making a new jury duty video for Cook County.

“People tweet all the time, they’ll be like, ‘I just went to jury duty in Cook County and Lester Holt is the voice of the instructions.’ That thing was recorded in like 1960... And it’s grainy and I almost want to call them and say, ‘Look, I’ll do it as a freebie. We have to change this out. I won’t charge you,’” Holt told WGN Radio personality Pete McMurray.

“I mean it is kind of hilarious. But it’s, like, not a month goes by someone doesn’t go for the first time and they have to tweet, ‘That’s Lester Holt.’”

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