When Kathie Lee Gifford leaves Today in April, she’ll be leaving behind a long legacy, not just on the show, but in talk television as a whole. On Wednesday, her soon-to-be former cohost Hoda Kotb told Jimmy Fallon about Gifford’s impact on her and her career as well as how her life has changed in the 11 years since they first met. She couldn’t help but gush, which makes total sense given how important their relationship has been to Kotb, both personally and professionally.
First and foremost, Kotb admitted that, like Fallon, she was bummed when Gifford announced her impending retirement. Then she reflected when they met: “I met Kathie Lee, and I got to sit next to a television legend and that doesn’t happen in your lifetime. A legend. We’ve been together for 11 years.”
She continued, “The show was a blast, and I just said to Kath the other day, I said, ‘You know what’s funny?’ I feel like every good thing in my life happened after she and I met.” Kotb explained, “I got to go speak at some event — because I worked with Kath, they asked me to speak — and I happened to have met my boyfriend there, who I’m with today. Because I met my boyfriend, we adopted Haley… I got to live all these cool dreams after meeting her.” Aww.
For the last year, Kotb has been cohosting the earlier hour of Today alongside Savannah Guthrie, making them the first all-female team to top the popular morning program. Although rumors have been swirling that Jenna Bush Hager will take over Gifford’s spot later this spring, there’s been no confirmation from NBC, nor from anyone else in the Today family. The only thing that’s for certain is that Kotb and her coworkers will miss Gifford’s impact when she’s gone.