Kathie Lee Gifford’s Last Day on Today Was Emotional, But She’s Feeling ‘Great’

Well, the time has finally come: Kathie Lee Gifford’s final Today episode has aired and she has said her goodbyes. Gifford’s send-off was an emotional one, marking an 11-year run on the hit morning show. The segment of the show dedicated to Gifford featured lots of trips down memory lane, a few special appearances from longtime friends of the show, like John Cena, as well as plain old friends, like Regis Philbin, and lots of wine. Best of all, Gifford’s dear friend and cohost, Hoda Kotb, was by her side the entire time.

Following a rousing performance of “My House” by Flo Rida, Gifford and Kotb took their seats at their special desk. Gifford opened the segment by sharing how she was feeling in that moment, saying, “I feel great, I do. The last two weeks, since of this crazy stuff began, I had no expectations. You want to bear it well. You want to honor the Lord with whatever you say and do, but you also want to have fun and remind people of why this show worked in the beginning. Because we have fun and we have a friendship and it’s real.”

Gifford also added a sweet sentiment for their audience, telling them, “We also have great love and affection and respect for our audience. We know you guys are sick of bad news by the time you turn on our show in the morning! We don’t want to be more bad news for you.”

Always one to keep it light and loving, Kotb also chimed in with the perfect way to describe just how valuable Gifford has been to the show and thus, how much she will be missed, quipping, “Two shows have worked really well in the history of daytime television: Regis and Kathie Lee, and Kathie Lee and me. So what is the common denominator between those two?!”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper send-off for Gifford if her longtime pal Philbin didn’t stop by to share some sweet words of praise. In a pre-taped video, Philbin addressed Gifford directly, saying, “Kathie Lee, the best part of my TV life was the 15 years I spent with you, from 1985 to 2000. We stayed friends through the entire game and it was a lot of fun. Where you are right now, I know you’re going to be moving on to a great new career making movies. Since I’ve seen the first one, I know you’re going to be a great success — I really mean it! I want you to know how I will always remember the great times that we had working together and how you are, as a person, just great.”

The rest of the segment included similarly sentimental goodbyes, properly honoring the legacy that Gifford will be leaving behind at Today. We’re curious to see what Gifford chooses to do next with her already-storied career — and we can’t wait.

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