Hoda Kotb Recalls How Kathie Lee Gifford 'Dazzled' the Crowd — with Her 'Boobs Out' — Before Landing Today Gig (Exclusive)

Kathie Lee Gifford'sbiggest fan may be Hoda Kotb

Published Time: 03.07.2024 - 19:31:17 Modified Time: 03.07.2024 - 19:31:17

Kathie Lee Gifford'sbiggest fan may be Hoda Kotb.

In an exclusive preview of Kotb's upcoming appearance on Busy This Week, the journalist, 59, reflects on how her formerToday co-host's legendary 11-year run on the show first came to fruition.

According to Kotb, getting Gifford, 70, to join the show in 2008 began with asking her to make a guest appearance.

"We saw Kathy Lee sitting there. We're like, 'Oh my God. It's Kathy Lee Gifford.' So we walked over to her table, and we're like, 'Look. I know this is crazy and last minute. You don't know us, but would you please come on as a guest host for one day? Just one day only," Kotb told host Busy Philipps, noting that Gifford said she was "very busy."

"She goes, 'Let me check.' So she said she'd come," continues Kotb. "That woman showed up, hair extensions, boobs out, ready to play. She was amazing. She dazzled the crowd. She did what she does."

Kotb recalls how Gifford immediately won everyone over.

"When it was over, the bosses came over, and they came over they shook her hand," says Kotb. "They said, and from that moment on, Kathy Lee was going to be on the Today show. Like she changed the face of that part of morning TV."

Their chemistry is also something that helped change Kotb's perspective on her own career.

"It was always like I was putting a circle in a square,&# -

34; recalls Kotb. "I could feel it. It just wasn't right, and when I sat with Kat that very first time, I felt like I was riding a wave. I go, 'Oh my God, this is what it feels like when you're doing something you're supposed to do.'"

Since Gifford's April 2019 departure, Kotb has been hosting the fourth hour of Todayalongside Jenna Bush Hager.

While celebrating their five-year anniversary as co-hosts during a broadcast in April, Kotb passionately reflected on their growing friendship.

"We started off as colleagues/friends. We didn't really know each other. Over the five years, we've developed such a deep understanding of the other's soul and purpose. We have traveled down these roads together," she said.

"A lot of times, friendships don't grow — not ours. Ours is every day, it's something different, something new, something we're learning. You've led me down a path, because of people you knew in your life and people who are healers, who've helped heal me. It's all meant to be," she continued. "This is all meant to be!"

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Busy This Week airs Wednesdays at 10:00 PM EDT on QVC+.

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