Hoda and Kathie Lee's antics and boozing are signature trademarks of the fourth hour of "Today," but it wasn't always that way.
Hoda Kotb gave a wide-ranging talk about her life and career at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on Wednesday. She recalled how she and Kathie Lee ended up hosting together in 2008.
Kotb said she was hosting the 10 a.m. hour with Natalie Morales and Ann Curry — an ensemble that she said was "a little too serious" and "wasn't working" — at the time. She bumped into Gifford at a restaurant where she introduced herself and and ended up inviting Gifford to guest host on "Today."
So how did it go? "[Kathie Lee] had these hair extensions and her boobs were out," Kotb recalled. "She doesn't even care. She was irreverent and funny and all of a sudden, the show was alive."
They met for lunch to discuss the possibility of working together. "We talked about our lives, she talked about her life, her first husband, I talked about mine," Kotb described. "We talked about breast cancer, our fathers both passed away when we were young — we talked about everything. She stood up at that table and started singing."
"She did not care," Kotb added. "She just sang out full-voice this song." It all sounded very classic-Kathie Lee.
Kotb's comments begin around the 47:00 mark in the clip above.