Where's the Wine? Reliving Kathie Lee Gifford's Wildest and Wackiest Today Show Moments

After 11 years, the fourth hour co-host is stepping away from the Chardonnay for good.

By Billy Nilles Apr 05, 2019 10:00 AMTags
Watch: Kathie Lee Gifford Reveals Hardest Part of Leaving "TODAY"

It's time to uncork the Chardonnay and say goodbye.

After 11 years, Kathie Lee Gifford is ready to pack up her wine glass and leave Today for good. The daytime TV legend, who first worked her way into our hearts on LIVE! With Regis and Kathie Lee from 1988-2000 before joining the NBC morning show's family in 2008, only ever intended to serve as Hoda Kotb's partner-in-crime for the show's boozy fourth hour for one year, but kept extending her contract year after year because she was just having too damn much fun.

And so was the audience at home.

Since her debut episode on April 7, 2008, KLG has delivered the sort of zany performance day in and day out that has both endeared her to the millions doing a little day drinking at home with her and made her the prime target for Kristen Wiig's sublime spoof for years over at SNL. But all good things, as they say, must come to an end.

Today's Kathie Lee and Hoda From A-Z

And four months after revealing that her Todays were numbered, it's finally happening. "I've been trying to pace myself and all of a sudden, this week being the second day before my last week, it's starting to hit everybody," Kathie Lee told E! News' Jason Kennedy when he visited her on the Today set last week. "And we had such a great show today...It was like, 'Oh my gosh, why am I leaving this show?' You know? There are times like that. And then I remember why I am."

KLG pointed to her recent trip to Israel, where she directed a short film entitled The God Who Sees that'll debut the day she leaves. "This is the craziness of my life now, Jason. One day I'm here, where I've been for 11 years, and the next thing you know...I'm in the Negev Desert and I'm setting up shots," she explained. "And I'm just going, 'This is what I was born to do. I know it.' And I've waited all my life to do it."

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

The hard part in all this for KLG? "I fell in love with Hoda," she admitted. "I'm still in love with Hoda. I'm deeply in love with her...Leaving the job is not the hard part for me, it's leaving the people."

And the hard part for us? Knowing we won't get those signature silly moments from daytime's most dynamic duo anymore. So, before we say goodbye, let's take one last walk down a truly wild and wacky memory lane.

Her First Day

Nothing says "Welcome to Today" like being strapped to pogo stick shoes and hopping around on camera. Kathie Lee's arrival on April 7, 2008 set the tone for the sort of madcap moments that would become her hallmark as co-host of the venerable daytime show's fourth hour.

Her First Halloween

Halloween at Today is always a serious(ly silly) endeavor, and KLG's first holiday with the gang did not disappoint. With Hoda doing her best Little Red Riding Hood, it was up to her co-host to deliver as the Big Bad Wolf. And she did not disappoint. TBH, the makeup on this costume still freaks us out a little bit.

Au Naturel

In May 2010, Kathie Lee and Hoda went where no other daytime host has every gone before: completely makeup free. "For those of you watching us in hi-def, this is going to be a real treat," KLG said at the start of the hour. "Or not!"

Whenever She Danced

KLG was not afraid to cut a rug.

The Great Grammy Debate

In 2011, Valentine's Day also happened to be the morning after the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, so KLG and Hoda devoted a portion of their hour to talk about the night's big winners. And let's just say they were not entirely on board with Arcade Fire's win for Album of the Year. In fact, they had no idea who the indie band even was. "That's not a good thing when you have a fire in an arcade, but I guess in their case, it's good, right?" KLG asked. Check out the entire hilarious moment here.

Cosmetic Commitment

In May 2012, the ladies welcomed Dr. Patricia Wexler to break down some popular cosmetic procedures for the audience at home. And to do so, they each took a turn in the patient's chair, with KLG undergoing a non-invasive eyebrow lift on the air, while Hoda had her arm hair lasered off. "We're gonna get my other side fixed, I hope, or I'm gonna look ridic," Kathie Lee said as the demo moved on after only her left brow had been treated.

More Dancing

See? Fearless.

Hula Girl

Days after the cosmetic surgery segment, the ladies welcomed America's Got Talent judge Howie Mandel and then-host Nick Cannon and had a friendly talent contest in honor of their presence. KLG's presentation? Her hula-hoop skills. Alas, the minute someone handed her a glass of wine, she was unable to keep up the focus. But really, who hasn't been there?

Dorm Daze

To celebrate the back-to-school season in September 2012, the ladies turned their set into a faux dorm room, complete with bean bag chairs to sit on, as they donned gear from their favorite schools. KLG was, of course, decked out in her beloved USC's cardinal and gold. And their drinking vessels for the day? Red Solo cups, of course.

Puppy Love

The March 12, 2013 episode kicked off with both women inside full-body dog costumes. Why? To thank fans for helping the show reach 500,000 likes on Facebook. Makes total sense.

Feeling Herself

Who even cares why?

Musical Misfire

Hoda always tried to get Kathie Lee to like the music on her iHoda playlist. And KLG rarely did. The March 2013 moment when Hoda tried to sway her with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" will forever live in infamy. After hearing just one verse, Kathie Lee delivered her verdict: "Is there much more?"

Leaving Little to the Imagination

A May 2013 conversation about what a woman's pubic hair says about her turned very personal when the ladies revealed their, uh, preferences. KLG, ever the traditionalist, admitted she keeps things au naturel, while Hoda revealed she favors a "landing strip." "Seen any 747s recently?" Kathie Lee shouted in response.

A 60th Celebration

Kathie Lee celebrated a milestone birthday on the air on August 16, 2013, and Today went all out. There were plenty of flowers and balloons and, of course, drinks, while beloved hubby Frank Gifford stopped by for a visit. But the best thing about it might've been the way that KLG forced Hoda to take a shot every time she said the word "sixty" in the week leading up to the big day as a way of penalizing her co-host for the reminder.

No Fear

Not even afraid to give dabbing a try.

Got Milk?

In November 2013, KLG and Hoda were visited by Jeremy Brandt, the host of Nat Geo Wild's Jobs That Bite. For the occasion, he brought along a goat for milking because truly anything goes on the fourth hour of Today. After a quick demonstration, he let them try their hand at it—forgoing the traditional bucket and catching it in a wine glass instead. "That's quite a teat!" KLG exclaimed as she got friendly with the farm animal. "I just feel like I'm violating her dignity."

Bag Ladies

Apparently, in 2014, a new trend in speed dating was for people to put paper bags over their heads to get beyond just the physical. Naturally, KLG and Hoda had to have some fun with it. "What's the point of this?" KLG asked as Hoda laughed hysterically. "You can still see the person. And I can already judge. She's got a huge head!"

Halloween 2015

Has there ever been anything more terrifying than this image of KLG as Woodstock from the beloved Peanuts cartoons? We think not.

Halloween 2016

While all of KLG's Halloween costumes over the years have been pretty next level, our favorite just might be this one from 2016 when she went as her old partner-in-crime Regis Philbin with Hoda doing her best vintage Kathie Lee. It all made for one of the weirdest trips back in time and we're just thankful we were alive to witness it.

A Little PDA With Magnum P.I.

When Tom Selleck appeared on Today in March 2017, he and KLG reminisced about a smooch the two once shared on LIVE! With Regis and Kathie Lee a full two decades earlier. To honor the anniversary, she leaped up from her seat, sat in Selleck's lap and planted another wet one on him. "Happy anniversary!" she said afterwards. "He's got the softest lips!" Selleck's reply? "Yes, I do!"

Sock It (Tat)too Me

When the ladies were visited by Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Nico Tortorella, the hosts of MTV's tattoo-centric show How Far Is Tattoo Far, in October 2018, they gave each other surprise (and temporary) tattoos. Hoda put "Just Ask Me to Take a Selfie" on KLG, who hates taking selfies, while Kathie Lee just put her own face on her co-star. That's one way to make sure she'll remember you!

And This...

Whatever this is.

Thanks for the memories, KLG!

For more from Jason's sit-down with Kathie Lee, be sure to tune in to E! News tonight at 7 and 11 p.m. only on E!

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