Jenna Bush Hager Replaces Kathie Lee Gifford on Today: 5 First Day Highlights

The former first daughter officially started her new gig.

By Samantha Schnurr Apr 08, 2019 3:39 PMTags
Jenna Bush Hager, Hoda Kotb, Poppy Hager, Mila Hager, Barbara Bush, Hugh JackmanNBC/Today

There's a new co-host in town and her name's Jenna Bush Hager

Former president George W. Bush's famous daughter officially took over her new Today role on Monday, replacing Kathie Lee Gifford, who bid a tearful farewell to her longtime gig alongside Hoda Kotb on Friday. 

With a new co-host in the seat, it was time for a slightly revamped show and plenty of surprises to commemorate the special occasion. 

Here's a recap of Hager's first day on the job. In the words of their new slogan, "Let's go, y'all!"

Kathie Lee Gifford's Wackiest Today Show Moments

1. A New Look

Thanks to the new addition, Studio 1A got a bit of a makeover, featuring a new backdrop, colors and overall vibe. Hager also pointed out a bunch of new photos featuring her and Kotb in the hallway leading to the studio. All moved in!


2. Making It Official 

Of course, a new co-host means a new opening audio introduction, a new Instagram handle and even newly engraved wine glasses courtesy of a Texas fan. 


3. Some Sweet Wishes

Any first day on the job isn't complete without some good luck wishes. For Hager, they were courtesy of her famous mom and dad as well as a familiar star. "I know you'll do a fabulous job," Bush assured her. 

"Congratulations to you on your first week at the Today Show officially in your new role," Hugh Jackman told her in an interview clip. "Goodbye sleep!"


4. A Walk Down Memory Lane

For a bit of a memory jog, the show aired a video tribute to Hager, chronicling her beginnings as the president's daughter to becoming a teacher, wife and mom to working at Today. Classmates, students, friends and family members were interviewed for the package, including her adorable daughters, Mila, 5, and Poppy, 3. "I'm so proud of my sister and I'm so excited for her on this new adventure," her sister Barbara Bush said, her eyes welling up. "Congratulations Mommy on your new show," Mila said into the camera. "Can we be in it?"


5. Double the Surprise 

The youngsters were not kidding. As an adorable finale, Hager's daughters came onto the set, accompanied by their dad and Hager's husband of more than a decade, Henry Hager

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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