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.
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."
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.
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!