Watch Kathie Lee Gifford Really Blow It on Today Bringing Up Martin Short's Late Wife

Today cohost asks the actor how long he's been married, quizzes him about how they make it work—and later tweets regrets; Short's wife of 30 years, Nancy Dolman, died in 2010

By Natalie Finn May 30, 2012 8:08 PMTags

Kathie Lee Gifford may be in need of more coffee.

She and Hoda Kotb were talking to Martin Short about Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted on the Today show Wednesday, and all was going well. The actor was being his usual boisterous self. Gifford asked him about his youngest son's recent graduation from Notre Dame and how the rest of the Short brood was doing.

But then she added, "And he and Nancy have one of the greatest marriages of anybody in show business. How many years now for you guys?"

Unfortunately, the well-meaning but underprepared Gifford meant had.

Short's wife, Nancy Dolman, died in August 2010 of ovarian cancer.

But Gifford ended up none the wiser, as far as anyone could tell, because Short rolled with the gut-check and replied, "Um...married 36 years."

Obviously not sensing a shift in the wind, Gifford insisted, "But you're still in love?"

"Madly in love," he agreed.

"Why?!" Gifford continued. Short shook his head, shook it off and said, "I'm cute!"

He's also pretty nice to not humiliate Gifford on-camera, but someone eventually clued her in, of course, and she tweeted her regrets after the show.

"I send my sincerest apologies to @MartinShort and his family," Gifford wrote. "He handled situation w/enormous grace and kindness and I'm so grateful."

That he did.