Today co-hosts Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager stopped by Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Wednesday, when they dished on meeting the legendary talk-show host. Kotb said she’s still on cloud nine having Winfrey as a guest on their show last week.
“I thought it would be cool, I just didn’t understand that it would be — it was really like one of those once in a lifetime moments,” said Kotb, 55.
Kotb only found out that Winfrey was set to come on Hoda & Jenna & Friends a few days before her appearance, but Bush Hager admitted she was in-the-know for much longer.
“I had known for about a month,” said Bush-Hager, 38 “Keeping it from Hoda was so hard.”
“I knew like three days before,” Kotb added. “I thought Oprah was doing one of those ‘I can’t wait to meet you, I’ll do it one day.’ I was shocked that it was locked down.”
Winfrey, 66, made a guest appearance on the fourth hour of the Today show on Friday, Feb. 7. As she came onstage, she offered hugs to Kotb and Bush Hager while the live studio audience cheered — and Kotb wiped away tears.
“Okay, I just need a moment,” Kotb said when the three sat down at the table. “I can’t tell you — Oprah, I feel like I’ve been in this business a hundred years, and you know when people say, ‘You mean so much to me,’ but they’ve never met you, and I know maybe it always seems a little weird, but this is really one of those moments for me, so thank you,” said Kotb, 55.
“I watched you over the years, I’ve watched you lift people up,” she continued. “There’s only a couple people on the earth who you want to emulate in our business, and I watched you hold people’s hearts in your hand, and I remember thinking, like, ‘How does she do that?’ And you did it in such a way that was always so tender and real.”
While the meeting was certainly emotional, Kotb and Bush Hager told Cohen the morning was also full of laughter — and dancing!
“She danced with everyone and she talked to everyone [in the audience],” said Kotb.
“She started requesting songs!” added Bush Hager.