Hoda Kotb's Favorite New Orleans Memory With Best Friend Karen Swensen
Hoda Kotb and Karen Swensen have been best friends for decades and they can trace back the origin of that friendship to a very specific, and in hindsight, hilarious moment in their lives. The pair met when they were both working in local news in New Orleans. Swensen worked the overnight shift and Kotb was the night shift anchor. This means that Swensen got off work around 8am and Kotb worked from 2p.m. to 10:30p.m. As Kotb described it to Southern Living, the two colleagues who were just getting to know each other decided to meet up for breakfast when Swensen finished her shift and well before Kotb was expected to report in for duty.
“For some reason, everyone at the station was trying to reach us and they couldn’t find me for whatever reason it was. There must have been a breaking story and we had no idea.”
Now, according to Swensen’s memory, she told us that they were having so much fun, and several cups of coffee that the two were chatting so much they didn’t realize how late it had gotten. "I don’t know how late it was but it was significantly after her shift had started," she said. Swensen explained that Kotb's absence from the start of shift story meeting was highly unusual.
"She was such an integral part of the newsroom, that’s part of the reason. Like she was such a conscientious employee. So when she didn’t show up at the story meeting, because we always had a story meeting at 2p.m., her absence was like, 'wait a minute, she didn’t call in sick. So, clearly something must have happened.'"
Kotb said that they went back to her apartment and she noted, “When I leave my apartment, I leave it in a mess. Like I change clothes, like stuff is everywhere. And I hate to say it, but I left my door unlocked. I would just leave and that’s how I lived my life,” the morning show anchor explained.
“People at the station showed up at my apartment, thought I’d been robbed, or kidnapped. Because it looked like my house had been ransacked, which was just the way it was” she laughed. Her concerned coworkers called the police.
“Me and Karen come back and we’re like, ‘why are all these police here?’ ” Their coworkers were so relieved to see that Kotb was, in fact, just fine. “Someone ransacked your apartment,” she recalled they exclaimed. To which Kotb said, “Well that’s how I live. Okay. It’s not yucky. It’s just like clothes and stuff. I mean they’re neat freaks,” Kotb defended.
All these years later the best friends can still laugh about this moment and Swensen said this was when she knew for sure they’d be friends forever. "It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
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Read the original article on Southern Living.