Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb Strip Down to Swimsuits and Wine Goggles for ‘AARP The Magazine’

By: Robert Kessler / June 4, 2013

The Paris Hilton and Tara Reid of the over-fifty set, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb represent everything we hold near and dear about summer — sun, fun, negroni season — so they were an obvious choice for AARP The Magazine‘s June-July cover. What the AARP writer didn’t know when she agreed to spend a day with the two at Gifford’s Key West home was that what would start as a fun girls-being-girls adventure would spin out of control faster Kathie Lee can pop a cork of pinot.

What follows are all excerpts from the article:

  • “Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb just had a sleepover.”
  • “[Kathie Lee]‘s wearing a beige furry bathrobe, black ruffled pajama bottoms — and no makeup … Kotb strolls into the dining room with 3-inch rollers in her hair and a huge smile on her face.”
  • “The pair move into Gifford’s bedroom, where they paw through a rack of clothing options for the day. ‘That’s a beach cover-up, right?’ asks Kotb, holding up a colorful but skimpy shift.’

    It’s a dress!’ exclaims Gifford. ‘For a far younger woman than Hoda!’ Kotb rolls her eyes, and Gifford smacks her on the backside.

    ‘My Egyptian princess,’ she announces as she looks approvingly at her sidekick.”

  • “‘I only knew the Dateline Hoda,’ Gifford explains, ‘but I had lunch with the happy hour Hoda. I loved her!’

    Four hours into the conversation, Gifford told Kotb, ‘You’re the kind of person I’d be friends with for the rest of my life.'”

  • “Gifford and Kotb are poolside. It’s noon now, and, as happens so often on their show, the pinot grigio is flowing.”
  • “Gifford points at the bottle and shrugs: ‘It was Jesus’ first miracle.'”
  • “Gifford and Kotb agree to put on swimsuits and take a dip for the photographer … Gifford jokes, ‘Does anyone mind if I pee?'”
  • “Gifford feels equally enriched by the partnership. ‘It’s like an old man who’s taken a young lover,’ she quips. ‘He’s got a jaunty little step.'”