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AARP The Magazine

There’s a Reason Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb Are the Toast of Morning TV

These 'Today' show good-time gals know how to have fun

Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb lounge at Kathie Lee's Flordia home (Justin Stephens)

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford are fine with wine at 10 a.m. on "Today" — and at Gifford's Key West home (above). — Justin Stephens

En españolKathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb just had a sleepover. NBC's hot and hilarious Today hostesses are spending the weekend at Gifford's waterfront home in the Florida Keys doing what they do best: having fun. And AARP The Magazine's writer and photo team have just arrived for a visit.

Must-see video: Kathie Lee and Hoda get seriously silly

"Who's there?" hollers Gifford as she rounds the corner of a hallway and enters the foyer. She's wearing a beige furry bathrobe, black ruffled pajama bottoms — and no makeup. She offers hugs all around and, ever the nurturer, moves into the kitchen, where she nukes a breakfast sandwich for one of her guests and pours coffee for another.

Kotb (pronounced COT-bee) strolls into the dining room with 3-inch rollers in her hair and a huge smile on her face. "You gotta watch Kath," she says. "You need something, she'll give it to you. I was looking for some earrings earlier and she said, 'Take mine!' "

On air, the two women have taken TMI (too much information) to new heights: Today viewers know, for instance, that Kotb, 48, likes her men on the chunky side, and that Gifford, 59, prefers not to partake of certain feminine waxing trends. It's all part of a raucous daily give-and-take that has made the women not just professional colleagues but close friends.

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, who grew up in Virginia and West Virginia but whose parents are from Egypt.

Kotb ducks into the bathroom to try on a gown and emerges moments later, tugging on its straps. "My boobs are sagging," she moans.

"Welcome to my world," Gifford says, chuckling, and in this manner the morning moves along.

Next page: How it all began. »

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