Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager Celebrate 5 Years Cohosting ‘Today’ Together

How Todays Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager Celebrated Their 5th Cohosting Anniversary Together
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager couldn’t be happier sitting by each other’s sides for the last five years.

The Today With Hoda & Jenna cohosts celebrated their fifth anniversary on Monday, April 8, kicking off a week full of surprises for fans — and themselves — that will conclude with special shows in New Orleans on Thursday, April 11, and Friday, April 12.

“How does it feel for you, five years?” Kotb, 59, asked Bush Hager, 42, at the top of Monday’s show. “It feels like it was yesterday, and it feels so profound to get to sit next to somebody that exudes joy no matter what you have going on,” Bush Hager replied. “You greet me with a smile every single day, and I know it’s not always easy. In fact, it’s probably not easy at all. But you’re here and you sit next to me.”

Kotb previously cohosted the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford for 11 years until her departure in April 2019, after which Bush Hager took over her role.

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Kotb went on to note that the fact they refer to themselves as a “we” is a “big” deal. “We started off as colleagues/friends. We didn’t really know each other. Over the five years, there’s such a deep understanding of the other’s soul and purpose, we have traveled down these roads together,” she gushed. “A lot of times, friendships don’t grow. They are: you talk about the old days. Not ours.”

Kotb continued: “Every day, it’s something different, something new, something we’re learning. You’ve led me down a path because of people who you know in your life and people who are, kind of, healers who’ve helped heal me. And, I mean, it’s all meant to be. This is all meant to be.”

Keep scrolling to see all of Kotb and Bush Hager’s fifth anniversary surprises:

How Todays Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager Celebrated Their 5th Cohosting Anniversary Together
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Alliance for Women in Media Foundation/Getty Images for Alliance for Women in Media Foundation

A Musical Message

Meghan Trainor sent a special video message to the duo on Monday, revealing that she wrote a song for them. “The best part of my New York trips is when I get to go see you because I get a big, nice, ‘Ahh, I’m home with my family,’” the “Me Too” singer said in her clip. “You make me feel so loved, you make my family feel so loved. I love you girls so much. You’re so real and cool and down to earth, and my song is coming for you, I promise.”

Kotb and Bush Hager then got a preview listen of Trainor’s upbeat track, which featured lyrics such as, “They make you feel like everything’s OK / They put a smile up on your face.”

“Is that our new jingle?” Bush Hager excitedly asked crew behind the scenes, after which Kotb declared, “We’re gonna use it.”

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Special Guests

Monday’s episode of Hoda & Jenna was full of fun guests. Before making cocktails with Michael Bublé and Jason Derulo – who performed their collaboration “Spicy Margarita” earlier in the broadcast — Bush Hager’s 4-year-old son, Hal, made his very first appearance on the NBC morning show. (Bush Hager shares Hal and daughters Mila, 10, and Poppy, 8, with her husband, Henry Hager.)

Bush Hager gave birth to her son just months after making her Hoda & Jenna debut in August 2019. “Hal, we’ve been waiting for you for five years to come on,” Kotb stated.

While the shy toddler didn’t fulfill his mom’s request to wish Kotb a happy anniversary, Hal did manage to answer one of her questions. “Is this your favorite show, or do you like Bluey better?” Bush Hager asked her son, to which he adorably replied, “I like both.”

How Todays Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager Celebrated Their 5th Cohosting Anniversary Together
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Happy Holiday

On Monday, guest Chloe Fineman surprised Kotb and Bush Hager by presenting them with a special gift. “In honor of the fifth anniversary, I have here in my hands a proclamation officially recognizing April 8, 2024, as Today With Hoda & Jenna Day here in New York City.”

While the cohosts questioned if the proclamation was legit or not, Fineman, 35, assured them it was real by noting that NYC mayor Eric Adams signed it. “You guys have an official holiday, I swear,” she shared.

Fan Encounters

In addition to celebrating their anniversary, Kotb and Bush Hager also celebrated with their fans. Several viewers shared their memories of watching the show throughout their motherhood journeys on Monday’s episode, after which the fans from the video package joined Kotb and Bush Hager in the studio. To thank the group of mothers, the pair surprised them with baskets full of children’s books, including Kotb’s book Hope Is a Rainbow.

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Kotb and Bush Hager concluded Monday’s episode by putting their knowledge of the show to the test against a superfan in a game of “Fan Face Off.” The fan walked away with the win and a diamond bracelet.

Light It Up

In honor of the pair’s hosting anniversary, Kotb and Bush Hager announced they would be lighting the Empire State Building in their show’s colors, pink and purple, on Monday night. “So, if you happen to be in New York and you see the Empire State Building lit up, take a selfie, get in front of it, do something and tag us so then we can [see it],’” Kotb told viewers during Monday’s episode.