“TODAY” anchor Savannah Guthrie is opening up about having Hoda Kotb replace disgraced Matt Lauer following his November firing.
The two co-anchors appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday, and Guthrie praised her longtime colleague and friend. Kotb’s promotion is the first time the morning show has had two lead female anchors in 66 years.
“It was just weird, like if you ever met a friend and had, like, a great moment, and you say to yourself, ‘Wow, that was so much fun! That works!’ I think we had, like, an instant thing,” Kotb said.
“It just clicked. And we felt so good. And we’re just happy,” Guthrie added.
Fallon touched on the allegations against Lauer and applauded the women for being able to navigate through the scandal with poise and professionalism.
“It was a difficult time for the show, no question,” Kotb said.
“Yeah, it was hard, and like everyone saw, we went through it,” Guthrie added. “But something really lovely and positive has happened. And I think that’s where we’re focused.”
The co-anchors applauded their behind-the-scenes crew for helping to keep the wheels moving during the difficult time as they both reflected on their first gigs on TV. Kotb recalled an embarrassing moment when she filled in for a colleague and accidentally introduced herself with the lead anchor’s name.
“You can’t believe that you can go from that, and you make a ton of mistakes, and now we are sitting here together,” Kotb said.
Now the duo is gearing up to head to South Korea for the Winter Olympics.
“The thing about the Olympics is there’s no other place on Earth where you can sit there and watch a kid you’ve never heard of before, and in that instant you get to watch their life change,” Kotb said. “You get to see a moment that turns them from a person who [you] didn’t know their name to a legend.”
Guthrie recalled the first time she was sent to the Olympics, having wondered if it was “fake fun or real fun.”
“I have to say, being there and hearing your national anthem play when we win gold,” she said. “It’s so cool!”
On Jan. 18, it was confirmed that former “TODAY” anchor Katie Couric will be returning to NBC to cover the upcoming Opening Ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Couric previously appeared at the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Games at the 2000 games in Sydney, in 2002 in Salt Lake City and again in 2004 in Athens.