Kathie Lee Gifford doesn't do anything halfway. Once the veteran host, singer, songwriter, and actress has signed on the dotted line, she's in for the duration. She only left her “Today” fourth-hour co-hosting duties alongside Hoda Kotb about a month ago, and she's been going ever since. Kathie Lee Gifford has been in front of nearly every possible audience over the past few weeks, promoting her faith-based music and film collaboration with acclaimed Christian artist, Nicole C Mullen, “The God Who Sees.” She's also settling down into the rhythms and welcome of life in Nashville.

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Despite her busy calendar and her love for staying home with her beloved dogs, Kathie Lee Gifford had a grand day and night out at the Daytime Emmys on May 5. Her grown kids had some surprises to make winning her Emmy even more fun for mom, and this morning, she was even game for a four-way girls’ chat on “Today” with Hoda and Jenna Bush Hager.

As always, Kathie Lee was completely herself, bringing grace, humor, and the unexpected in her acceptance speech.

Kathie Lee Gifford is funny and full of grace during her Daytime Emmy acceptance speech. [Image source: TODAY-YouTube]
Kathie Lee Gifford is funny and full of grace during her Daytime Emmy acceptance speech. [Image source: TODAY-YouTube]

Fit for a final win

Hoda Kotb promised fans that the sendoff for Kathie Lee Gifford would truly rival the Queen’s Jubilee, and the necessity for those tissues from the sky, so timely dropped by Jerry, got to be so regular over Gifford’s last weeks that she wanted a halt to all the retrospectives through her 26-year career of morning television.

When it came to accepting the recognition for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host with her broadcasting BFF, the lady who has longed to be on the stage since she was a little girl said that it was all about doing her best.

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Yes, tears came again.

“Come to mama,” Gifford playfully ordered her final trophy for her “Today” stint of 11 years. She commented that this honor in Pasadena was a “lovely, lovely surprise.” She elaborated that she never did anything in life to get an award, quoting her parents admonition to “do it the best you can, honey.” The rest, they said, would be left up to God, and Kathie Lee, looking up, assured that God was doing “a really, really good job.”

Gifford graciously thanked Hoda, who was still on maternity leave at home after the arrival of her second adopted daughter, Hope Catherine.

She made a point to mention that the producers deserve the true credit. “We just show up-- they do all the work,” she affirmed. She followed on with warm words for Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda, as they “make it their own,” referring to the morning show.

Kathie Lee Gifford has always had impeccable comic timing and a gift for keeping things light. As she related her father's wisdom to find something she loved and find a way to get paid for it, she insisted, “so it was going to be a talk show host or a hooker.” Not only did she have her fellow contenders in stitches, but they were snatching pictures of her routine on their phones.

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A unique conference call

While Jenna Bush Hager sat with Sheinelle Jones this morning, May 6, in Studio 1A, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb chimed in by telephone.

For the first few minutes, Hoda and Kathie Lee seem to have a private line, the Kathie Lee saying “I'm coming to see you,” and Kotb relating that “I'm holding the baby and she's waiting for you.”

Children came up again when Kathie Lee revealed that her daughter, Cassidy, was her date for the big night.

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Her son, Cody, offered another surprise for his mom, bringing her agent and dearest friend, Sam Haskell, to share the moment.

Hoda Kotb praised that to see Kathie Lee Gifford “holding that hardware” onstage for the final time in recognition of 11 years together was “so amazing.” Kathie Lee said that the recognition would never have happened without her falling in love with “my Egyptian sunshine in a bottle.”

Kathie Lee sang her own little ditty to the new babies coming for the “Today” family before closing, while Hoda held a bottle in her daughter's mouth.

Even as we recognize the past, the future is always waiting.

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