After Hoda Kotb was announced as Matt Lauer’s replacement on the Today show following allegations of Lauer’s inappropriate sexual behavior, the new co-anchor appeared alongside Savannah Guthrie on The Tonight Show, admitting it was “weird” taking on the new role.
Kotb explained that their paring works so well because of their great friendship. “If you’ve ever met a friend and had a great moment and you say to yourself, ‘Wow, that was so much fun!’ Like, that works,” Kotb said.
Guthrie then jokingly added, “Hoda said it was like a first date, and I was like, ‘I’m easy and desperate.’ It just clicked and felt so good. We’re so happy.”
Though grateful for being the show’s first female co-anchors in 66 years, the two anchors revealed that Lauer’s departure in November was a “difficult time” for their normally uplifting working environment.
“It was a difficult time for the show, no question,” Kotb said of the Lauer scandal that left her and Guthrie to determine how to “navigate those waters.”
“It was hard. Everyone saw it,” Guthrie added. “I think we both felt like Forrest Gump. We’re like, ‘How did we get here?'” Guthrie joked.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Kotb and Guthrie are focused on the “positive” moving forward and find happiness with how much they “click” as co-anchors.
“We all went through it, you know, but as you say, something really lovely and positive has happened. And I think that’s where we’re focused, and we have the best staff,” Guthrie said.
Although Kotb’s new role has only been under way for less than a month, she explained that her experience in broadcasting led her to this moment in her career. “You can’t believe you can go from that and then you make a ton of mistakes and then we wind up sitting here together,” Kotb said.
Guthrie and Kotb are set to cover the Winter Olympics together for the first time since being new co-anchors.