The Truth About Hoda Kotb And Jenna Bush Hager's Friendship

Co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager have been entertaining the masses together since April 2019 when Hager stepped in to fill the massive void that "TODAY" show mainstay Kathie Lee Gifford left in her wake. Nevertheless, Hager rose to the occasion. "Today was magical! I'm humbled and thrilled and filled with joy that I will get to sit next to @hodakotb! @kathielgifford is a legend and the most generous and gracious and hardworking. AHHHHH!!!" Hager later gushed about the new gig on Instagram

Fortunately, the transition was a smooth one and Kotb and Hager not only developed a great professional rapport but a beautiful friendship as well. "Jenna is full of depth and wisdom and humor," Kotb told Entertainment Tonight in March 2019. "For a person who spent her life in front of [the world], she's so strangely down to earth," she continued. "I'm so excited, not for just me but for everybody, to learn more and more about her," she added. So what's the secret to the ladies' famous friendship? The answer just might surprise you... 

Hoda Kotb gave Jenna Bush Hager her big break

First daughter turned "TODAY" show co-anchor Jenna Bush Hager says she owes it all to her colleague Hoda Kotb.

On October 27, 2021, Kotb and Hager discussed on-air about how hard it was to break into their professions and land their careers. During the segment, Kotb reminisced that it only took one person to believe in her and give her a chance. "You just need one person to say you can do it, and my one guy's name was Stan Sandroni, and he was in Greenville, Mississippi. He hired me when no one else would," Kotb said.

And that's when Hager turned to Kotb and moved her to tears on live television. "Do you know who my one would be?" she asked Kotb. "You," she revealed. "I know that sounds cheesy, and I almost didn't say it," she continued. "But I was here for years, doing a lot of different things, and I worked really hard and I had producers say, 'Well, you're a correspondent. That's where you are.' And that was good. That was what I wanted to be. I wanted to tell stories. You asked me to fill in with you. And I'll never forget it, so my one is you." Aw, we're not crying. You're crying. 

Age gaps are irrelevant according to Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager

Age ain't no thing but a chicken wing — just ask "TODAY" show gal pals Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. 

During one particular episode of "TODAY with Hoda & Jenna", Kotb and Hager dove right in and tackled a question about friends with unconventional age gaps head-on — starting with their own almost 20-year age difference. "They said 'Have you ever had a friendship with somebody that's a little older?'" Hager began before glancing over at Kotb. "Hello?!" she joked. 

"I do think the most interesting people have friends of all ages because number one – like, the things we talk about have nothing to do with our ages," Kotb opined. "Or even our cultural references! First of all, they're the same," Hager chimed in. "Second of all, we are in the same stage of life. Which, you know, matters in some ways because I'm constantly asking you for children advice," she continued. And speaking of motherhood...

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager are navigating motherhood together

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager are taking on motherhood together!

Kotb and Hager are used to doing the "TODAY" show together but some might argue it's their jobs at home that have really solidified their friendship and love for one another. According to Kotb, Hager has even passed down clothing from her daughters Mila and Poppy to Kotb's daughters Haley and Hope. "That's what I love about Jenna. She shows up with a grocery bag, paper, full of — there's like one shoe in there, some clothes," Kotb recalled on-air in January 2019 to which Hager responded. "I love a hand-me-down!"

But that's not all. Kotb returned the favor when she and a few other friends threw a baby shower for Hager before Hager gave birth to her third child, a son named Hal. Later, Hager took to Instagram to give her partner-in-crime a special shout-out. "Tearing up—because I felt so much love from all of these awesome women who lift me up every day, celebrate me, and make me laugh. Sharing this magical, motherhood moment with this mama @hodakotb is one great gift. And to you all who have encouraged, laughed along, and supported me, my gratitude is endless. Can't wait to meet this babe and yes, be reunited with my Hoda on @hodaandjenna."