When it comes to morning television, chemistry is the key to success.
Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb certainly have shared it the past nine years as they taste-test new wines and discuss the latest pop culture news during the fourth hour of Today. And more recently, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest prove they make one special match when they go Live from New York City each and every morning.
But with National Talk Show Host Day upon us today, we decided to take a look at two specific morning show veterans who have developed quite a friendship both on and off camera.
It all began five years ago when Savannah was promoted to co-anchor with Matt Lauer and found herself sitting next to Jenna in the makeup room.
“I knew nothing about her, even though we had overlapped in Washington, D.C. for several years, knew some of the same people and had even been in the same room at the same time,” Jenna previously admitted in a letter for Today. “But after five years working alongside her—and living next to her (yes, we are next door neighbors in New York City), I now know a lot about Savannah.”
“She’s one of my closest friends. We exercise together—well, we try to exercise,” Savannah previously shared with E! News’ Jason Kennedy. “Most of the time, we just talk but it’s so fun to go to a place where it’s intense and all-consuming yet you are with people that you love and truly enjoy.”
She continued, “You know Jenna’s daughter Poppy has the same birthday as my daughter Vale one year apart? It’s really funny. I look out Vale’s window across the courtyard and I look into Jenna’s bedroom. She tries to keep the shades drawn. Hey, get those binoculars out of there. Freak.”
All jokes aside, when it was time for Savannah to celebrate five years on Today, Jenna was the first to praise her not-so-average co-worker in a personal letter.
“I know Savannah leads with the heart. She lights up when she’s with her kids. She loves her husband Mike, adores her mom, sister and brother, and she loves her friends. (How lucky am I to be one of them?)” she wrote. “Most importantly, I know how important Savannah’s faith is to her. We go to the same church and I have seen her unwavering faith in action. Savannah loves her work, but she doesn’t live for her work. She lives guided by her faith for her family — for Vale and Charley, for Mike and for her friends that she makes feel like family.”
The respect is felt on both sides of the friendship scale. Savannah credits Jenna for helping her get through parenting hurdles such as where to find the best doctors, schools and facilities in their neck of the woods.
“She’s my mom guru. She had Mila before I had Vale and we’re neighbors so I just ask, ‘Who’s our pediatrician? Where do we go to the dentist? What school should we go to?’ Whatever Jenna does, I just draft behind it,” Savannah recently shared with us while supporting her new children’s book Princesses Wear Pants. “She’s already done all the research so I just go with whatever she did. It’s working out so far really well.”
In between parenting duties, these two also know how to have some fun. Both admit to being madly in love with Lin-Manuel Miranda, taquitos and queso. And even though Savannah prefers to leave parties by 7 p.m. in order to wake up at 3 a.m., Jenna knows she has found a great dance partner and someone very special.
“Sometimes, as I watch our daughters play like sisters or when we spend an entire car ride talking about life so rapidly that we barely breathe, I can’t believe Savannah and I are new friends, that our friendship just started only five years ago,” the Sisters First author wrote in her letter. “And then I’m grateful that this job brought us together.”
Today airs weekday mornings at 7 a.m. only on NBC.
(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family)