Jenna Bush Hager Debuts As ‘Today’ Co-Host: Smiles, Tears & Maybe Some First-Day Jitters

NBC News

Let’s go, y’all! Jenna Bush Hager made her permanent co-hosting debut on NBC’s Today this morning, and if her choreographed kickoff with Hoda Kotb didn’t come off exactly as planned, the rookie seemed to take it in stride.

“We’ve been trying to figure out what our little pregame is gonna be,” Kotb said early on during Episode 1 of Today with Hoda & Jenna. “I think we figured it out just now in the makeup room two seconds ago.”

When Bush Hager asked her co-host if she remembered it, Kotb said, “Yeah.” Only problem was, the newbie maybe didn’t. After they counted to three to deliver the new opening simultaneously, the first word came out right, but Bush Hager stopped as Kotb said enthusiastically, “Let go, y’all!”

“I thought it was, ‘Let’s do this, y’all?’ ” Bush Hager said, looking a little embarrassed.

The 10 a.m. hour went a little more smoothly from there as the former first daughter — who officially secured the gig in February — settled in with Kotb, who has been co-hosting the fourth hour of Today since 2008. There were lots of broad smiles and a few happy tears. Watch some tweeted clips below, including a good-luck video from her twin sister Barbara and another from proud papa George — aka POTUS 43 — and mama Laura Bush.

Her debut comes after Kathie Lee Gifford’s tear-filled farewell to Today on Friday, during which her former longtime co-host Regis Philbin delivered a moving message via video.

This article was printed from