We now know the answer to one of the great pop cultural mysteries of 2023: Where’s Hoda? The answer: On your television-slash-internet (or wherever you watch your daytime talky news shows) once again. Hoda Kotb, whose last live Today show appearance occurred February 17, returned to her work home Monday morning. Her absence, she explained on camera to co-host Savannah Guthrie, was a result of her youngest daughter Hope’s hospitalization, which included a stay in the ICU.
“I’m so grateful she’s home—she’s home, I was waiting for that day to come,” said Kotb of her 3-year-old daughter, whose stay in the hospital lasted longer than a week. “We are watching her closely. I am just so happy.”
Kotb said she was grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell hospital, for her family, and for “friends like you, who were there every single day,” she told Guthrie.
“I love you,” Kotb told Guthrie.
“I love you too,” Guthrie told Kotb.
Rumors piled up in lieu of an explanation of Kotb’s absence. Just last week, Jezebel riffed on potential causes: A breakup, a feud, a newly adopted child...? There was also some kind of buzz of unrest between Kotb and Guthrie. All have been put to bed, all has been explained. Said explanation is not exactly “fun” as the mystery that led up to it—“as fun as a sick child” is not a common expression for a reason—but at least we now know, and at least Kotb’s kid is OK. And we all lived to see another Today.
- Pete Davidson crashed into a fire hydrant and house while driving with girlfriend (and Bodies Bodies Bodies costar) Chase Sui Wonders on Saturday in Beverly Hills. No one was injured, except for the house and fire hydrant. The initial assessment was that drugs and alcohol were not involved, but an investigation is reportedly underway. [TMZ]
- Prince Harry calls psychedelics a “fundamental” part of his life that “changed me and helped me deal with the traumas and the pains of the past.” Not trying to psychedelics-police him here, but given all the talk about being talked about in his memoir Spare, it seems like there’s still a lot of work left to be done under the hood. [Page Six]
- Sophia Grace, whose prodigious knowledge of the lyrics to “Super Bass” as a child is the sole reason we’re still talking about her today, has given birth at 19. [E! Online]
- Ice Spice is hanging out with North West. Is a May-December friendship a thing? Now it is! [E! Online]
- Everything Everywhere All at Once won seven of the eight Independent Spirit Awards for which it was nominated. This bodes well for next week’s Oscars. [Variety]
- Chaka Khan apologizes for shade thrown at the likes of Mariah Carey and Adele during a podcast interview regarding Rolling Stone’s greatest voices list. “Recently, I was asked about a list of the ‘greatest singers of all time’ and instead of questioning the need for such a list, I was pitted against other artists and I took the bait,” explained Khan on Instagram. She took the bait like Bruce the Shark jumping on the boat and consuming Quinn took the bait in Jaws. [ET]
- Jake Gyllenhaal’s obliques would like to say hello. [Los Angeles Times]
- Rachael Ray’s talk show is ending after 17 years. Why does it hurt so bad? [CNN]