From Kathie Lee Gifford, beloved television host and bestselling author of I Can’t Believe I Said That
, comes a funny, candid, and personal collection of essays.
This smart and witty collection of opinions, observations, and anecdotes covers a broad range of personal topics. Kathie Lee Gifford’s stories are often funny, sometimes heartfelt, and always compelling--think Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck meets Carol Burnett.
No subject is off-limits: talking to her kids about sex, being married to Frank Gifford, embarrassing professional gaffes, run-ins with celebrities (of which there are many), the harsh and funny realities of aging. It’s all here, told with intelligence, grace, and comedic wit. Written by Gifford’s own hand, this highly original and readable volume will make you laugh out loud as you reach for the phone to share one of these charming, quirky, and colorful observations. Amazon.com Exclusive: An Essay by Kathy Lee Gifford
Too Pooped To Peak
Recently Frank co-hosted with me on the Today Show when Hoda took a much deserved day off.
Now, it’s important to understand for the purpose of this essay that this is the way Frank and I met. We were colleagues at Good Morning America in 1982. Frank used to sit in for David Hartman when he was gone and I used to sit in for Joan Lunden when she was either gone or having babies, which was often.
Later, when I joined The Morning Show with Regis, we continued this arrangement. But now it’s 2009 and much has changed, although there’s no need to discuss my weight.
The point is, instead of being “two marshmallows sitting by the fire” as a Washington Post critic called us when we hosted the 1988 nighttime Olympics, we can now best be described as “two old farts lucky to be anywhere.”
In fairness, Frank has only visited me at the Today Show twice in the year since I joined, and has never co-hosted with me, so he’s not familiar with the daily routine, even though I have warned him profusely:
1. We arrive at 7:30 a.m. at my dressing room
2. We then proceed to hair and make-up
3. At 8:15 a.m. we have a production meeting with the producers to go over the topics we all agree should be discussed during our Host Chat at the top of the 10 a.m. hour
4. At 9 a.m. we return to the dressing room to dress for the show.
5. At 9:45 a.m. we get our microphones and proceed to the studio
Well, we did steps 1 and 2 perfectly. In fact, I thought at the time that we had done step 3 perfectly too. It wasn’t until we arrived back at my dressing room and Frank began reading production notes, laughing and commenting on them, that I realized Frank had had no idea that the production meeting was for him, too. That is when I started sweating profusely. But I needn’t have worried. After all, Frank is an old pro and very comfortable in front of the camera. But this was different. This was us in front of the camera and America likes nothing better than a good marital train wreck. Well, the one thing that’s for sure about live television is that it starts when it’s supposed to whether you’re ready or not. Everyone agreed Frank looked adorable as we sat down. At 78, he still fills a pair of tight jeans better than any other tight end in history. And his crisp white shirt and blue blazer basically bellowed, “that’s right, I’m hip and I’m happening.”
We began discussing Michael Phelps, the great Olympic swimmer, and the recent brouhaha over the published picture of him at the unfortunate end of a marijuana bong. Frank made some insightful comments about the temptations young world class athletes have to deal with. Then I asked him, “You’ve always told me that there is an optimum peak in an athlete’s career... what did you tell me it is? 26?”
“Yeah,” Frank answered. “26 to 30. That’s when everything comes together physically, athletically, and psychologically. That’s basically when an athlete’s at his peak.”
Well, I couldn’t help myself.
“You mean I missed your peak?”
(The crew began to chuckle which is always an excellent sign that I’m on to something.)
Frank blushed, “Well...”
I interrupted, “I mean it sure looked like a peak... sure felt like a peak. What the hell was it?”
“You are so bad,” Frank sighed, shaking his head in resignation.
I couldn’t agree with him more.
P.S. I can’t tell you how many people have commented to Frank about his “peak” since that fateful day. Way too many told him that they had personally witnessed his peak many, many times. I thought that was funny. But it was the many others who told him, “Don’t worry, Frank, you missed Kathie’s too.” That really made us laugh. Sadly, laughing is all old farts are left with.
(Photo Credit Charles Bush)
Gifford has led an eventful life, one previously chronicled in the 1992 memoir I Can't Believe I Said That!
In her sixth book, the talk-show host (15 years on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
; a year and counting on The Today Show
) and singer shares more stories, observations and corny jokes in pursuit of providing food for thought, amusement or inspiration. In her introduction, she writes, I find the humor in tragedy and the underlying sadness in laughter. And in all of it I find hope. I hope you will, too. Then it's off to the races: she claims to have invented Spanx, describes her gnarly feet (and foot-lift at age 54), proclaims her happiness at her lack of technology savvy and describes an awkward visit to the gynecologist. Among the wacky stories and odd-servations, there is serious fare; for example, she touches upon her famous husband's infidelity, the sweatshop scandal that plagued her in the 1990s and her father's death. She also writes about her children, religion and various creative pursuits. That's where the title comes in: while Gifford notes she is no longer fertile in terms of reproduction, she is Fertile Myrtle in terms of her creativity and productivity. Fans will be delighted—and detractors will be irritated—by the book's mix of earnest life lessons and self-conscious kookiness. (Apr.)
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