May 1, 2023 - News

Hoda steals the show at New Orleans broadcast of "Today"

Photo shows Jenna Bush Hager with a black parasol trimmed in white feathers. Hoda Kotb is smiling with a pink parasol with pink feathers. A saxophone musician plays behind them.

Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb host "Today with Hoda and Jenna" in Jackson Square on Monday. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC

NBC’s “Today” show is broadcasting from Jackson Square this week, while hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager soak in Jazz Fest. The roadtrip was sponsored by New Orleans & Co., the city’s tourism arm.

Why it matters: Hoda is a former WWL-TV anchor and has adopted New Orleans as her second home. She frequently talks about her love for the city, including in a recent cover story for Southern Living.

Photo shows Trombone Shorty singing with a microphone while holding a trombone.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue performed during the "Today" show in New Orleans on Monday. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC

Local guests added extra spice:

What they’re saying: We asked both hosts what their most surprising moment of Jazz Fest so far has been.

  • Hoda: “Watching Wanda Rouzan, who is in her 70s, go to Irma Thomas’ set. She said, ‘If Ms. Irma can sing in this monsoon, I can dance.' … Her feet were off the floor and she was carrying a bag of crawfish.”
  • Jenna: “I was watching Gary Clark Jr., and my best friend from high school was in the audience. That’s Jazz Fest. You run into people you haven’t seen in forever.”
Photo shows two women dressed as beignets and poboys. They are holding signs that say "Beign-yay for Hoda n Jenna" and "Hoda & Jenna best dressed"
Many audience members had creative signs and costumes. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Quick take: The crowd loved Hoda, and Hoda loved the crowd. She took time to read their signs, including one that said she was “hot like Crystal.”

  • “Best signs ever,” she told Jenna.

The intrigue: Neither were sunburned after festing all weekend. Jenna said she relied on Coppertone, while Hoda was hoping for a sunburn.

  • “I blobbed on a little,” Hoda says.

What’s next: Tuesday’s show is also from New Orleans, but it was filmed Monday. It airs on WDSU at 9am.


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