Apr 12, 2024 - News

Hoda and Jenna took a burlesque class during New Orleans trip

Photo shows Hoda and Jenna dancing at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb filmed two shows Thursday in New Orleans for the "Today" show. Image: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Hoda Kotb is back in New Orleans and living her best life with "Today" show cohost Jenna Bush Hager.

Why it matters: The two women are marking five years of hosting the show together and say they couldn't think of a better place to celebrate.

Between the lines: New Orleans & Co., the city's tourism arm, sponsored the trip. The financials weren't disclosed.

The big picture: NBC's "Today" show will highlight all things New Orleans on Friday as French Quarter Fest gets rolling.

  • Thursday's show was aired live from New Orleans as well.
  • Drew Brees was a special guest, along with chef Nina Compton, the Original Pinettes Brass Band, burlesque queen Trixie Minx and the Big Easy Roller Derby skaters.
  • Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield and Jamal Batiste also performed.

Fun fact: They did a class with Trixie Minx and then performed, with Hager popping out of a cake.

  • Hager's burlesque name is Kitty Bush and Kotb's is Coco.
Photo shows Hoda and Jenna with Trixi Minx in feather headdresses.
Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb took a burlesque class with Trixie Minx. Photo: NBC/Today with Hoda & Jenna

Driving the news: "Today" filmed both shows Thursday at a stage outside the New Orleans Jazz Museum with a live audience.

  • New Orleanians showed up in costumes and with signs — "I need a Hoda hug" — to express their love for the hosts (mainly Kotb).
  • Hager enthusiastically acknowledged this is Kotb's turf and cheered her on with "Hoda knows everyone" and "Hoda is in heaven."

Context: Kotb is a former WWL-TV anchor and adopted New Orleans as her second home.

  • She visits often and frequently talks about her love for the city on air and on social media.
Photo shows Hoda and Jenna with Drew Brees.
Drew Brees was a special guest on Thursday's show. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC

State of play: They were in town for Wednesday's deluge, and Hager said Kotb was excited because they got to see the real New Orleans.

  • They went on an "insane food tour" at Dakar NOLA, Mister Mao and Sun Chong, the two told Axios New Orleans.

Zoom out: Hager said she was missing her daughter's play to be at the New Orleans' tapings, but she'll be at another performance this week.

  • Eliminating "mom guilt" is part of being a successful working parent, Hager said. "I feel like women need to let that go and do the work the best they can and be a mother the best they can."
  • "You have to be where your feet are planted," Kotb said. "When we're working with our kids, we are there. When we're at work, we're at work. It's a 'be here now' thing that I think helps."

Yes, and, "Fall in love with a profession, a purpose," Kotb said, so your children see you enjoy what you do.

What's next: Friday's show airs on WDSU at 10am.

Photo shows Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager in front of a crowd.
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager filmed two shows Thursday in New Orleans for the "Today" show. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC
Hoda and Jenna with Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield and Jamal Batiste
Jamal Batiste (middle), Irvin Mayfield and Kermit Ruffins were guests on the show. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC
Photo shows Hoda and Jenna with the Big Easy Roller Derby skaters.
The Big Easy Roller Derby skaters were guests on the show. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC
Photo shows Hoda and Jenna on stage in New Orleans
Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC
Photo shows Hoda and Jenna with a decorated second-line umbrella
Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC
Photo shows a group of women in colorful dresses and head pieces.
These New Orleans friends made or bought "Today"-themed headpieces to be in the audience. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows a woman holding a sign that says "We need a Hoda hug"
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows two New Orleans baby doll dancers with umbrellas and festive clothes.
The N'awlins D'awlins Baby Dolls were in the audience. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows people with second-line umbrellas waiting for Hoda and Jenna
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows Jenna Bush and Hoda Kotb filming in New Orleans.
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows a woman with an NBC peacock feathered head dress.
This fan made an NBC-peacock-themed headpiece and had peacock earrings to match. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Hoda and Jenna do a live shot with Damon Singleton, a meteorologist at WDSU in New Orleans.
Hoda and Jenna did a live shot with Damon Singleton, a meteorologist at WDSU in New Orleans. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Fans hold signs that say "Zumba ladies are back"
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows a sign that says "Hoda & Jenna New Orleans 5th anniversary"
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
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