Friday, April 5th will be Kathie Lee’s last day hosting The Today Show. I’ve been appearing on the show for eight years, and have done multiple segments with the legend herself. She’s always been so kind, warm, and has always made me feel comfortable on set. Here are some of my favorite moments working with her. I hope you enjoy looking back- Corbin
February 24, 2011 was the first time I ever appeared on The Today Show. The appearance itself was over three years in the making. Years of local TV appearances and persistence had finally paid off! I remember getting the e-mail during Chemistry Lab in college. I told my teacher I had to leave to NYC and he told me I couldn’t miss lab. I ended up missing lab! This was the first time I worked with Kathie Lee and Hoda, and I was thrilled to share my rescued animals with them.
My second appearance on the show was in early August 2011. I specifically remember because I had to take my very last calculus exam in college early! The feeling of never having to take a math exam again, and heading back to New York was unreal. I also remember bringing the ladies potato vodka from Idaho! They happily took it without hesitation!
I apologize in advance for the poor quality of this photo. It was the only one I was able to pull to give you a visual of what our Halloween segment was like out on the plaza. Halloween on The Today Show was exciting to say the least! It was the first time I ever did a segment outside with the crowd. The ladies were dressed as members of the Royal Family and I was Indiana Jones! If you look closely, you’ll see two tarantulas on the table! Charlotte & Petey! You can watch highlights of my early appearances below in my 2013 Reel.
I specifically remember this appearance because the producers told me to watch out for KLG’s leg. (Apparently she had recently had surgery). I had to make sure that the 12 ft. Albino Python would not wrap around it! This appearance also sticks out to me because right after this picture was taken, I asked a girl to dance in Little Italy. She is now my wife!
For National Zoo & Aquarium month in June 2014, the show asked me to appear WITHOUT animals for a trivia segment called “Who Knew?”. It was such an incredible milestone for me personally. The producers trusted I could hold my own one-on-one with KLG. She was great. I remember this was the first time we really were able to talk in between a commercial break. She told me about the large Green Iguanas that lived outside her house in the Florida Keys.
Its always been fun sharing unique and unusual animals with KLG throughout the years. I have the say, Elvis the Blue Lobster, from the Adventure Aquarium was one of the most rare! Only one in two million lobsters are blue!
I really enjoyed working with KLG one-on-one. Here we are during one of my aquatic segments with starfish, a Blue Lobster, and an African Penguin (not pictured).
DREAM. COME. TRUE. This was taken after a segment I did on my 27th birthday. It is one birthday, I will never forget. Watch my TV reel below for clips of this appearance and others through 2014-2016.
Appearing on KLG & Hoda, you never know who the special celebrity guests will be. This appearance definitely sticks out! Working with the former First Lady Laura Bush was surreal!
One thing I will say about KLG, is that she is down for just about anything! Out of all the Today Show talent I’ve worked with throughout the years, she has seemed the most comfortable with the animals. Here, everyone is touching Aurora, the African Penguin.
Here, KLG is feeding Gus, a Lesser Anteater from The Turtle Back Zoo. She’s feeding him his favorite: ground-up insect mush! Over the years, I have brought on some pretty smelly animals. I would say Gus takes the cake for being the most pungent! I think KLG, Hoda, and A-Rod would agree!
KLG was never shy of the cold-blooded kind! Here she is holding Mort, a baby American Alligator from The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. “All God’s creatures are absolutely perfect”- KLG.
I’ve had my eyes set on doing KLG’s last animal segment for quite some time. I enlisted the help of my good friend, Phung Luu, and his amazing bird ambassadors! Things literally took flight in Studio 1A!
The best segments are the ones where the animals can interact with the hosts. There was no shortage of this for KLG’s last animal segment! Here, JD, a Black-throated Magpie Jay, flies a stick to add to the nest on top of KLG’s head! They are one of the most intelligent animals in the world!
Buffet, the Rose-breasted Cockatoo, delivered KLG her final rose for her last animal segment.
What a pleasure it has been working with such an icon like Kathie Lee Gifford throughout the years. I honestly pinch myself and can’t believe that eight years has gone by so fast. I will definitely miss her. After our segment, I took her aside and asked her if she’d be back. She told me “Of course, I’ll be back”. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and that was it! Our farewell animal segment. I ran into her later on that morning and I saw she still was holding on to the rose. I’m happy she took a souvenir for the road :)