Today Show co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb recently stopped by The Tonight Show to talk about their morning show, their kids, and a “controversial” polar bear plunge.
Guthrie And Fallon Challenge Kotb’s Polar Bear Plunge
“You started off the new year with a little controversy,” host Jimmy Fallon said, addressing Kotb. “There’s no controversy,” Kotb laughed, but Fallon persisted, with an assist from Guthrie.
“I think you’re going to bring up what I think needs to be addressed,” the co-host chimed in. Guthrie and Fallon were referring to “the polar plunge.” A polar bear plunge is an event, usually held during the winter, when people jump into freezing cold water.
“Can I set the stage?” Kotb started. “It was 16 degrees. It was freezing. [Co-host] Jenna [Bush Hager] and I were in bathing suits, okay? We had to go into the ocean, okay?” Guthrie interrupted, saying, “Don’t let her reframe!”
The reason for the “controversy” became clear after Fallon showed a video of the polar bear plunge Kotb and Hager took part in. The video shows the co-hosts walking into the freezing cold waves. Hager dives in, but Kotb simply bends over, getting her head wet and keeping the rest of her body dry.
“That’s not the plunge!” Fallon said. “Look at Jenna! Jenna is diving right in.” Guthrie agreed, saying, “You dipped your head in the way you dip a chip in guacamole.” Kotb just laughed while Fallon and Guthrie continued to joke about the video.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Kotb finally said, addressing the audience. “Did I do a polar plunge?” The Today Show host was shocked when the audience members responded with a resounding “No!”
Fallon stepped in the mediate, asking the audience, “But did she look cool doing it?” They said yes, which seemed to mollify Kotb. Fallon also shared his own experience doing a polar bear plunge on Lake Michigan.
“I got out, and I heard bagpipes,” Fallon said, before Kotb joked, “And you thought you died.” Fallon agreed, saying, “That’s what Irish people hear when they die…I thought I floated away in Lake Michigan, but I survived.”
The Pair’s Recent Honor
Guthrie and Kotb also talked about being inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and, while they agreed it was an honor, Guthrie quipped, “That’s how you know you’re old.” Kotb and Guthrie have both been on the Today Show for many years, creating conversations and controversies for their audience, and this polar bear plunge is just the latest one!