Amid her two-week absence due to a “family health matter,” Hoda Kotb made a brief appearance on Friday’s episode of the “Today” show in a pre-taped interview.
Al Roker, Craig Melvin, Sheinelle Jones and Carson Daly — who have all been filling in for the Kotb, 58 — introduced a clip of her “recently” filmed interview with Chloe Lattanzi and John Easterling, daughter and husband of the late Olivia Newton-John.
In the interview, which first aired on Kotb’s final live broadcast on Feb. 17, the broadcaster discussed the actress’ “beautiful legacy” with Lattanzi and Easterling.
“My mom is a pioneer, a rebel in a good way. A healer,” Lattanzi, 37, said during the emotional interview discussing Newton-John’s sudden death on Aug. 8, 2022.
The interview marked the first time that Kotb has physically been on TV screens since Feb. 20 — during a pre-taped show for “Today with Hoda & Jenna.”
Amid growing concern from fans over Kotb’s two-week absence, fellow “Today” show anchors revealed that Kotb had been gone due to a “family health matter.”
“We know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing. We can tell you that Hoda is OK, [but] she’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with,” Melvin said on Wednesday’s live broadcast.
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Melvin teased that Kotb will be “back here at the desk very, very soon.”
“We love you both,” Roker concluded as he blew a kiss at the camera.
Kotb’s “Today with Hoda & Jenna” co-host, Jenna Bush Hager, also addressed her friend’s leave.
“Willie [Geist] is in for Hoda, and we just want to let you all know that we heard you, and Hoda is OK,” Bush Hager told viewers on Wednesday. “She just has a family health matter she is dealing with.”
Bush Hager, 41, and Geist, 47 — who has been filling in for Kotb along with Jones — both added that they “love” and “adore” Kotb and can’t wait for her return “very, very soon.”
In the midst of Kotb’s absence, her “Today” co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, also fled the show mid-broadcast after discovering she had tested positive for COVID-19.
Guthrie — who has given up Instagram for Lent — has not shared when she’ll be returning to the NBC morning show.
Kotb has also not addressed her absence or when she’ll be back at the anchor desk.
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