Celebrity Q+A: Kathie Lee Gifford
The irrepressible Today cohost, 59, gets chatty about her top job: being mom to son Cody, 22, and daughter Cassidy, 19.
Q. Tell us something shocking.
A. I am not an alcoholic, nor is Hoda! When we went on The Soup with glasses of wine in our hands acting all sloppy, that was a joke! When I did a keg stand on Leno, that was a joke! Drinking cocktails during our segments—we only take a sip or two—creates the illusion we're having a party.
Q. What do the kids come to you for?
A. Money is number one, followed by a hug and a laugh.
Q. Cassidy's off to college and Cody graduated. Got the empty nest blues?
A. I use to literally tear up at the idea. But I've raised them to fly, and they can't unless they leave home. I always say, "They don't have to live with me, but I hope they still like me!"
Q. What's the biggest mistake parents make?
A. Letting kids be selfish brats. That's why too many adults are grown-up children who still throw tantrums, have road rage and hurl profanities at each other. I'd rather not contribute to the problem, so I've tried to teach Cody and Cassidy the art of sharing and the true meaning of "please" and "thank you."
Q. TV family your brood resembles most?
A. We're a loving, dysfunctional hodgepodge—part Simpsons, Family Guy, Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show.
Q. SNL spoofs of you and Hoda: Funny or mean?
A. Everyone seems to enjoy them—let's leave it at that!
Q. Next showbiz project?
A. I'd like to write a film that Cody will direct and Cassidy will star in, plus compose an Oscar-winning song for the credits. Other than that, I've done it all—except porn. With no offers pending, that's not going to happen.
Q. Got a family tradition you'd like the kids to pass down?
A. We had a sunset alert at home where we stopped everything to watch it. After I'm gone, I hope my kids and their kids will keep watching the sun go down and think of me every time.
I'm not a perfect mom, but my kids haven't been arrested, in rehab or kicked out of school, so I must be doing something right!
Originally published in the September 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.