Weekday co-hosts preside over much-anticipated Macy’s event
Like countless other people, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb love a parade.
Unlike many people, though, they have a prime position to enjoy one of the most famous of such processions. The weekday “Today” co-anchors will share television-hosting duties at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time as NBC airs the 92nd annual edition from New York on Thursday, Nov. 22. They’ll be joined by “Today” colleague Al Roker, with featured performers scheduled to include Diana Ross and her family, John Legend, Martina McBride, Pentatonix, Sugarland, the cast of “Sesame Street,” the Rockettes and (of course) Santa Claus.
In preparing for the long line of floats, singers, marching bands and character balloons – punctuated by production numbers from current Broadway shows, performed in front of Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square – Guthrie predicts that “it’s going to be really fun” beside Kotb. “We always have a good time together, and the parade is just sheer joy. As long as you can keep your fingers and toes warm.”
Kotb adds, “I can’t wait to do this with Savannah. For the last however many years, I had a great place to watch the parade, on 81st Street and Central Park West. I’d go with my mom and my brother and Joel (Schiffman, Kotb’s significant other), then I’d go back home and catch Savannah and those guys (on TV). I just thought it was the coolest to watch all the acts and things go by, so I’m looking forward to my first time (broadcasting it) with Ms. Guthrie.”
With their “Today” partnership about to mark its first anniversary, Guthrie claims great comfort in being paired with Kotb: “We know what it’s like to work together on live TV. Of course, it’s always a high-wire act, but the thing that Hoda and I really love about each other is that we always have each other’s back. We know that we will always carry each other, and this (parade) is about being in the moment. I don’t want to say you can’t mess it up, but it’s such a privilege to feel like you’re in everybody’s home on Thanksgiving Day.”
From having watched him as a spectator, Kotb knows how much Roker – who has moonlighted in the cast of Broadway’s ”Waitress” lately — embraces the parade. “The floats get attention, but no one gets more attention than Roker,” she muses. “He’s walking down the parade route, and people are freaking out. He has an absolute ball from beginning to end.”
Overall, concludes Guthrie, ”To get to be a part of such a tradition is really special. And Hoda’s going to love every second of it. I just know it.”