TODAY   |  April 09, 2013

KLG: Annette Funicello was ‘gracious, lovely’

TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb pay tribute to Annette Funicello who passed away Monday after battling multiple sclerosis. KLG says she remembers the former Disney Mouseketeer as gracious, lovely and always faithful to Walt Disney, who discovered her in a school play.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, it's tuesday, booze-day, april 9th . it's going to hit 60 degrees in new york city today and we're happy.

>> this spring is gorgeous.

>> this day is going on and on and on for you, hodie. how do you like working for a living?

>> i didn't realize there was a show before we get on the air and people do a lot of work before we get on the air.

>> it makes you appreciate it.

>> but you're doing a great job. i tried to text you today and my little flintstone phone is not working. they make me call -- when you try to -- stay on for espanol and i go, why?

>> turn your head sideways again, look at this hair.

>> it's a ponytail. it's a swirl and --

>> there's also that. i won't do that any more.

>> you look great.

>> apparently there's something wrong with my account. uh-huh.

>> do you want me to give the phone number out to the viewers.

>> i'll give my own phone number out, too. boy did that cost me. how is motherhood going?

>> blake 's adorable. i told you he was pancaking, laying down on the sidewalk. and honestly, i was, i was pulling him, pull him and then they said do a quick pull as opposed to a drag. i'm dragging him. that's not working. but now he's, they say he might be hot. there he is again. same picture. he might be hot that's why he's sprawling out.

>> is he growing, hode?

>> i think he looks the same. we're going to have a play date with bambino.

>> this weekend, if you'd like.

>> we'll do it soon.

>> what's going to happen when blake -y goes bye-bye?

>> he goes to the dog-walker, the dog walker boards the dog.

>> i think this woman would make an amazing reality series . she's from what, the queens or the bronx?

>> she's from new jersey.

>> she's got the attitude. you know what today is, hoda? perfect day for ben and jerry's free cone day. you and you cannot do it look at the young one over there eating her brains out.

>> everybody gets a free cone?

>> today is liz lemon . so good for them. sad day for annette funicello 's fans. i loved her, she was my generation. i grew up watching haley mills and annette funicello . and thinking what would my life be like if mr. disney liked me, too. and i met her one time and she was gracious and really sweet. we talk so much about people battling cancer. i guess there's two ways to battle it, hoda. you can feel bitter about it or let it make you better like it has you. and an ounce of self-pity in some of my favorite people in the world who have been through this. but there wasn't a lot known about m.s. back then. and she literally came out of the shadows with the disease because they were going to go public with the story that it was, that she was -- battling -- alcohol addiction .

>> i do remember that.

>> and she said no. you know what, frank's first wife, same thing, ms. and we had another friend, whose wife. they all thought it was alcoholism. it wasn't, ms, so many of the symptoms are very similar.

>> it was weird. i didn't know there was a documentary i guess in canada that her husband at the time showed annette funicello going through ms and not being able to walk. i saw clips of it, it's a wrenching disease.

>> we don't remember her that way.

>> we remember her in her bikini, not showing her belly button .

>> she always called him mr. disney and he had said, he just loved her innocence and her sweetness. and said please, go on and, with my blessing, but please don't show your belly button . didn't say anything about the -- i'm only kidding. she tried to remain very faithful to him.

>> there's an interesting story, we told you yesterday that margaret thatcher passed away and now on twitter there are all the hash tags. now the hash tag is now thatcher is dead. if you look at the hatch tag, if you read it another way, it could say now that cher 's dead. so people thought cher had passed away . and people were writing rest in peace, cher and good news, cher is alive and well and it was just a misread.

>> and joanne, who shall remain nameless, lamarca, that's the love of her life, is cher .

>> anything to get cher on the show. joel osteen , did you see that story?

>> i saw that as well. you're getting nothing but trouble on the world wide web .

>> somebody came up with a website.

>> didn't they going to an awful lot of trouble to do this?

>> it looked just like his website. it said he had renounced the church, et cetera , et cetera and i guess people started believing it. they had to come out with a statement.

>> somebody went to an awful lot of trouble to do something that's ridiculous.

>> can we show this putin video? it was so --

>> i thought it was vulgar. i didn't like it at all.

>> this doesn't show the truth. what happened was, a bunch of girls ripped their shirts off and decided to protest.

>> and i do it all the time. nobody cares .

>> what you don't see, is here's putin and there's video of him. i want you to go online and look at it, not right now, but after the show's over. putin -- he's giving two thumbs up. that's the initial reaction.

>> that's what he does, right away.

>> like frat house , yeah. that's what he was doing.

>> that's even better than the video. he loves to take his shirt off, too. but he likes to do it when he's riding a horse.

>> you know what's funny. you know what people don't have time to think about their reaction. all they have time to do is react. that tells you exactly --

>> that's the real putin . two thumbs up. did you catch "the voice" last night?

>> no, because one of my favorite things is to hear you tell me about it the next day.

>> two break-out stars last night, okay? one of them was named sasha allen. she sang this dixie chicks song that was off the chain. let's take a look. i'll keep say iing i don't have time to go round and round and round it's true they can make it right

>> they're all around. wow.

>> you know what i love what blake did, he waited until the downbeat just to give emphasis.

>> ha does it mean --

>> it's a musical term. he waited for that. and he went for the emphasis.

>> he waits for a moment, you're right.

>> he's a showman.

>> he's the best.

>> you think so. who is the other one?

>> a 31-year-old guy from utah. and he sang the sara song "gravity." gravity

>> i'm trying to think who he reminds me of? a little michael mcdonald in there. he's terrific. he went with usher?

>> yes. watch this closely when she's judging, shakira. it's always like she's cheating on a test. are you turning? are you turning? she looks right and left, right and left. what's the answer? is it true or false? is it a, b, or c?

>> she's not looking, only trying to see if they're turning around.

>> you have to live in your truth.

>> alert the media that hoda said that.

>> we are the media.

>> that, too.

>> we're nbc news.

>> we have a big show , don't we.