Kathie Lee Gifford received nonstop birthday wishes Wednesday from across the country — and even across the pond in England!
Ricky Gervais kicked off the video tributes for the TODAY anchor, whom the comedian called an “icon (and) role model.”
“I’m having a drink in your honor, because I’m in London, and it’s evening here. I know you’ll be drinking, too, because it’s morning there,” he said, trailing off with a head shake and an aside: “She’s a disgrace.
Other birthday wishes came in from country musician Brett James in Nashville, and Kathie Lee’s children, Cody and Cassidy Gifford, from somewhere in sunny California.
“I’m in heaven! I’m so happy!” Kathie Lee said after seeing them.
She also got a birthday greeting from her old “Live!” host, Regis Philbin, who wore a special shirt similar to the onesie Haley Joy wore last week for Hoda Kotb’s birthday.
“Happy birthday, mama! I don’t think I ever called you, mama — I don’t remember what I called you, but they told me to wear this shirt so I hope you’re laughing,” Regis said.
But then came a chastening, from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” creator Tina Fey.
After complaining recently on air that “everybody but Tina” from the show had been on TODAY’s fourth hour, Kathie Lee got a correction from Fey herself.
“I have been on the show and I’ve talked to you, and I must have been boring because you don’t remember me. But I was there,” she said. “I’m willing to bet $100 that I’ve been on the show, so let’s roll that clip.”
And they did! Check it out:
“Oh I must have been confusing her with Julie Louis-Dreyfus,” Kathie Lee said.
“I’m sorry. My bad, Tina Fey. I’m a senior citizen now, OK? And we tend to forget things. A lot of things. Most things.”
That’s okay, Kathie Lee. We still love you! Happy birthday!