Congratulations to Hoda Kotb on her new gig as the permanent co-host of “Today,” alongside Savannah Guthrie. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Hoda on a couple of occasions and I must say, in-person she is exactly who you think she is: warm, inclusive, inviting and of course usually down for a good laugh.
Of course, Hoda also kicks off my show every evening with her repetition of, “Ralphie, Ralphie, Ralphie.” The whole thing actually started in 2015 when I first met Hoda at Radio City Music Hall; she was mentoring kids for the Garden Of Dreams Foundation Talent Show. When Kotb was introduced to me she exclaimed, “Ralphie’s here!” and that clip served as my open for about a year. Then in 2016 I saw Hoda again at the same event and informed her that she started my show every evening. Kotb laughed and then insisted she record the new, current version.
All kidding aside, I’ll never forget the first time I interviewed the “Today” co-host and not exclusively because she unknowingly gave me a fun way to kick off my radio show. For me, the most memorable part of our conversation was when we were talking about advice she would pass on to participants of the talent show.
“I don’t think successful people are necessarily the most talented or the most educated,” she explained. “I wasn’t either. I think it’s really the kids who don’t stop. You’re here for a reason. I think for any kid who has ever wanted to do something, if you have a will and you love it, I think that’s three-fourths of it.
“Talent doesn’t win. Persistence wins. Perseverance wins.”
Ultimately, Kotb’s advice was to never give up. She embodies the message and serves as proof that yes, good things do happen to good people.
HODA, HODA, HODA! Congratulations @hodakotb! And if you're late to the party, here's how "Ralphie, Ralphie, Ralphie" came about. –@ralphieaversa #SavannahHodaTODAY #ThanksHoda pic.twitter.com/x0p5M7DVNe
— 95.5 PLJ (@955PLJ) January 3, 2018