Hoda Kotb’s Fiancé Joel Schiffman Makes His Romantic First 'Today' Show Cameo
By Paige Gawley
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Time
Hoda Kotb's fiancé turned up to celebrate an important moment in her life! On the very first episode of Hoda & Jenna & Friends -- a new take on the morning show's fourth hour now taped in front of a live studio audience -- co-hosts, Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, were treated to a special surprise as they made their way into the new studio through adoring fans.
The women were both teary-eyed from all the audience's love and excitement, but got even more emotional when they spotted their partners -- Kotb's fiancé, Joel Schiffman, and Hager's husband, Henry Hager -- sitting in the front row. Schiffman's appearance marked his first time on the show. He even offered his bride-to-be a sweet kiss, before the women made the way to their desk.
"Y’all know what Hoda said to me on the way in?" Hager said after she and Kotb took their seats. "She goes, 'This is our wedding day.' Joel, we’re practicing for you, OK?"
Kotb, who announced her engagement to Schiffman in November, went on to gush over her future husband.
"When everybody is busy in life, they’re busy. And Joel had a really, really, really super busy day at work and I didn’t even ask him to come. I didn't even ask him to come," she recalled. "I said, you know what I'm not going to bring it up because I don't want him to feel bad and say he can't come."
"And then I actually sent him a text because he was at work and I said, 'Hey, if you want to come any Thursday,'" Kotb continued. "And he said, 'How about this Thursday? I’m so glad you asked.' Anyway it's super sweet."
The two men then walked up to the stage and handed each woman a bouquet of flowers.
Later in the show, some of Hager and Kotb's children surprised them on stage. Hager's daughters Margaret, 6, and Poppy, 4, looked adorable as they ran on to the set with a flower for their mom, while Kotb's eldest daughter, 2-year-old Haley, was adorable in pigtails and a pink shirt. Kotb also has another daughter, Hope, whom she adopted in April.
"What a perfect day.❤️One that I will dream about tonight ...and be scribbling about in my journal in the morning," Kotb captioned an Instagram post. "Here’s to new friends... the best staff in tv...two great guys.. our crazy kids... and one kick-a** co-host. Love you @jennabhager"
"I met the right man at the right time in my life, and Joel is the perfect fit for me. The fact that I found the man I've dreamt of and the life I've dreamt of at this stage in my life should let other women know sometimes if you wait, it comes later," she said. "Joel is not only a great life partner, he will be with me the rest of my life."