Kathie Lee Gifford's send-off from the Today show was nothing short of spectacular. The entire Today staff turned out to say their goodbyes to Gifford on Friday, who announced her departure in December after 11 years on the morning show.
Starting with a surprise performance by Flo Rida, who sang a Gifford-themed version of "My House," the special episode had plenty of celebrity appearances.
In between appearances from John Cena, who mediated a quiz show between Gifford and co-host Hoda Kotb, and even a performance and surprise visit from Barry Manilow (which turned into a duet with Gifford), the 65-year-old TV personality was surprised by her longtime friend and former co-host, Regis Philbin.
"Kathie Lee, you want to know the best part of my life, my TV life, the 15 years I spent with you, 1985 to 2000," Philbin, 87, gushed in the video. "We stayed friends throughout the entire game and it was a lot of fun."
"Where you are right now, I know you are going to be moving on to a great new career making movies, and since I've seen the first one, I know you're going to be a great success, I really mean it," he continued. "I want you to know how I will always remember the great times we had working together and how you are as a person, just great."
Gifford and Philbin hosted Live With Regis and Kathie Lee from 1985 to 2000. She was clearly emotional and revealed she had just spoken on the phone to Philbin a day earlier.
In the final minutes of the show, Gifford was surprised by a video message from her two children, Cody and Cassidy, who she shared with husband Frank Gifford before his death.
"I'm done now," a sobbing Gifford declared after the touching video.
The entire Today staff then came on stage and toasted the camera with glasses of champagne, with Gifford saying her final goodbyes.
"Jeremiah 29 says, 'I know the plans I have you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and hope,'" she said. "That's not just true for me you guys, that's true for everybody watching. Trust him, let him love you, like I love all of you."
Photo credit: Bruce Glikas / Contributor / Getty