Sunday, May 26, 2024

Kathie Lee Gifford is Really Leaving “Today”: She Brought Her Super Fans to Her Favorite Restaurant Yesterday


Kathie Lee Gifford is really leaving the fourth hour of Today with Hoda. No more chuggin’ back the wine at 10am.

It’s not unusual to run into Kathie Lee in New York’s media lunch hot spot, Michael’s, on West 55th St. But yesterday, KLG commanded the whole front bay window table with a group of ladies who were toasting her.

Turns out they were Kathie Lee super-fans. They’d entered a contest, and the winners were all flown in to hang out with their favorite TV presenter.

After they met Kathie Lee at the NBC studios, someone mentioned lunch. Kathie Lee put in a call to Michael’s a half hour before the restaurant opened. Us regular types would get a hearty laugh on a Wednesday, which is Michael’s peak dining day.

But KLG is a beloved regular. So Michael’s cleared the front table. Not only did all the ladies come, but also a film crew. Maybe we’ll see the results today at 10am.

Michael’s was hopping. Discovery channel chief Henry Schleiff was having lunch with famed “SNL” writer Alan Zweibel. Disney Theatrical boss and wizard Tom Schumacher was eating with Peter Brown, the famed PR man who worked with the Beatles and also Robert Stigwood on “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease.” Tom Cruise’s publicist Amanda Lundberg was entertaining Ross Ellis, whose anti-bullying organization will honor director Paul Feig this month. Former NYPD commish Ray Kelly (who should be mayor, please) was chowing down with former NYC Council prez Andy Stein. “Sharknado” impresario David Garber was in town to see some Broadway shows. NY Social Diary commander David Patrick Columbia was busy taking it all in. And I was lunching with ex CNN reporter Jill Brooke, who’s just launched FlowerPowerwithJill!




Great photo courtesy of super fan Sheila Menge. c2019

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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