Kathie Lee Gifford's making headlines today for her Wednesday interview with actor Martin Short, but unfortunately for her, no one's lauding her professional interviewing style or hard-hitting journalism. The fact that she repeatedly asked Short about his wife Nancy Dolman, who unbeknownst to Gifford had passed away in 2010 from ovarian cancer, has earned her some seriously bad press.
A handful of examples: "It might be the most cringeworthy few seconds in TV history" "Kathie Lee's Martin Short gaffe: Worse than her James Taylor blunder, or when she made a kid cry?" "Kathie Lee Gifford inadvertently humiliates Martin Short on Today" "Watch Kathie Lee Gifford really blow it on Today" "Kathie Lee Gifford sticks foot in mouth big time in Martin Short interview"
I watched the clips this morning, expecting to end up wincing at what was surely a nearly unwatchable moment—but all I saw was a perfectly charming exchange.
Here's the interview that's being describing as the most awkward segment that has ever aired on television EVER:
TMZ describes Short's response as halting, and that he clearly didn't know what to say. See, to me he looks a little caught off guard by the initial question, then he just rolls with it—and his responses are a heartfelt tribute to the woman he still loves. I think the way Short described his marriage was romantic, not awkward at all.
I'm not a big Kathie Lee Gifford fan—or a fan at all, really—but I can't understand all the drama around this particular interview. I agree she should have done her homework before the interview, but mistakes happen. Her apology was exactly right: short, sweet, and reminded everyone that Short still deeply loves his wife even though she's gone. I'm sure she went off air and horsewhipped an intern or whatever, but on the scale of must-flee TV, this hardly registers.
As for Martin Short, I think he handled the situation with charm and dignity (shame on any news organization saying he was "humiliated" on air), and he reminded me what a fun actor he's been to watch over the years. In fact, I might even be able to forgive him for that annoying Cat in the Hat cartoon my kids seem to love so much.
Kudos to Short for coming across like a really great guy. Frankly, I think it's wonderful to hear about a happy, loving Hollywood marriage, and while I'm sorry she's no longer here, it's clear Nancy Dolman lives on in her husband's heart.
What do you think of the interview? Do you think it was as awkward and painful as it's being described?
Image via MSNBC