It’s Never Too Late by Kathie Lee Gifford (Book Excerpt)

Even though it’s been twenty years since I left Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, I still get asked about Regis almost every day. He was an incredible part of the American landscape for more than five decades and a true pioneer in the television industry. People also ask, “What was the secret to your success?” We always had the same answer: “Fun.” Simple as that. There was not a scripted moment. We had no writers— everything was spontaneous and real. And I’m certain that is why it lasted as long and as successfully as it did. We were authentic. Love us or loathe us, viewers knew they were getting the real deal.

So much of our culture today is manipulated, photoshopped, and edited into sound bites. Over the years I’ve been asked to participate in reality shows, but I’ve always said no because they aren’t “reality” at all. They are planned and produced and manipulated to titillate and entertain to the lowest common denominator, which usually includes some form of human degradation. I simply cannot watch people be devalued in any way, let alone participate in a show that promotes this.

A part of our not being respectful of each other’s humanity includes the fact that people no longer talk to each other; they scream at each other. Our dialogue has become coarse and mean- spirited. I’ve had to move away from this culture of hate to a culture of kindness.

What goes in must come out, right?

’m glad I’m not on live daily television anymore, walking on political eggshells and dodging proverbial bullets. It’s no fun. I’m not sure Live with Regis and Kathie Lee could have lasted in this social media– dominated world we live in now. We always just said whatever came to our minds. Now you have to process every thought and edit every word before you feel safe enough to actually say it. The result: no spontaneity and little authenticity. In other words, no fun. It makes me sad for young people growing up today. How can you find yourself if you’re not allowed to be yourself?

My two favorite comedians in the world are Craig Ferguson and Ricky Gervais. They are true comic geniuses who happen to be delightful human beings as well. They are explosive but deeply insightful men who remain my friends even though, in many ways, we are polar opposites.

One day Craig and I were taking a break on the set of our movie and he asked suddenly, “Kathie, why do you love me and Ricky?”

“What?” I said. “What do you mean, ‘why do I love you?’ I love you because you’re wonderful and hysterical and I adore being around you.”

“But, we’re not good guys!” he exclaimed. “We don’t agree with you on hardly anything.”

“So?” I answered him. “God loves you, and I love God, so I love who He loves.”

Then Craig told me something that tore at my soul. “Nobody of faith has ever told us before that they love us.”

“Well, then you haven’t met one. Any person who truly loves God truly loves the people He has created. You can’t proclaim that you love God when you actually hate someone.”

And then we got back to work; two very different people with very different ideas about pretty much everything, who had been blessed to find each other in a screwed- up world yet were completely unwilling to let it screw us up.

It’s never too late to politely ask others to stop yelling. Then as much as it depends on you, have a civil conversation. I’m right here. You don’t have to yell.


Taken from “It’s Never Too Late” by Kathie Lee Gifford. Copyright 2020 by Kathie Lee Gifford. Used with permission from

(Photo by: Jarad Clement)


Kathie Lee Gifford, four-time Emmy Award winner, is best known for her eleven years co-hosting the popular fourth hour of the Today show alongside Hoda Kotb. Gifford continues to pursue her dreams as an actress, singer, songwriter, playwright, producer, and most recently, director. She has authored numerous books, including her most recent children’s book, The Gift That I Can Give, and five New York Times bestselling books, including It’s Never Too Late.

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  1. One Response to “It’s Never Too Late by Kathie Lee Gifford (Book Excerpt)”

  2. I am really looking forward to watching her new movie: Then Came You. Thank you for posting this excerpt from her book.

    By Maureen VanWalleghan on Jan 27, 2021