Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb React to Marriage Rules From the ’50s—and It’s Hilarious

Kathie Lee Hoda KotbHoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford appear on NBC News' "Today" show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

Oh, how times have changed! Today co-anchors Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb hilariously reacted to a 1950s marriage advice guide for wives during their “Today’s Talk” segment on Friday, November 18.

The “Good Wife’s Guide,” which was published in a 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly magazine, gave women of the time some tips on how they should act in order to be a “perfect companion.”

Before reciting the list of supposed “rules,” both hosts cued a short instructional film from the ’50s entitled Marriage is a Partnership. In the black-and-white clip, a housewife from the decade tends to her husband before he leaves for work.

The woman shares that she has so much to learn about cooking and cleaning despite the tasks sometimes seeming “unimportant and dull.” She goes on to explain that a vital part of her partnership with her husband is learning about his job and “absorb[ing] his frustrations.”

The outspoken television personalities had difficulty controlling their laughter while watching the clip. Kathie Lee recalled her parents’ marriage being “very similar” to the partnership the video portrayed. “It was the norm,” she noted.

After composing themselves (albeit temporarily!), Kathie Lee and Hoda reviewed the “rules” for maintaining a happy marriage. Rule #1 for ‘50s housewives: “Before you see him, take 15 minutes to rest and check your appearance,” Hoda read from the teleprompter. She added: “This is hysterical.”

Kathie Lee caused another eruption of laughs from her co-host when she read rule #2: “Never complain if he’s late, or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.”

Other tips for the 1950s housewife included arranging her husband’s pillows and taking off his shoes. “Always let him talk first, be happy, and… try to be interesting,” Kathie Lee read before sharing another giggle fit with Hoda.

“Speak in a low, soothing, and pleasant voice,” the ladies said in their deepest voices.

Readers were encouraged to remember that their husbands were the “master[s] of the house,” and as wives, they had “no right to question him,” Hoda read as both women looked at each other in shock.

Watch Kathie Lee and Hoda’s reactions in the video above.

About the Author

Kelly Spears
Kelly Spears
Kelly is an online news writer for The Knot. She is a professional writer who studied English at Ohio State University. Kelly is a big fan of TLC's '90 Day Fiance' and FYI's 'Married at First Sight.'