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Hoda + Kathie Lee Challenge Chelsea Handler to a Cage Match

Kathie Lee Gifford and  Hoda Kotb have a bone to pick with Chelsea Handler.
Michael Loccisano/Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

It’s no Don Lemon vs. Jonah Hill tete-a-tete, but it looks as though Hoda and Kathie Lee, aka the ladies of the 17th hour of ‘The Today Show,’ are having a bit of a spat with Chelsea Handler.

Handler, host of ‘Chelsea Lately,’ was scheduled to appear on the Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford hour of ‘The Today Show’ on Monday, but cancelled at the last minute. A Handler handler (we’re clever) called the show before her scheduled appearance and told them the comedienne was ill and would thus be a no-show.

This would have been A-OK with the boozy stepsisters of ‘Today,’ except a few hours later, the “sick” Chelsea managed to make it to a taping of ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.’ And while there, she confessed what really happened.

“I wasn’t drunk or anything,” she said, getting the obvious excuse out of the way. “I literally walked into a shower door this morning. I hit my eye and so everything’s puffy.” Because of that, she obviously “couldn’t go with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kota-ba, or whatever her name is.”

Fallon corrected her pronunciation of the well-known journalist’s name, and Handler once again put on her classypants and handled the constructive criticism gracefully, replying, “That’s good to know. I never thought about it. I just thought, why are there two vowels like that so closely together?”

Once Hoda and Kathie Lee caught wind of the interview, they were just a tad miffed and had a few choice words for Miss Thang on their show Tuesday.

Gifford chirped, “She had been sick all night, we were told. But we had a feeling something was up.”

Kotb added, in response to Handler’s inability to say her name, “Consonants! Two consonants!” She also drew upon her investigative journalism background and realized, “Wait – just so we’re clear – she wasn’t sick and her eye didn’t look puffy.”

“I think she’s got some explaining to do,” Gifford concluded.

We’re not sure why Chelsea took a powder. She does realize how much they drink on that show, right?

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