While both have completely different roles in the media, Katie Couric and the late Florence Henderson do have at least one interesting similarity.
That is, they were both the first women to guest host popular shows on television.
Katie Couric is known for being a journalist, producer, and author. She has worked for the three biggest television networks during her career so far, ABC, CBS, and NBC. She is also the founder of Katie Couric Media, a multimedia news and production company, and has her own newsletter, “Wake Up Call.”
In addition, Couric was a host on the “Today” show, “CBS Evening News,” and a correspondent for “60 Minutes.” Couric is an incredibly influential figure in the journalism world. She has been providing people with information since the late ’70s.
As for Florence Henderson, she was a beloved entertainer most known for her role as Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch.” However, after her time on the sitcom, she grew to love variety and talk shows. She had her own talk show, “The Florence Henderson Show” and her own cooking show, “Who’s Cooking with Florence Henderson.”
Katie Couric as a Trailblazer
Recently, Katie Couric finished her time as a guest host on the popular trivia show, “Jeopardy!” She is the third person to fill in as a guest host after the show’s longtime host, Alex Trebek, passed away.
By taking on the role, she became the first female guest host of the show ever.
This is a major historical moment for the television genre. Over the years, game show hosting stints have been dominated by male hosts. Other future female guest hosts for the show include “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie and popular actress, Mayim Bialik.
According to People, Couric was nervous to take on the “Jeopardy!” role. However, she felt honored to be the first woman to host.
“I love that I’m the first woman! They framed a little thing for me after I was on. It says, ‘What iconic journalist and Stand Up to Cancer founder is the first female guest host of Jeopardy!?’ And then it says, ‘Who is Katie Couric?'”
Katie Couric is no stranger to trailblazing women. In fact, she has a weekly digital video series that celebrates powerful females over the last 100 years. It is a collaboration between People and Katie Couric Media called “SeeHer Story.”
Florence Henderson and Talk Show Position
Florence Henderson was the first guest-host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in 1966.
At the time, the popular talk show was about to be hosted by Johnny Carson. Henderson was behind the desk in between Jack Paar and Johnny Carson as hosts. She had gotten a good amount of experience hosting from her “Today” show job. Henderson hosted the fashion segments on the morning show with Dave Garroway.
Before getting the chance to guest host, she was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show.” This was due to her appearances on Broadway and other entertainment projects.
Listen to her talk about the experience working with Johnny Carson and “The Tonight Show,” here.
Henderson was incredibly versatile. From being “America’s Mother” to participating in game shows or reality shows to having a cooking show to being on Broadway, Henderson was constantly adapting and trying new things.