The Today Show’s Jenna Bush Hager received quite the birthday surprise from Bono this week. The U2 frontman managed to shock the TV show host on their walk through Central Park with a surprise performance from the Susan E. Wagner High School band. The duo passed by the Tavern on the Green restaurant when Bono suddenly changed their plans. “Can we get a pint? Sorry, change of plans,” he said. Clearly taken aback by the new direction the interview veered, Hager asked: “Wait, what is happening here?”
“Some intentional music,” Bono answered, before adding, “Happy Birthday, babe.” Hager’s jaw dropped quickly as she saw the scene before her complete with music, balloons, and a rock icon. “Stop it!” Hager said. “Are you kidding me? You have got to be kidding me. Thank you! I’m freaking out.”
She reminisced on the day via Instagram later, sharing how special the surprise meant to her. “I had a dream…it was a beautiful day. Thanks for everyone who made this happen. Bono I [love] you,” she wrote in the caption.
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Speaking with her co-host Hoda Kotb on her Making Space podcast, Hager reveals her 40th birthday also marks a major milestone for her father, former U.S. President George W. Bush. “He quit drinking the day after his 40th birthday,” Hager said, adding that she was only 5 years old when he made the decision, so she doesn’t have many memories of him drinking at all. “It’s interesting to me because a lot of his stories to us and our family sort of begin at 40. I think he had a new lease on life at 40, a really important revelation that he couldn’t drink. So that sits with me because it was a really important part of our family, that choice that he made.” She adds that the revelation has also made her contemplate her drinking use in the future, but says she has no plans to quit any time soon –– and doesn’t think she needs to.
Her parents also surprised her on The Today Show with a special Happy Birthday message. “40 years ago today, your dad and I were thrilled to welcome two baby girls to the world. You and Barbara have made us happy every day since. We’re so so proud of you, love you,” Laura Bush said. “40 years is a… seems like an old age, but it turns out it’s not. You’re doing great, Laura and I love you. We’re very proud of you and we wish you and your sweet sissy Barbara a Happy Birthday,” George W. Bush commented.
Following the sweet message, Hager was moved to tears but managed to still joke about their relationship. “I’m sure I made them happy every day except for the day I got arrested,” she said. “That day they weren’t so happy.”