By: Jill Fox
What began as a mother-daughter trip to New York quickly became a dream come true for Parkland resident and talk show fan Jody Duffy.
Jody and her husband, Jim, moved from Tamarac to Heron Bay in Parkland four years ago. In January, while attending a Junior Achievement fundraising event, she stopped in her tracks when she saw a photo of Andy Cohen staring back at her from the auction table.
As a huge Bravo fan and an avid viewer of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” Jody tested her luck by placing the highest bid for two exclusive tickets to a live taping of the show in New York City. After winning the trip, she invited her mother, Judi Sebastian, on a girls’ trip to “make some good memories.”
While the vacation was centered around the taping for “Watch What Happens Live,” the fun didn’t stop there. The visit included a pre-taping cocktail party with themed drinks, and Jody even managed to snag an impromptu selfie of her and Andy Cohen during a commercial break.
As a stay-at-home mom to Jackson, 10, a student at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Jody enjoys spending hours in the car listening to SiriusXM TODAY Show Radio on Channel 108 during her commute, especially shows like “Off the Rails” airing Tuesdays at 1 p.m. with hosts Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones and “TODAY Show Confidential” which airs Thursdays at 1 p.m. with TODAY Show co-executive producers Libby Leist and Tom Mazzarelli and senior producer Pete Breen, where they share everything from behind-the-scenes information to funny stories that happen throughout the planning of a morning show.
While planning her trip to New York City, Jody felt that although she had visited before, she had never taken part in traditional tourist stops, other than a few famous landmarks.
“I had never been to The TODAY Show, which is an iconic thing to do in my eyes,” said Jody.
One week before her trip, Jody called in to both shows to tell them she would be visiting the Today Show Plaza. Leist said that they would stop by and say hello to her if she were coming. While standing in the 18-degree weather with her homemade “TODAY Show Confidential” sign, Al Roker approached the mother and daughter, inviting them to take a peek inside.
“When you’re there, it’s an electric moment. The crowd is all in it together, and the energy is really something magical,” said Jody, who added that every person she met was so friendly and kind.
She met all the anchors, visited the set during filming, and even toured the control room.
She said she is still coming down from all the excitement, but her husband informed her that she’s just Jody when she is home, not to expect celebrity treatment.
“How they rolled out the red carpet for us was so unexpected and really unforgettable.”
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.