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Jeff Probst on Katie Couric: I would have definitely asked for a second date

USMagazine, Friday, May 31, 2013, 8:45am (PDT)
  • Katie Couric's little black book includes a slew of famous stars like Bob Saget and Larry King, the perky talk show host revealed on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday. The TV journalist also admitted she once went on a date with "Survivor" host Jeff Probst, though they never saw each other again. "He had puka shells on," she recalled. "That was kind of a weird thing."

    The next day, Probst emailed Us Weekly from a remote location where he is currently shooting CBS' upcoming "Survivor: Blood vs. Water." The 51-year-old Emmy Award winner -- married to Lisa Ann Russell since 2011 -- opened up about his short-lived courtship with Couric, and explained why they never made it past the first date.

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    "Katie and I were set up by a mutual friend several years ago. In fact, I don't know if Katie remembers, but that same friend originally tried to set us up way back in 2001," he wrote. "I remember because we were filming 'Survivor' in Kenya which is cool enough -- add to that a date with Katie Couric -- it had the makings of a pretty epic summer. But the timing never worked out and so we never met."

    Probst continued, "A few years later the same friend connected us again and this time the date was set. The next time I was in New York we would have dinner."

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    "What I remember most about the date is how nervous I was and how little I offered to the conversation," Probst recalled. "It was like I forgot how to go on a date. Like I was 14. We talked a bit about her kids and the challenges of being a parent to teenagers, and we talked a bit about our careers and lifestyles but we never got much beyond the surface." (Couric is mom to Ellie, 21, and Carrie, 17. Her late husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in 1998 at the age of 42.)

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    Probst told Us that he "would have definitely asked for a second date" and added that "it wasn't lack of interest" on his part. "The only reason I didn't call back was the date was set up through her assistant and I never got her number. It felt weird to call her assistant for a second date," he explained. "So it never had a chance to be a romance. Who knows what might have been? But it's a date I definitely remember! I mean, come on, it's Katie Couric!"

  • VIDEO: Katie Couric tells Us Weekly about her biggest mistake

    At the Right to Laugh Comedy Fundraiser in Hollywood, Calif., on Thursday, "Full House" star Saget also opened up about his one and only date with the former "Today" show co-anchor. "I did a benefit with Katie Couric in New York and I went to dinner with her," he told Us. "She's a lovely person and we had a good time. I've seen her many times since."

    The divorced father of three added that Couric, 56, later "gave me a hard time" about their ill-fated romance. "She told it on a talk show and I think she told it again," Saget said. "I think she's out of material."

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    Like Probst, Saget never made it past the first date with Couric, either. "I can't say that I was devastated that neither called me back," the Katie host told Stern. "I thought they were both nice guys. ... I don't think there was real magic there with either [of them], but I enjoyed spending time with them."

    The widowed TV journalist has since met her match in financier John Molner, whom she's been dating since the summer of 2012.

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