As a child, Gifford was a classmate of Herbert Garrison. When they were young, they competed in a talent show, in which Mr. Garrison and Mr. Hat put on a very lame, yet critically-praised ventriloquist performance. Victory seemed to be his until Kathie Lee came forth to sing, with background dancers, music, and a fancy set. She won the talent show by a landslide. Mr. Garrison was furious, denying she had any real talent, believing the only reason she won was because "she had choreography", and has held a grudge against her ever since.
When Kathie Lee came to perform in South Park, Mr. Garrison, now a schoolteacher, decided to get even with her, but Mr. Hat suggested he should just kill her altogether. Mr. Garrison tried to fight Mr. Hat's influence, but gave in and purchased a rifle and held himself up in the town's book depository. Kathie showed up on a truck encased in a bulletproof glass chamber and surrounded by agents, and listened to the various performances in town. Stan and Wendy caught on to Mr. Garrison's plot and tried to convince him not to kill Kathie Lee. Unfortunately, he went forth with his plan and fired at Kathie Lee. However, she survived as she was thrown off the stage when Cartman's weight broke the stage, and Garrison shot Kenny instead. Kathie Lee was rushed out of South Park, Mr. Garrison was arrested, and Mr. Hat was committed.
Kathie Lee later made love to Chef, as he was extremely attracted to her. He is shocked to find her even more sex-crazed than himself. She later reappears in a flashback during "City on the Edge of Forever (Flashbacks)" when the kids misremember her as being an alien in disguise and Garrison a hero.
She is later seen in "The Return of Chef", making a cameo at Chef's funeral, she sits next to Elton John. She makes two more appearances in "200" and "201" as part of the class-action lawsuit but has no lines.
In "Weight Gain 4000", she wore a hot pink v-neck long sleeve shirt over a white blouse with purple pants. In "The Return of Chef", she wore a similar outfit, but her shirt was black instead of hot pink. She also wore light pink eyeshadow instead of blue like in her previous appearances. Though, she still has red lipstick, and light pink blush, just as she had in all of her appearances.
In "Weight Gain 4000", she was shown to be self-centered and arrogant. She also appeared to be whorish, sleeping with Chef despite knowing him for less than a day.
Garrison and Gifford are rivals, as Garrison lost a talent show to Gifford as revealed in "Weight Gain 4000" and as a result, Garrison attempted murder against Gifford.
She slept with Chef in "Weight Gain 4000", it is unknown if they had an actual relationship, however, given that Chef has since changed significantly, therefore, it is assumed any possible relationship is over. Kathie attended his funeral in "The Return of Chef".
- A framed picture of Gifford sits on a shelf in Mr. Mackey's office, as seen in "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut".
- Kathy Lee Gifford's birth name is Kathryn Lee Epstein. She is married to sports journalist Frank Gifford.
- In Cartman Gets an Anal Probe, the chalkboard in Mr. Garrison's class mentions her name but spelled "Cathy".
- Gifford is the first celebrity to be mocked on the show.
- "Weight Gain 4000" - Performs in South Park.
- "City on the Edge of Forever (Flashbacks)" - Brief Cameo
- "Wing" - Cameo near stage at a wedding.
- "The Return of Chef" - Seen at Chef's Funeral
- "200" - Seen as one of the celebrities suing South Park.
- "201" - Seen as one of the celebrities suing South Park.
|Minor Characters from Season One|
| Barbra Streisand | Bob Saget | Damien | Death (character) | Ms. Ellen | John Horsoff | Kathie Lee Gifford | Leonard Maltin | Patrick Duffy | Rex | Robert Smith | Sally Struthers | Scuzzlebutt | Sidney Poitier | Sparky|