"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," Probst wrote in an email to Us Weekly, responding to an interview Couric did about the date Wednesday on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show. "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 said he and Couric eventually connected for a date a "few years later" in New York.
"What I remember most about the date is how nervous I was and how little I offered to the conversation," Probst said. "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."
Probst said he definitely would have liked to ask Couric out on a second date, but he never got her phone number.
"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 said. "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!"
Couric said in her interview with Stern she found it "weird" that Probst wore puka shells on their date.