The funnyman was promoting his upcoming movie Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted on the morning program Today when conversation turned toward his personal life.
However, interviewer Gifford failed to conduct proper research and she applauded Short's long-lived marriage to comedienne Dolman, who lost her battle with cancer in 2010, setting the stage for a very awkward chat.
But gracious Short kept his cool, skirting over the issue instead of calling out the 58-year-old host on air.
Gifford said, "He and Nancy have one of the greatest marriages of anybody in showbusiness. How many years now for you guys?", to which he responded, "We (had been) married for 36 years."
Gifford, however, kept pressing, saying, "But you're still, like, in love?" Short forced a small smile and responded, "Madly, madly in love."
Fans watching the awkward interview were mortified, taking to Twitter.com to fire off their thoughts.
One fan wrote, "Kathy Lee Gifford just had an #epicfail (sic)," while another tweeted, "Just saw Kathy Lee Gifford ask Marty Short abt (about) his wife/marriage. She died abt 2 yrs ago. Gulp! He was very gracious."
Gifford has since realized her big blunder and has taken to her Twitter page to apologize for her mistake.
She tweets, "I send my sincerest apologies to @MartinShort and his family. He handled situation w/ (with) enormous grace and kindness and I'm so grateful."