Oh, the horror of it all. The Today show turned the NFL into a frightful, Halloween experience, complete with a Carrie Underwood wannabe singing the theme song.
The Today show Halloween big reveal was Football Fright (Night) in America. That’s a tweak of NBC’s super popular Sunday Football Night in America pre-game show and game. And why not? The pre-game show drew 9.5 million viewers this past Sunday, with the audience swelling to 12-million plus for the game.
And Hoda Kotb as Underwood sang Waiting All Day for Sunday Night. Check that, Kotb lip-synched the lyrics. But the 57-year-old squeezed into Underwood’s sparkling knit mini dress for the performance. A long blonde wig and dark boots completed her Underwood costume.
In a behind-the-scenes Today Show video, Kotb exclaimed that “there wasn’t enough Spanx” in the world to make the dress work. But check out the video, Kotb looked wonderful, especially given she’s almost 20 years older than the always fashionable country superstar.
Before the telecast, Kotb sent a group photo to Underwood. “She said we all looked good.”
NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico played himself and introduced the various Today show acts.
Give it up for Al Roker. He took center stage as The Weeknd, who was the halftime performer at this year’s Super Bowl. Dressed in a bright red sequined jacket and wig, Roker lip-synched and danced through The Weeknd’s top hit.
Today Show host Sheinelle Jones stole the Halloween show. She dressed as Bruno Mars, who performed at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. But Jones also danced as Mars and was amazing. Roker and Jones, both still in costume, interviewed Idris Elba in a later segment.
Then Savannah Guthrie and Jenna Bush Hager performed as Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Bush Hager grew up in Texas, so she’s a Cowboys fan. Guthrie admitted that as a kid she cheered for the Cowboys, although she’s now a Philadelphia Eagles diehard.
‘Today Show’ Gets Spooky
The two Today show hosts flew to the Dallas area to learn the moves from actual Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Some of them danced with Bush Hager and Guthrie during Friday’s Halloween show. The two Today show hosts sported a modified cheerleader outfit. The shorts were a bit longer than the Dallas game-day uniform.
“This is how you can’t lose,” Bush Hager said. “White boots, big hair, can’t lose.”
Craig Melvin dressed as Patrick Mahomes, in his quarterback uniform for the Kansas City Chiefs. Although Mahomes is having a difficult season this fall, his Chiefs were in the Super Bowl in February as the defending champions. Plus, Melvin’s 7-year-old son, Del, was on set wearing a Mahomes jersey.
Then came the Tampa Bay Bucs. Willie Geist dressed as Tom Brady, with Carson Daly as Rob Gronkowski. They were sporting a ton of Super Bowl bling, all of it authentic. Steve Kornacki, the MSNBC political stat guy, also analyzes trends for Sunday Night Football. And he came dressed as grouchy coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.
At the end of the big Today show reveal, producers surprised Kotb with a message from one of her favorite players. Kotb is a fan of the New Orleans Saints. So Drew Brees, the former Saints great who now works for NBC sports, came on the show to wish her well.