Every year, the folks at The Today Show go all out to celebrate Halloween and give viewers a chance to see Al Roker, Matt Lauer, and the rest look ridiculous, but this year they took it a bit further to honor Saturday Night Live‘s 40th season. I’m not just talking about donning the costumes of their favorite characters. The Today Show gang flat-out became these characters with Willie Geist and Tamron Hall doing a spot-on impression of Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s Spartan Cheerleaders, Natalie Morales channeling Molly Shannon’s Mary Katharine Gallagher, Matt Lauer doing Julia Sweeney’s Pat beside Julia Sweeney… as Pat, and a Mom Jeans commercial parody parody with Savanah Guthrie, Jenna Bush, and returning Today Show alum Meredith Vieira.
Unsurprisingly, there were also some low points. Al Roker’s Elwood Blues routine was a little flat, but Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb failed to disappoint by hilariously failing and disappointing in their attempt to pull off even a halfway decent Wayne and Garth. It was like watching a church talent show.
Besides Julia Sweeney, current Saturday Night Live cast member Keenan Thompson also stopped by to kick off the entire celebration as Al Roker, and Saturday Night Live royals Molly Shannon and Dan Aykroyd recorded video greetings.
While it was cool to see a few tributes to Saturday Night Live‘s amazing legacy (and also the thing that Kathie Lee Gifford did), I would have actually preferred to see a few shout outs to SNL‘s newer characters and maybe some more obscure moments from the show’s run. Let’s see Matt Lauer as Bill Hader’s Stefon, or Al Roker celebrating Don Pardo by recapturing the magic of him playing the part of The Slime during Frank Zappa’s “I’m the Slime” performance (with Geist as Zappa). How about this? Let’s see Kathie Lee play J.R. Ewing in a wheelchair and lets see her say, “I’d like to know who the f*ck did it!” on the air ala Charles Rocket so that she might be dumped by The Today Show. You know, really commit to the bit. That would make for a real spooktacular. There’s always next year, I suppose.