The Today Show is known for pulling out all the stops on Halloween. Through the years, the co-hosts have executed themes from song and screen with over-the-top costumes along with performances of who they are representing. This year was no different.
Today’s news team decided to bust out their dancing shoes today for the haunted holiday. Each co-host got decked out as a character known for some type of iconic dance, then performed the moves to match.
Going the TV route
According to Today.com, Al Roker and Craig Melvin teamed up to recreate a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme, with Melvin taking on rapping duties in the title role, and Roker coming on stage as Carlton Banks. Naturally, they both rocked out to the infamous ‘Carlton’ dance!
Roker did such a great job of replicating The Carlton, the dance’s originator sent him a message via video. “I think that is the perfect idea for Halloween,” Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton on the beloved sitcom, told the Today gang.
Dylan Dreyer went a completely different route and pulled off an impressive rendition of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ legendary Elaine Dance from Seinfeld, thumbs and all.
Channeling her inner Janet Jackson
Sheinelle Jones decided to take on a Janet Jackson persona. Fully decked out in the infamous attire from the 1989 “Rhythm Nation” video, Jones nailed the moves to the song complete with backup dancers. The Today co-host was moved to tears when Jackson herself delivered her a special message via video.
“Hey Sheinelle, Thank you for thinking of me and “Rhythm Nation” this year,” the music legend said. “I cannot believe it’s been 30 years since the album was released… I’m so glad you’re still enjoying it.”
They even did the lift – kind of
Most of the acts were taken from the big screen. Peter Jackson dressed up as Kevin Bacon and performed a dance from the 1984 film Footloose, and Hoda Kotb got her John Travolta groove going complete with the iconic white suit and Cuban-heel boots, then proceeded to replicate his iconic moves in Saturday Night Fever.
Carson Daly and Savannah Guthrie donned Danny and Sandy costumes and performed the legendary “One That I Want” routine from Grease. Guthrie got a special surprise from the original Sandy when Olivia Newton-John appeared in a video message. The singer-actress advised Guthrie to wear her “red high heels,” and to be sure to “act saucy” and show “lots of attitude.”
Possibly the biggest feat was pulled off by Willie Geist and Jenna Bush Hager, who came out of maternity leave to celebrate the holiday with her Today team. Taking on the roles of Johnny and Baby from the 1987 blockbuster hit Dirty Dancing, the pair recreated the memorable dance at the closing scene of the film.
When it came time for that magic moment of the legendary lift at the end of the dance, Hager ran toward Geist as if they were actually going to pull it off. But then the camera cut to Geist standing outside the Today studios and doing the lift with a mannequin dressed as Baby.
The Today Show crew clearly put in a lot of work and rehearsal time for this year’s event, and had a lot of fun in the process.