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Photos: Today celebrates Halloween 2008

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  1. Fans line up in Rockefeller plaza to get a glimpse of TODAY’s 2008 Halloween extravaganza, which always features the staff in fun, creative costumes. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Meredith Vieira, dressed as Pinocchio for TODAY’s annual Halloween extravaganza in New York's Rockefeller Center, shows off an impressively long nose. TODAY ushered in the spookiest day of the year with a celebration dubbed “Once Upon a Halloween,” unveiling a storybook theme in conjunction with the upcoming film “The Tale of Despereaux.” (Richard Drew / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. TODAY anchor Matt Lauer, dressed as Humpty Dumpty, sits perched high above his storybook wall. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Dressed as Humpty Dumpty, TODAY’s Matt Lauer takes a great fall for the fairy-tale themed Halloween show. (Richard Drew / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Amy, Amy, let down your hair! TODAY’s Amy Robach pays homage to Rapunzel with a luxuriously long wig. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The TODAY staff dons whimsical fairy-tale outfits, with Ann Curry as Cinderella, Al Roker as the Gingerbread Man, Meredith Vieira as Pinocchio, Matt Lauer as Humpty Dumpty, Hoda Kotb as Little Red Riding Hood, Kathie Lee Gifford as the Big Bad Wolf and Amy Robach as Rapunzel. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Evan Opsal, 12, and Nathan Finley, 12, dressed up as Olympic volleyball players Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh to compete in TODAY’s annual plaza costume contest. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Jen Weidenbaum from Brooklyn, New York, as the stove from Hansel and Gretel. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The TODAY cast played “Fairy-tale Feud” to test their knowledge of legendary bedtime stories. The two teams — Matt, Ann and Meredith representing “Mother Goose” and Kathie Lee, Hoda and Amy as the “Brothers Grimm” — answered 10 trivia questions. Team “Mother Goose” won. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. TODAY’s Ann Curry as Cinderella, Meredith Vieira as Pinocchio, and Amy Robach as Rapunzel award Megan Soyster’s 3-month old son Clark — dressed as a spooky, cute spider — as winner of the plaza costume contest. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. TODAY’s Natalie Morales, dressed as Princess Lea from “Star Wars,” shows off her newborn son Luke, celebrating his first Halloween as Yoda. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. TODAY’s Ann Curry, dressed as Cinderella, joins Al Roker as the Gingerbread Man. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A buzzing Belle Clemons, 1, with proud mom Julie Clemons from Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the TODAY plaza costume contest. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. In honor of “Once Upon a Halloween,” TODAY features a musical performance from the cast of Broadway’s “The Little Mermaid." (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. TODAY celebrates Halloween with Meredith Vieira as Pinocchio, Matt Lauer as Humpty Dumpty, Ann Curry as Cinderella and Al Roker as the Gingerbread Man. Last year, TODAY anchors dressed as the title characters from the iconic TV show “The Munsters,” with Matt Lauer as Herman, Meredith Vieira as Lillian, Al Roker as Grandpa, Hoda Kotb as Marilyn, Natalie Morales as Eddie and Tiki Barber as the family’s favorite dragon, Spot. (John Makely / TODAYshow.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Correspondent Jill Rappaport and Host Al Roker celebrate Halloween on NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza on October 31, 2008 in New York City. (Charles Eshelman / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
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TODAY
updated 10/31/2008 12:02:11 PM ET 2008-10-31T16:02:11

TODAY ushered in the spookiest day of the year with a celebration dubbed “Once Upon a Halloween,” unveiling a storybook theme in conjunction with the upcoming film “The Tale of Despereaux.” 

Filled with pumpkins and decorations inspired by children’s favorite bedtime stories, Rockefeller Plaza became a whimsical fantasy kingdom. With the help of “Saturday Night Live” costume designer Brian Hemesath, TODAY’s anchors were transformed into familiar characters from fairy tales.

Encased in a giant egg as Humpty Dumpty, Matt Lauer asked if he looked fat. Meredith Vieira, hard to recognize as Pinocchio, admitted at one point that she was getting “a little high” from the glue keeping her extended nose stuck to her face.

Ann Curry played Cinderella, or, as she described herself, "the ethnic J-Lo Cinderella." Al Roker was jovial in a gingerbread man’s costume.

Kathie Lee Gifford was even less recognizable than Vieira, done up complete with snout and furry tale as the Big Bad Wolf. Hoda Kotb, Gifford’s co-host on the fourth hour of TODAY, was Little Red Riding Hood, while Amy Robach sported a long blonde wig as Rapunzel.

There was also a surprise appearance by Natalie Morales, who showed off her new baby — as well as the fact that she’d lost her pregnancy weight.

Universal Pictures’ “The Tale of Despereaux” tells the tale of three unlikely heroes — a book-loving mouse, a scheming rat and a bumbling servant girl — whose fates are intertwined with that of a castle's princess. In honor of the film, TODAY incorporated the storybook theme, including a musical performance from the cast of Broadway’s “The Little Mermaid" and a game of “Fairy-tale Feud,” moderated by Al Roker.

In “Fairy-tale Feud,” the cast gathered  to test their knowledge of legendary bedtime stories. The two teams — Matt, Ann and Meredith representing “Mother Goose” and Amy, Hoda and Kathie Lee as the “Brothers Grimm” — answered 10 trivia questions, such as “Who locked Rapunzel in the tower?” and “In ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’ what does Jack steal from the giant?” Team Mother Goose won.

As in past years, the annual TODAY Halloween extravaganza also features a plaza costume contest, creepy-crawler insects and highlights pets in costume.

Last year, TODAY anchors  dressed as the title characters from the iconic TV show “The Munsters,” with Matt Lauer as Herman, Meredith Vieira as Lillian, Al Roker as Grandpa, Hoda Kotb as Marilyn, Natalie Morales as Eddie and Tiki Barber as the family’s favorite dragon, Spot.

In 2006, the cast wore “Pirates of the Caribbean” costumes, with Matt Lauer as Capt. Jack Sparrow, Al Roker as pirate Davy Jones and Meredith Vieira as a mermaid in a clamshell.

In 2005, to celebrate a “divas” theme, Lauer and Roker made their grand entrance as Batman and Robin, with Ann Curry dressed to the nines as Audrey Hepburn.

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