Natalie got a nice surprise for her birthday Thursday morning, with a cake, some singing, and a special visit from her parents, Penelope and Mario.
She had no idea they were coming up to the studio from Florida for her big 41st. It was especially surprising of them to drop by considering that she recently poked fun at her dad for sporting a "bad rug" at her wedding years ago.
Mario revisited his "bad rug" days, bringing the piece onto TODAY to surprise his daughter.
"I called you guys all day yesterday!" said a shocked Natalie when her parents arrived. "Thank God you didn't pick up." Then, the whole family blew out birthday candles before Al and Willie tried on some bad hairpieces of their own and joked about the number of candles on the cake.
Natalie suggested that maybe they celebrate her birthday and the end of her dad's toupee-wearing era, perhaps by burning the old wig. Instead, Mario ceremonially chopped it in half, like "a ribbon cutting ceremony," as Willie remarked. It was the best (and strangest) birthday present a daughter could ask for.
Julieanne Smolinski is a TODAY contributor and fellow summer birthday.