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Prank war returns? Watch Ellen's hilarious chat with cardboard Matt

When Matt wasn't able to interview Ellen, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
/ Source: TODAY

What happens when Matt Lauer can’t make it to an interview with Ellen DeGeneres? A cardboard cutout fills in. Consider it the latest gag in their long-running prank war.

In this video, DeGeneres says Matt had to cancel a chat with her about her new NBC reality series, “First Dates,” because he fell sick. “Which probably means he’s at one of those kinky conventions that he goes to,” the comedienne jokes.

Luckily, she found a replacement for Matt in her dressing room: a cardboard cutout of the TODAY anchor, dressed in a tuxedo. We’ve never seen a cardboard cutout so well dressed!

She pretends to field questions from “Matt” about “First Dates,” a show that gives viewers a hilarious inside look at first dates at a Chicago restaurant. DeGeneres is an executive producer of the show, which is narrated by Drew Barrymore.

RELATED: Ellen pranks Matt, again! Their war continues with a naughty new gag

“She has a lot of experience with first dates. She did a movie where she went on 50 of them,” DeGeneres quips, referring to Barrymore’s 2004 comedy “50 First Dates” that co-starred Adam Sandler.

DeGeneres is really proud of her joke, but when she laughs and tries to high-five cardboard Matt, she’s left hanging. We’re sure the line would get a chuckle out of the real Matt.

“You can ask me anything,” DeGeneres tells the cardboard cutout moments later. After a brief pause, she adds, “Well that’s personal. Let’s stick to business, OK?”

She answers the mysterious question toward the end of the segment: “Yes, five times.” (Five times what, Ellen? Tell us!)

The interview ends on a painful note. After throwing it back to “Bryant” (as in former TODAY anchor Bryant Gumbel), DeGeneres sits on cardboard Matt —and snaps him in half in the process.

Hey, things could be worse for Matt. Much worse.

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