- (Photo: Today Show Screen Shot)
The Natalie Morales chair prank has left viewers in a fit of giggles this week, after "Today" show cast and crew played an April Fools Day joke on the news anchor.
TV anchor, Morales, 40, was set up by her "Today" show producers, who requested that she try out a new chair they insisted would be used during filming.
However, a magician called Rich Ferguson, had in fact been hired by the show's cast members to disguise himself as an empty chair in the Green Room.
Morales was not the only victim of the prank, and numerous cast members went to sit down in the human chair only to jump up in horror as Ferguson revealed himself to them. Some screamed and others humped up in shock; Morales however stated afterwards that she nearly punched the magician when she was tricked.
"Today" show co-host Matt Lauer had earlier spoken about the subject of pranks with Ferguson, asking the magician what practical jokes could be played on people without causing excessive embarrassment or anger.
Later in the show, the pranks continued as an on-air marriage proposal turned into an awkward disaster as Morales and a horrified Martha Stewart looked on during the broadcast.
In that prank, a man was broadcast asking his girlfriend to marry him, but the hosts watched in horror as the woman awkwardly broke down crying before asking the camera to cut away.
Moments later, Morales and Steward were informed that the couple was actually a couple of actors who were, ironically, a real-life husband and wife team who specialize in improvisations.
The pranks on the show went down well with viewers, many of whom have become disillusioned by recent controversies surrounding the show since Ann Curry was fired as a co-host.
That decision left many angry at the show's producers, with many feeling Curry had been treated unfairly and was being used as a scapegoat. Many turned their anger to co-host Matt Lauer, who has endured a torrid few months, where he has been consistently criticized and put under the microscope.
Last month, Lauer finally broke his 8-month silence regarding the unexpected termination of Curry. Lauer told the Daily Beast that the time period leading up to and following Curry's departure "was a hard time for everybody" and brought negative attention to the show.
Curry declined an embrace from Lauer and many viewers ended up placing the blame for Curry's unexpected ousting at Lauer's feet.
Here is a video of the Natalie Morales chair prank: