The 'Today' Show Strolls Down Memory Lane

NBC's overall ratings may rise and fall, but its morning news show just keeps chugging along to another first place finish. The Today show is ending its 14th consecutive year as the top-rated morning news program, and in their annual "look back" at the preceding year, you can see what makes the show work: the chemistry among the co-hosts, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb, and Kathie Lee Gifford.

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As usual, the retrospective focused on fun and upbeat moments. We see Lauer vow, "I would not be caught dead in a Snuggie" followed by, of course, a shot of Lauer in a Snuggie.

Meredith Vieira works as a drive-through clerk at a fast food restaurant, questioning a customer about whether she wants to eat all that unhealthy food so early in the day.

Al Roker poses in place of his own wax figure at Madame Tussaud's, then comes to life when tourists come close (and a similar prank at a corn maze, when Lauer poses as a scarecrow.)

We see various co-hosts painting nude models, strutting with Westminster purebreds, water skiing, stomping grapes, Irish step dancing, herding sheep, and staging snowball fights.

Vieira, up to her elbows in dough, tells Martha Stewart she wished she'd washed her hands earlier. (To her credit, Stewart did not run screaming from the building.)

In clips featuring the fourth-hour hosts, when Gifford slaps the table and flashes her lopsided grin, all I could think of was Kristen Wiig's Kathie Lee impersonation on SNL!

"You forget all the stuff you do in a year," said Gifford, when the retrospective concluded. Luckily, the Today show is happy to remind us.

Who was your favorite Today show host in 2009? Chime in below!

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