Karl Stefanovic’s ’disturbing’ new promo
A NEW Today show promo depicting Karl Stefanovic as Hannibal Lecter left Channel 9 viewers rightly baffled last night.
In a bid to pull viewers back from Sunrise, Stefanovic and his co-host Allison Langdon star in a puzzling Silence of the Lambs spoof, making light of Karl's highly publicised fall from grace last year.
But, in what should come as little surprise, likening the television personality to an incarcerated cannibal hasn't seemed to improve his popularity.
But while the bold choice in character is presumably in reference to Karl's cheeky, troublemaking ways, and not his propensity to eat people, not everyone is in on the joke, with the clip labelled "bizarre" and "cringe" on Twitter.
"Apparently I have been a very naughty boy," a deadpan Stefanovic said in the dramatic video, standing in a suit in a jail cell behind bars.
Langdon responds, "This time Karl things are going to be different. Everyone is watching Karl, are you going to behave?", to which he looks directly to the camera and asks viewers to "trust him".
In one alarming moment, Stefanovic mimics the hissing noise Hopkins makes in the film after his iconic "fava beans" line.
"This year, breakfast television gets juicy. It won't be boring," a voiceover promises the audience.
Innocent MAFS viewers were quick to slam the promo last night, labelling it "disturbing", "sad" and "weird" on Twitter.
Did...did ch9 just make Karl out to be Hannibal? What a weird weird promo spot. #MAFS— Filip (@mcfilip) February 3, 2020
What the hell was the ad for the Today Show all about? Oh my God. #MAFSAU— Justin Kelly (@rozza1001) February 3, 2020
Since his return to the flailing morning show - ousting Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight - Karl has said he's confused by the uproar about his divorce from Cassandra Thorburn.
Just five months after he split from Thorburn, the Channel 9 star began a relationship with Jasmine Yarbrough, whom he married in December 2018.
The turmoil in his personal life affected Stefanovic's popularity, particularly with female viewers of the Today show, and after months of mounting pressure at Channel 9, he was sacked from the breakfast show at the end of 2018.
Opening up in an interview with 3AW's Neil Mitchell last month, he said: "I thought, 'Well hang on, a lot of people go through this, and why is mine such a big deal?' I still don't know why it was.
"I got divorced, I did find love again, and I'm sorry if people are offended by that, but it's made me really happy."
While Karl's long-awaited return to Today was tipped to improve ratings for 2020, it seems yet to make an impact.
Stefanovic made his return on January 4, the first show attracting an audience of 231,000 in metro markets compared to 312,000 on Seven's Sunrise.
Official television ratings don't start until next week, however.
The new look Today team sees Stefanovic and Langdon supported by newsreader Tracey Vo, weather presenter Tim Davies, sports journalist Alex Cullen and entertainment reporter Brooke Boney.
What did you think of the Today ad? Comment below