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So Karl Stefanovic's new Today ad is the stuff of nightmares and we'll forever be haunted by it.

Last night we sat down in front of our TVs with anticipation, excitedly waiting to meet 2020’s newest villains, influencers and future Logie red carpet attendees on Married At First Sight.

We met them, laughed a little at the women’s toast to not bang each other’s new husbands, and daydreamed about the fruit bowls and wine glasses that will be thrown in future episodes.

Watch the Today show ad here but… If you’re feeling fragile, maybe skip it. You’ve been warned. Post continues below video.

Video via Nine

Until one of those daydreams was so rudely interrupted.

By… this:

karl stefanovic hannibal lecker ad
NOPE. Image: Nine.

That is Today host Karl Stefanovic, and it may not be clear from that static image, but he is doing his best Hannibal Lecter impersonation.

Last night Channel Nine decided to make use of its bumper audience, rolling out an... interesting new promo for Today in the form of a The Silence of the Lambs parody. Yeah, you know, that 1991 Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins movie about a cannibal.

It's obviously a nod to Karl's off-air scandals, namely Ubergate and the breakdown of his first marriage. While Karl's obviously a bit of a controversial character, we never once considered him in the same vein as... one of the greatest ever fictional villains.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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today show ad karl stefanovic hannibal lecter
Images: Nine and Orion Pictures.

The ad begins with Karl in a jail cell, with Allison - parodying Jodie Foster's character Clarice - greeting him.

"Good morning Karl. So, it's you and me," she says. "You better get used to those early mornings again."

"I've missed the smell of morning coffee," he replies, which makes no sense because coffee smells the same no matter the time of day.

Then he... takes a big sniff and... makes a sucking sound with his mouth.

Allison's response is far too casual and we're suspicious.

karl stefanovic hannibal lecker ad
Why do you look so unfazed?? Is this something he does regularly?? Image: Nine.

"Apparently I've been a very naughty boy," Karl says.

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No, no, no, no, no and even more no.

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Image: Giphy.

The dialogue (and mouth... movements) is concerning enough, but we must also bring your attention to the artwork on the wall. Sorry.

In The Silence of the Lambs, Dr Lecter decorates his prison cell with drawings he creates from memory. Look, he's an absolute sociopath, but not a bad artist.

Karl, on the other hand, has adorned his fake cell with pictures so bad they're... terrifying.

karl stefanovic hannibal lecker ad
Karl, WHAT DID YOU DO TO THEM? Image: Nine.
karl stefanovic hannibal lecker ad
What is this webbed footed monstrosity? Image: Nine.
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today show ad karl stefanovic hannibal lecter
Where is her NECK? Image: Nine.
karl stefanovic hannibal lecker ad
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Image: Nine.
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"Everyone is watching Karl," Allison says, inflating Today's audience numbers just a tad.

She holds up the infamous Hannibal Lecter mask and asks "Are you going to behave?"

today show ad karl stefanovic hannibal lecter
We're just so, so confused. Image: Nine.

Dr Lecter, oh sorry we mean Karl, responds: "Well, you're just going to have to... trust me," before semi-smiling and looking directly down the camera.

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Image: Giphy.

Ally then wheels Karl, who is now wearing the face mask and restraints, away just like the serial killer is in the movie, taking our trust, hopes and dreams along with them.

Anyway, good luck sleeping tonight.

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