Esteemed “Today” show personality and weatherman Al Roker got emotional while receiving a Christmas surprise from his team. Roker, 68, was noticeably absent from work for the last month due to some serious medical issues. He has suffered from blood clots that eventually traveled to his lungs.
On Monday, Roker made his first virtual appearance back on the show, and is expected to return in person soon. However, that didn’t stop his colleagues from showering him with appreciation.
In a “Today” segment that aired Wednesday, co-host Savannah Guthrie remarked: “When the Rockefeller Tree was lit this December, it felt like it was missing its brightest star: our own Al Roker. Throughout his month-long hospital stay, we have all been waiting for the day we could wrap our arms around our sunshine. And, well, we couldn’t wait any longer.”
Dozens of personalities including Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, Craig Melvin, Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, and the show’s staff and crew, traveled to Roker’s home to serenade him. They all wore red Santa hats and stood in front of his door as they sang “Jingle Bells” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”
For “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” they exchanged the word “I’ll” for “Al.” Roker teared up but jokingly commented: “I’m impressed you did that without a prompter! I just want to thank you all. It’s been a long, hard slog and I’ve missed you so very much. All these faces – it just means the world to me and to our family. [Roker’s wife] Deborah has just been my rock and I just thank you so much.”
In 2020, the weatherman revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Roker has been with the “Today” show since 1996.