Why Is Al Roker Missing From ‘Today’? Inside His Health Battle Amid Absence From the Show
Since joining Today in 1996, Al Roker has become one of the most beloved faces on the NBC program. After missing multiple episodes of the show in November 2022, viewers have finally gotten answers about his absence. Keep scrolling to find out what happened to the broadcaster.
Why Was Al Roker Missing From ‘Today’?
On November 14, Today kicked off with usual hosts Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer sitting at the news desk. But instead of being joined by cohosts Sheinelle Jones and Al, NBC’s Jacob Soboroff filled in for them. Craig explained that both Sheinelle and Al were off for the day but did not provide further details. Al last anchored live on the program on November 4.
The TV personality only appeared in pre-recorded segments throughout the show in the weeks that followed. While it is common for anchors to fill in for each other when they are on vacation, Al missing consecutive episodes led fans to grow concerned. He addressed his long absence on Instagram on November 18.
“So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs,” he penned. “After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend, everyone.”
While Al did not immediately reveal any details about when he would be returning to the show, his fans and costars took to social media to wish him well.
“Love you, Al! Hurry home. You are missed and loved beyond measure!” Jenna Bush Hager commented on the post.
The New York native’s wife, Deborah Ann Roberts, whom he wed in 1995, also shared a sweet message for her hubby on her Instagram page.
“You are the shining sun and star in our family @alroker,” the journalist captioned photos with her husband and their three kids. “Love you so much. Can’t wait till you’re back home and feeling like your old self again.”
Just one day after revealing he was home for Thanksgiving, Al was rushed back to the hospital, according to Page Six. An ambulance came to take the weatherman to a hospital in upper Manhattan. Multiple sources reported that as her husband was being taken away on a stretcher, Deborah had to break into her own car to retrieve personal items she left in the vehicle. The Tesla was experiencing a malfunction that left her unable to open the doors and follow the ambulance to the hospital right away.
The family was staying at their Upper East Side apartment at the time of the health scare. Onlookers saw Deborah eventually hop in a taxi with one of her daughters to head to the hospital to be by her husband’s side. An insider told the outlet that Al’s condition was “improving” after heading back to the hospital for the second time.
On December 8, Al shared an update with his Instagram followers, noting that he was back home.
“So incredibly grateful to family, friends, medical folks, @todayshow family and all your thoughts and prayers,” he captioned his post.
Is Al Roker Leaving ‘Today’?
Despite taking some time off from the series to recover, Al has not announced any plans to leave the long-running program. With the Storm of the Century author on the mend, his usual spot hosting the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was filled by Dylan Dreyer. Al was announced as one of the program’s official hosts along with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie prior to his hospitalization. Dylan did a fantastic job kicking off the parade with a slew of celebrity guests and even gave a sweet shout-out to her costar.
“Good morning guys, and Happy Thanksgiving. Al, we love you, we miss you and we’re thinking about you!” she said.
After his second hospitalization, Hoda updated Today fans on Al’s condition. The bestselling author was forced to miss the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center on November 30 due to his health battle.
“We all wish that Al could have been with us but due to some complications, he is back in the hospital and he’s in very good care,” she told Today viewers during a December 1 broadcast. “He’s resting and his doctors are keeping a close eye on him.”
On December 5, the stars of Today debuted a new commercial to help spread holiday cheer. Though Al was absent from the shoot, his costars honored him in a special way. Savannah, Hoda and Craig held up panels with Al’s face on them as they sent viewers well wishes this holiday season.
One thing that is certain is that all of Al’s Today costars, family and fans are all rooting for his speedy recovery. The weatherman previously celebrated 40 years on NBC in December 2018 with a sweet tribute from his colleagues, wife and youngest child, son Nicholas.
“From the moment I stepped foot in WKYC in Cleveland to getting a job at WNBC, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven because my parents could actually turn on the TV and see me, to being here with all of you, it’s been an amazing ride,” the longtime newscaster said during the episode.
Hoda and Savannah were excited to announce that their longtime colleague would be returning to Today on January 6. The pair revealed the news during a January 3 broadcast.
“It was like, ‘when, when?’ Well, we have our day. He’ll be here Friday,” Hoda shared. “He’ll be right here in Studio 1A. This is his place. He’ll be in his seat right where he belongs. We cannot wait for that.”
During the January 6 episode, Al made his big return to the series, getting emotional talking about how much he missed being at work.
“My heart is just bursting,” he shared. “I’m just so thrilled to see all of you and the crew. Right now I’m running on adrenaline.”