Al Roker missed his first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 27 years Thursday morning after being hospitalized for blood clots earlier this month.
Meteorologist Dylan Dreyer filled in for Roker’s emcee duties at the annual event, which brings out some of the biggest names in entertainment to celebrate Thanksgiving and ring in the holiday season.
His “Today Show” cohosts present at the parade acknowledged his absence toward the top of the program, wishing him a speedy recovery and nodding to his legacy of enthusiasm and spirit.
“For the past 27 parades, at this moment, we’d turn to Al Roker, our ‘Today Show’ colleague and our best pal, but, as a lot of you have heard, Al’s recovering, and he’s recovering very well from a recent medical issue,” Hoda Kotb said. “We just want to say we love you, Al. Wonder if you’re watching? But, we wish you a full recovery.”
Reps for NBC did not immediately respond for comment to TheWrap.
Roker first disclosed the news of his hospitalization via social media on Friday. Posting to Instagram, he thanked “Today Show” fans for their “well wishes and prayers.”
“So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been,” he wrote. “Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs. 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.”
It’s unclear how long Roker, 68, will be out on medical leave from “The Today Show.” But in wishing him a speedy recovery, cohost Savannah Guthrie seemed to imply he’ll be out through the new year.
“We love you, Al. We’ll see you next year!” she said.