Al Roker Misses First Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 27 Years as 'Today' Costars Send Him Their Love

Al Roker takes part in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
A familiar face is missing from this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Al Roker, who has performed on the iconic parade route for Today for 27 years, is absent this year as he recovers from blood clots in his leg and lung that sent him to the hospital earlier this month.
During NBC's broadcast of the 96th annual parade Thursday, fellow co-hosts sent Roker well wishes.
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"For the last 27 saves, in that moment, Savannah, we turned to Al Roker, who's our Today show colleague and our best pal," Hoda Kotb said. "But as many of you have heard, Al is recovering - recovering very well from a recent medical problem. And we just want to say we love you Al. I wonder if you're watching, but we wish you a full recovery. "
Savannah Guthrie also shared a heartfelt message with the Today show's weather host before announcing that Today co-host Dylan Dreyer will be taking his place this year.
"We love you Al. See you next year," Guthrie said. "And now I'm covering for Al, Ms. Dylan Dreyer from the Today Show. She has positioned herself at the parade start line in Uptown. Hello Dylan, good morning!”
RELATED: Al Roker is recovering after being hospitalized for blood clots in his leg and lung
Al Roker takes part in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Sachyn Mital/Shutterstock
RELATED: Everything you should know about the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Dreyer had some sweet words for the weather expert. "Good morning guys and Happy Thanksgiving. Al, we love you, we miss you and we are thinking of you!”
During the broadcast, Dreyer spoke by phone with President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. In addition to wishing first responders and troops a Happy Thanksgiving, the President also paid tribute to Roker.
"We'll call Al too to see how he's doing," the president told Dreyer, to which she replied, "Al's great."
On Thursday, Roker shared on his Instagram that he had left the hospital. "This is my version of the Thanksgiving Day Parade - prepare me to leave the hospital!" he said as he walked down the hall. "Time to blast that taco stand. Woohoo!"
He also captioned the post: "So much to be #thankful for on #Thanksgiving. Leaving the hospital and home for #Thanksgiving.”
When he got home, Roker even tuned in to the parade to see his peers hosting the show and posted a selfie in front of the TV. "Home in time to catch a bit of the #macysthanksgivingdayparade," he wrote. "Missing being alongside @savannahguthrie and @hodakotb."
Roker, who has been absent from the NBC morning show for three weeks, provided an update on his whereabouts on Nov. 18, revealing in an Instagram post that he is receiving medical treatment for a blood clot.
"So many of you have thoughtfully asked where I've been," wrote Roker, 68, captioning a photo of a bouquet. "Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg that sent some clots to my lungs."
"After some medical strokes, I am so fortunate to be receiving excellent medical care and on the road to recovery," he added.
"Thank you for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend everyone,” he concluded.
RELATED: What it's like to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Roker has been a fixture on Today since 1996 as the program's first weather anchor. Before that, he appeared as a replacement for the late Willard Scott for years.
He was most recently absent from the show in late September after testing positive for COVID-19.
While Roker has been dealing with his health issues, Dreyer has represented him today. She and co-hosts Guthrie, Kotb, Craig Melvin and Carson Daly spoke about their colleague on Friday's show.
"He's in a good mood, we've all spoken to him," said Guthrie, 50, with co-host Kotb, 58, adding, "He's in a great mood."

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