The beloved Willard Scott is retiring from the ‘TODAY Show’ after 35 years, the broadcasting veteran announced on Dec. 11. His final show will be on Dec. 15. He will be missed!
Willard Scott, 81, is stepping off the air. The treasured broadcaster and former weatherman announced his retirement from the TODAY Show on Dec. 11, after 35 years with the show. He’s been with NBC for 65 years. What a bittersweet farewell!
The TODAY Show is planning on honoring Willard on Dec. 15 and celebrate his wonderful career. Willard was the show’s weatherman until 1996, when Al Roker took over. Willard got his start as an NBC page and replaced Bob Ryan as the weatherman of TODAY in 1980. He also started wishing centenarians a happy birthday on-air and has continued to do so for years.
Following the news of his retirement, Al tweeted from the show’s account, “He is literally my second dad. I love that man.” Al noted that Willard is his “mentor” and “hero.”
Willard’s most memorable moment with TODAY came in 1989. He was reporting on President George H. W. Bush’s inaugural parade and First Lady Barbara Bush gave Willard a big kiss! In honor of his retirement, Barbara recalled the amazing moment on the show.
“Suddenly I look over and see this very happy face, race over, give that face a kiss, race back to George,” Barbara said. “He says, I didn’t know you knew Willard Scott.’ I said, ‘I don’t know Willard Scott, I just love that face.'”
In addition to his work with TODAY, Willard was the creator and original portrayer of Ronald McDonald, the primary mascot of the McDonald’s fast food chain.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 11, 2015
HollywoodLifers, are you sad Willard is retiring? Let us know!