Al Roker returned for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! After missing the parade in 2022 to address health issues, the beloved TODAY anchor, 69, admitted that he was glad to be back on Thursday, November 23. While his co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb were outside of Macy’s in Herald Square, Al was posted up at the start of the parade route on the Upper West Side.
When his co-hosts went to him in the broadcast, Al said that he was so happy to be reporting from the parade, which is a yearly tradition at this point. “Happy Thanksgiving, Savannah. I am so grateful to be with you, Hoda, and all of you at home on this beautiful morning!” he said. The reporter continued and said that it was beautiful weather for the Thanksgiving Parade.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 23, 2023
At another point in the broadcast, Al made reference to his health issues last year, while showing that he was so happy to have returned. “Look, I missed last year,” he said, via People. “I am so thankful to be anywhere this year, but especially here.”
Before the parade began, Hoda and Savannah turned to Al for an update on the weather, while also complimenting his Thanksgiving fashion sense. “I say, ‘Yay, let’s have a parade!'” he said. “It’s going to be a great Thanksgiving Day, and guys, it is going to be a great parade!”
In addition to giving weather updates, Al also gave fans a few glimpses into the parade from his perspective on his Instagram. He shared a video of Hoda passing him on a float and him cheering her on from the street. He also posted a clip of him heading down to meet his co-hosts in Herald Square.
Al missed the parade as he was hospitalized with blood clot complications in his legs and lungs. It was the first time that he’d missed the parade in 27 years, having broadcast in every single one since 1995. Even though he wasn’t able to be there, he did post a selfie showing that he was watching from home as he recovered. “We just want to say, we love you, Al. Wonder if you’re watching, but we wish you a full recovery,” Hoda said during the broadcast.
Earlier in November, Al opened up about the health scare and making sure he made it to Christmas in an interview with Your Mama’s Kitchen. “It’s no secret that I had a severe medical issue, and to be completely honest, I almost died. I didn’t know it at the time,” he said. “It was important to me and gave me something to push for. And I made Christmas dinner.”