The TODAY family brings holiday cheer to the rocker’s door with a sentimental surprise
Grab a tissue and get ready for some happy tears!
Today, Al Roker went home and is on the road to recovery after spending four weeks in the hospital. But he’s not quite ready to go back to Studio 1A yet.
So this week the entire TODAY family gathered together on Al’s doorstep to surprise the lovable weatherman with some holiday cheer to help him feel merry and bright.
The plan was to round up all the TODAY reporters, producers, crew, and security and have them sneak into Al’s house and pack Christmas carols for the man everyone has missed so much.
Now, you might think getting a lot of people together on short notice would be a scheduling nightmare. But this is the easy part. When the plan was announced, all he wanted to know was where and when.
The tricky part was the logistics of getting a massive crowd of Santa Claus hats to Al’s place without anyone noticing.
While the reporters and staff were rehearsing their carols a block from their destination, Al and his wife, Deborah Roberts, had just returned from a doctor’s appointment and were about to be driven by the TODAY gang.
Fortunately, Deborah was caught off guard and sent a message to the team to raise it to another block.
Once Al got home, everyone quickly made their way to his doorstep, where Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb rang the doorbell and began what turned out to be a touching event filled with smiles, tears, and songs.
When Al opened the door, he had an emotional response to seeing and hearing all of his friends again. But once he wrapped up a round of “Jingle Bells,” his wit was on display.
“It’s very impressive that you did it without a summary,” he said with a sly smile.
But after everyone laughed, Al became serious.
“I missed you all, so much,” he said, “all these faces.” “It means the world to me and our family and Deborah, who has just been my rock. Thank you so much. I really appreciated that.”
“It was one of the most heartwarming moments I think[for]all of us,” Savannah said of the surprise. “Everyone was crying, and it was great to see.”
And Al was happy to see them, too.
It was special and powerful,” added TODAY’s 3rd hour Shenelle Jones. “You can only feel love.”
Al could hear it, too, as everyone raised their voices to introduce another song of the season: “Al Be Home for Christmas.”
He told them all, “I love you more than you will ever know.”
When Dylan Dreyer reflected on the special moment on TODAY, she said, “This place means a lot to Al. He made us all go there and sing for him. It was emotional, and he appreciated it.”
After the clip aired, Al shared his gratitude on his Instagram page.
“Words cannot express how much I love my @todayshow family for coming over to do some carols including a special rendition of ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,'” he wrote.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Al has seen his friends TODAY in recent weeks.
During a video call visit to the gallery earlier this week, Al mentioned that he had frequent visitors during his stay at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
“You guys were great coming from the hospital,” said the 68-year-old, beaming. “Hoda was actually, I think, named Doctor Emeritus. It will literally show. She did ‘Ho-dini’ the way she would be there.”
Al has been through what he describes as “extreme stress” recently.
In November he was hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs and leg. This forced him to miss hosting the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade for the first time in decades. And shortly after going home for Thanksgiving, Al returned to the hospital, where he’d spent the past few weeks.
But through it all, he knew everyone was rooting for him.
“It gives you a deep sense of gratitude for this outpouring of prayers and thanksgiving,” he said. “I am a very lucky person.”
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