Al Roker Misses First Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 27 Years as ‘Today’ Costars Love Joe

Al Roker attends 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 made appearances for Today along the iconic parade route for 27 years, is not attending this year’s event as he is recovering from blood clots in his leg and lungs that sent him to hospital earlier this month.

During NBC’s broadcast of the 96th annual parade on Thursday, Roker was congratulated by his morning show co-host.

“For the past 27 parades, at this moment, Savannah, we would be facing Al Roker, who is our Today his showmate and our best friend,” Hoda Kotb said. “But as many of you have heard, Al is recovering – he’s recovering very well from a recent medical issue. And we just want to say, we love you Al. Wondering if you’re watching, but we wish you a full recovery.”

Savannah Guthrie also shared a heartfelt message with the Today show a weather anchor, before announcing that Today co-host Dylan Dreyer will take his place this year.

“We love you, Al. We’ll see you next year,” Guthrie said. “And now, standing in for Al, Ms. Dylan Dreyer from the Today show. She stands tall at home at the front line of the parade. Hello Dylan, good morning!”

RELATED: Al Roker Recovers After AA Hospitalized for Blood Clots in Legs and Lungs

Al Roker attends the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Al Roker attends the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sachin Mittal/Shutterstock

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Dreyer, the weather expert, had kind words for her. “Good morning guys, and Happy Thanksgiving. Al, we love you, we miss you, and we’re 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 acknowledged Roker.

“We’re going to give Al a call, too, to see how he’s doing,” the President told Dreyer, to which she replied, “Al’s doing great.”

On Thursday, Roker shared on his Instagram that he left the hospital. “This is my version of the Thanksgiving Day Parade – getting ready to leave the hospital!” he said as he walked through the hall. “Time to blow up this 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 looked forward to the parade to watch his colleagues facilitate the show, posting a selfie in front of the TV. “Back home in time to catch a little bit of the #macythanksgivingdayparade,” he wrote. “Missing being around @savannahguthrie and @hodakotb.”

Roker, who has been absent from the NBC morning show for three weeks now, gave an update on his whereabouts on Nov. 18, revealing in an Instagram post that he was receiving treatment for blood clots.

“So many of you have thoughtfully asked where I’ve been,” Roker, 68, captioned a photo of the bouquet of flowers. “Last week I was admitted to hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent several clots into my lungs.”

“After some medical whack-a-mole, I am fortunate to be receiving excellent medical care and on the road to recovery,” he said.

“Thank you for all the well wishes and prayers and I hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend everyone,” he said.

RELATED: What It’s Like To Be In The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Roker is a staple on Today as the program’s main weather anchor since 1996. For years before that, he appeared as a stand-in for the late Willard Scott.

He was last absent from the show in late September, after testing positive for COVID-19.

While Roker is dealing with his health issues, Dreyer is filling in for him Today. She and her co-hosts Guthrie, Kotb, Craig Melvin and Carson Daly talked about their colleague on Friday’s show.

“He’s good, we’ve all talked to him,” Guthrie, 50, told co-anchor Kotb, 58, emphasizing, “He’s in amazing spirits.”

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