Al Roker Co-Hosts Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 2 Weeks After His Surgery for Prostate Cancer
On Thursday, the 66-year-old TV weatherperson rang in Thanksgiving by co-hosting the annual parade event alongside Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, two weeks after undergoing a five-hour surgery for prostate cancer.
In a series of photographs shared in a tweet by the Today show, Roker can be seen behind-the-scenes of the famed spectacle posing with an array of guests, including Jimmy Fallon and Tori Kelly. In another, Roker reunites with the "Butter Man" a year after their playful feud on last year's Thanksgiving special.
Then, in one other photograph in the series, Roker is seen solo, standing below a giant superhero-themed balloon float as he dons a mask amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier in the morning, at the start of the program, Roker also cut the ribbon to kick off this year's iteration of the famous parade alongside Macy's CEO, Jeff Gennette, sharing, "It may not be the parade we wanted, but this year, it's the parade we need."
Because of COVID-19, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is looking a bit different this year, with numerous changes in place to allow the event to continue on without spreading the virus.
Instead of the typical mile-long parade route, the holiday event — which started in 1924 and has been televised nationally on NBC since 1953 — is marching near Macy's flagship store in New York City and doing so without a crowd. Similarly, the iconic character balloons are not being flown with handlers, but instead pulled along by special vehicles.
A slew of famous faces are also performing during the early morning event, including Dolly Parton, Leslie Odom Jr., Ally Brooke, Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus, Patti LaBelle, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha and Jordin Sparks.
Elsewhere, the casts from Hamilton, Mean Girls, Jagged Little Pill and Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations will also sing and dance in musical sets that were previously taped ahead of the event.
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Earlier this week, and prior to the Thanksgiving event, Roker made his return to the Today show set.
Returning to Studio 1A at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to deliver the forecast during the news show, Roker also offered a health update as he caught up with his co-hosts, including Guthrie, Kotb, Carson Daly and Craig Melvin.
"Great medical care and the love of friends and family — it goes a long way," Roker said during the broadcast on Monday, as Guthrie and Kotb agreed he was looking well. "Actually I was hoping I looked a little better," he replied.
Later in the broadcast, Guthrie rejoiced that "we're all together" again on the socially distanced Today set. "And we can be happy because our Al has returned to studio 1A. ... It was two weeks ago you had surgery for prostate cancer and look at you now!" she added.
Roker thanked everyone for the support and said that he feels "good," adding with a laugh: "Let me tell you, after that first week you can get that catheter out. I'm feeling good!"