Al Roker just faced a massive heat wave.
TODAY's very own weatherman and host of the new web series "COLD CUTS" took the hot seat on First We Feast's "Hot Ones," the hit show with "hot questions and even hotter wings." Like many other celebrities — including Charlize Theron, Kevin Hart and Natalie Portman — he was interviewed by host Sean Evans over a platter of 10 increasingly spicy chicken wings, running the gamut from relatively mild (Howler Monkey Sauce) to dunk-your-head-in-a-tub-full-of-milk hot (Hot Ones' The Last Dab Reduxx).
Prior to the challenge, he predicted that he would only make it to wing three. So far did he go? You'll just have to watch to find out!
Here are some of the best things we learned about our friend Al during the spicy challenge:
1. He doesn't love spice, but he does handle spice well.
We knew this from when he took the "One Chip Challenge" back in 2016 and pokerfaced the whole way through. But he showed true grit as he coolly conquered the wings of death with Evans. His strategy? "You take a bite. You don't eat the whole thing."
2. His cameo on "Will & Grace" was based on a real-life event.
Years ago, he saw a guy on the plaza holding a sign that read, "Chris: Will you marry me?" so he went over to him, and said, "So, you love Chris?" And he said, "Well, I love Chris, but I love Jeff more," and proceeded to kiss the guy next to him, Jeff. Al turned to the camera and said, "See? They won't even show you that on 'Will & Grace.'" So, "Will & Grace" wrote him into the show and had Jack and Will show up to the TODAY show and kiss on the plaza.
3. His biggest on-camera gaffe involved the phrase "warm air mass."
You can see where that went.
4. His all-time favorite burger is from Shake Shack.
It's no surprise. After all, he had his own burger there.
5. The best thing he ate in Korea was a cheesy bread.
It's called gyeran bbang. (It's technically egg bread.)
6. He had no idea how many times he's been name-checked in hip-hop lyrics over decades.
"I don’t know what it means, I don’t," admitted Al. "My 19-year-old called me and said, ‘Dad, really? Pusha T?’ And I’m like, ‘OK, first, who’s Pusha T? And secondly, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Then I Googled and found out he’s got a beef going with Drake. And so I think it basically is because my last name rhymes with a lot of words. It works.”
7. He's a tough fashion critic.
He told one of the cameramen, Bill, that he couldn't believe he had the guts to wear a "weird 'Where's Waldo?' shirt."
"I had a shirt like that when I was seven."
"You're like a canary that met a jailbird."
"The last time I saw someone wear that was like Curly Howard in 'The Three Stooges.'"
8. He once live "streamed."
While he was setting the Guinness World Record for longest weather report (34 hours!), the audio guy forgot to turn off Al's mic when he went to the bathroom. So, there's that.
9. He's mastered the art of balancing celebrity life with "real life."
“It depends on what you want. I like being on TV, but I’ve got another part of my life," Al said. "I’ve got my family, friends, so I don’t feel this need to be ‘on’ all the time … I share some stuff on social media, but there’s people who are on constantly. Once you go down that road, I think it’s hard to pull back."
10. He made a promise to his dying father that he'd lose weight.
"My dad was ... dying of cancer, and he said, 'The only thing I'm worried about,' he goes, 'I've got a good wife; I have beautiful children; the only thing I'm really worried about is you, you know? And I'm not gonna be here to help you raise your kids, so I need you to promise me you'll lose weight.'"
Al revealed that his father died two weeks after that conversation, so he felt like he owed it to him to honor his memory.
11. His favorite Olympian to cover was Adam Rippon.
“I love Chloe Kim," said Al. "But as far as kind of a breath of fresh air, Adam Rippon had probably one of the greatest lines ever ... Hoda says, ‘Is there anybody at the Olympics having a better time than you?’ And he says, ‘Oh, I don’t know. Anybody who’s won a medal?’ It was so refreshing, and he’s got this joy ... He exudes joy."
12. He's a pretty decent cartoon artist.
His father nurtured a love of cartoons in him, and he once dreamed of going to the New York School of Graphic Art & Design. So, on the spot, he drew Sean a "Hot Ones"-inspired doodle — a blazing sun with flames coming out of its mouth. See it for yourself: