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TODAY anchors surprise beloved cameraman with touching farewell after 37 years

“We’re really going to miss you," Savannah Guthrie told Bob "Rope" Jaeger, who is retiring.
/ Source: TODAY

It’s the end of an era as TODAY says farewell to beloved cameraman Bob “Rope” Jaeger, who is retiring after 37 years with the show.

The anchors surprised him Wednesday with a heartfelt send-off, asking him to put his camera down and come join them on the plaza.

“We’re really going to miss you, Rope," Savannah Guthrie told him. "You were just the light of this place."

“Rope, we adore you to the moon,” Hoda Kotb said.

“You were just the light of this place,” Savannah told Jaeger.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

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They also surprised him with a video montage celebrating his decades working on the show, which included sharing plenty of funny moments with the TODAY anchors.

“Rope is so loved,” Savannah said in a voice-over accompanying the montage. “Always the quickest with a smile — or a joke, which we happily plagiarize.” (“Half my material comes from Rope!” Al Roker joked later.)

“He keeps us smiling every single day,” Savannah continued in her voice-over. “Even through the pandemic he has been at our side, literally.”

Jaeger's wife, adult children and other family members joined the sweet send-off on the plaza.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Several of Jaeger’s family members also surprised him with hugs on the plaza.

“He talks about you all the time, and you’ve made him part of your family and it’s just been such a great experience for him,” his wife of 38 years, Kathy, told Hoda.

His three young grandkids also surprised him with an adorable video message.

Jaeger is known for his puns on set, and Savannah wrote a pun-filled goodbye poem to the beloved camera operator.

“We pulled some strings to write you a little poem. We are a-frayed that mornings won’t be the same without you ... ” it began. “It’s an emotional tug-of-war, Rope. I know you’re hanging on every word here, so we celebrate you, we say goodbye, and yes, we are finally at the end of our Rope.”

The TODAY anchors surprised him with a camera-shaped cake.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

The TODAY anchors also surprised Jaeger with an impressively detailed cake in the shape of a camera.

“You are truly part of the show,” Al said.