Welcome back, Al Roker!
A global pandemic and a recent shoulder surgery could only keep this familiar face away from Studio 1A for so long.
On Thursday, Al returned to 30 Rock to rejoin TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb after more than five months of broadcasting from home. And over on Instagram, he gave viewers an inside peek at the process of getting back into business mode.
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“Well, I’m wearing a suit and tie for the first time since March 15,” the 66-year-old revealed in a clip he shared to kick off the day.
To help with the all-important waking up part of the morning, he cooked up some coffee.
But after giving his wife’s coffeemaker a go, Al admitted that he missed his old go-to brew.
“Guess it’s time to start making #coldbrew again,” he wrote alongside another video. “These #newfangled #coffemakers with their buttons and beeps and whiz bang things.”
Then it was “#gotime.”
“Welp, five months later, with a new shoulder and a face mask, stepping out the door to go to Studio 1A,” he said in the next clip he shared with his fans and followers.
But in his fourth video of the morning, he wasn’t just talking to the camera anymore. He’d finally made his grand entrance to smiles, laughs and “air hugs” from members of his TODAY family who really missed him.
“And we’re back,” he wrote in the caption of that one. “Wish it was under better circumstances…”
Al’s return, though a long time coming and much appreciated, is actually a bit earlier than expected — and for one very important reason. Hurricane Laura, which made landfall off the Gulf Coast overnight as a Category 4 storm, meant that we needed our resident weatherman-and-more right here, and he obliged.
But despite the serious nature of the news, there were plenty of smiles to be seen all around Studio 1A.
“You know what? Seeing Al brings me peace and happiness,” Savannah said during the show, before asking him how it makes him feel to be back.
He had to admit, “It’s weird after five months of being in the garage.”
Hoda let him know that the entire crew missed him and the way he brightens up the atmosphere, adding, “We’re just happy to have you back.”
He then reminded her that she’d have to get used to him being away again — as he kicks off vacation next week.