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/ Source: TODAY
By Drew Weisholtz

What, exactly, makes Al Roker so special? The better question may be what doesn’t make him so special?

The TODAY host, who recently celebrated 40 years at NBC, has become a role model for his 3rd hour of TODAY colleagues and they can't say enough about what he means to them, a group interview with People reveals.

In fact, Craig Melvin said some of the best life advice he's ever received came from Roker.

Al and Craig are all smiles!Nathan Congleton / TODAY

“Start with no," Melvin said. "It’s the best advice. And I actually use that and quote it in passing.”

“The power of no is an amazing thing,” Roker said. “And don’t give an explanation. Just say no. You can always go to yes, but if you start with yes, then you’re dead. So, start with no. Especially when it comes to doing stuff that is not important — things that take you away from your kids — start with no.”

The 3rd hour of TODAY gang hard at work.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Dylan Dreyer said she appreciates the fact that Roker is always there to lend an ear.

“I find the most wisdom in emulating someone and I think even if I come to (Roker) with concern or I’m worried about something, or something is stressing me out — (Roker) shrugs his shoulders and just says, ‘It’s fine. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to work out and it’s going to be fine,’” she told People.

Roker's experience makes him a voice of reason that allows him to keep everything in perspective, she added.

“I think for someone like him who has been in this business for so long and has seen it all — it’s reassuring. We sometimes get wrapped up in these moments — there is so much happening in the world where you think everything is just so big and it’s not."

Dylan says Al's words often reassure her.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Sheinelle Jones echoed the sentiment.

“He leads by example and I’m not saying that to sound cheesy, but I have never heard a negative word about Al Roker anywhere. Not a negative mumbling — nothing. In this building — Al is Al,” Jones gushed about him. “And because he’s so calm and because he’s so measured, it’s genuine. And when it’s time to be serious or he has something to say — people listen. He doesn’t overuse his influence. I’ve learned by watching you, Al.”

Al and Sheinelle share a laugh.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Roker, who calls himself "the Farmer’s Insurance of TODAY," isn’t only there for his co-workers while they’re on the clock, either. He recalled the time he stepped in when Jones took her three children to Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park by herself.

The 3rd hour of TODAY is a tight-knit group that has learned under Al's expereinced eye.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

“Sheinelle had all three kids by her side and I was like, 'How did she think she was going to do this?'" Roker said.

“It was insane," Jones chimed in. "I got to the airport and I was like ‘What was I thinking?’ So Uncle Roker stepped in and my kids still love him. And he was so calm.”