Al Roker was noticeably absent from the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday for the first time in 27 years.
Meteorologist Dylan Dreyer stepped in for the longtime moderator during the Today show’s coverage of the parade on Thursday amid Roker’s ongoing health battle.
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb continued their tradition of hosting from a post near Macy’s flagship store in New York’s Herald Square while Dreyer conducted interviews on the street.
On one occasion, the NBC News weather forecaster took a call from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who were watching the parade from the White House.
The couple asked how Roker, 68, was doing, and Dreyer reassured POTUS – and the millions who watched the parade – that he was doing “greatly”.
“It’s not Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade without Al Roker. Thanksgiving is cancelled,” one fan tweeted.
Another chimed in: “Can we postpone Thanksgiving until Al Roker is better?”
Despite his absence, the show continued with Funny Girl star Lea Michele opening the televised event with her performance of Don’t Rain On My Parade.
This year’s celebration includes 28 floats, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns and performances by the likes of Paula Abdul, Sean Paul, The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, Jordan Sparks, Big Time Rush and Gloria Estefan.
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Mariah Carey will take center stage in the finale as she performs her classic Christmas hit ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ in front of the Macy’s Store.
Earlier this month, Roker sadly announced he had been hospitalized with blood clots in his leg and lungs.
“So many of you have thoughtfully asked where I’ve been,” the TV icon captioned an Instagram post with flowers and an NBC News mug.
“I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg that sent some clots to my lungs,” he continued. “After some medical strokes, I am so fortunate to be receiving excellent medical care and to be on the road to recovery.”
He closed the message by thanking his fans and colleagues alike for the “good wishes and prayers.”
Two years ago, just weeks after undergoing prostate cancer surgery, the beloved meteorologist co-hosted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“I feel really good. I was very lucky,” he shared while appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show in February 2021. “We recognized it early on. It was an aggressive form of prostate cancer, but we caught it very early on.”