Grab a handkerchief and get ready for tears of joy!
TODAY’S Al Roker is back home and on the road to recovery after spending four weeks in hospital. But he’s not quite ready to return to Studio 1A just yet.
So this week, the whole TODAY family gathered outside Al’s doorstep to surprise the beloved weatherman with a little holiday cheer to help him feel joyful and bright.
The plan was to round up all the presenters, producers, crew and security of TODAY and have them sneak up to Al’s house and sing Christmas carols for the missing man. so much to everyone.
Now, you might think that getting so many people together on such short notice would be a planning nightmare. But that was the easy part. When the plan was announced, all everyone wanted to know was where and when.
The tricky part was the logistics of getting a massive crowd dressed in Santa hats to Al’s house unnoticed.
As the anchors and staff rehearsed their chants a block away from their destination, Al and his wife, Deborah Roberts, had just returned from a doctor’s appointment and were about to drive by the TODAY gang. .
Luckily, Deborah was surprised and messaged the team to move on to another block.
Once Al was back home, everyone quickly went to his door, with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb ringing the doorbell and kicking off what turned out to be a touching event filled with smiles, tears and songs.
When Al opened the door, he had an emotional reaction seeing and hearing all of his friends again. But once they finished a tour of “Jingle Bells,” his signature spirit was on point.
“It’s impressive that you did that without a bellows,” he said with a smirk.
But after making everyone laugh, Al got serious.
“I’ve missed you all so, so much, all those faces,” he said. “It just means the world to me and to our family and my Deborah, who has just been my rock. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”
“It was one of the most heartwarming times, I think (for) all of us,” Savannah said of the surprise. “Everyone was in tears, and it was just beautiful and so wonderful to see him.”
And Al was just as happy to see them too.
“It was special, it was powerful,” added Sheinelle Jones, Al’s girlfriend on 3rd Hour Today. “You might just feel the love.”
Al could hear it too, as everyone raised their voices to deliver another song of the season: “Al Be Home for Christmas.”
“I love you more than you will ever know,” he told them all.
When Dylan Dreyer reflected on TODAY’s special moment, she noted, “This place means so much to Al. Seeing us all there and serenading him was — it was emotional, and he enjoyed it. .”
After the segment aired, Al shared his gratitude on his Instagram page.
“Words can’t express how much I love my @todayshow family for coming out to do a little Christmas carol, including a special rendition of ‘I’ll be home for Christmas,'” he wrote. .
Of course, this isn’t the first time Al has seen his present day friends in recent weeks.
During a video call visit to the show earlier this week, Al mentioned that he had frequent visitors during his stay at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
“You were great coming to the hospital,” the 68-year-old exclaimed. “Hoda was actually, I think, made an honorary doctor. She would literally show herself. She did a ‘Ho-dini’, the way she would be right there.
Al has been going through what he calls a “difficult chore” lately.
In November, he was admitted to hospital with blood clots in his lungs and leg. This forced him to skip Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade for the first time in decades. And after a brief trip home for Thanksgiving, Al was back in the hospital, where he has spent the last few weeks.
But through it all, he knew everyone had his back.
“It gives you a deep sense of gratitude for this outpouring of prayers and thanks,” he said. “I am a very lucky person.”