Al Roker

Host / Weatherman


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Al Roker describes his childhood in New York and his early interests in animation and directing. He talks of his years at SUNY Oswego and his first job as a weatherman at a local station in Syracuse, NY. Roker explains how he learned meteorology, speaks of his move to Washington, D.C. to work for the 10pm news at WTTG and recalls meeting and working with Willard Scott in D.C. He then discusses his work at an NBC station in Cleveland, Ohio and finally chronicles his move to New York in 1983 to do weather for Frank Field and the team at Live at Five. Roker then details getting hired first for the Sunday version of Today, then the Saturday show and finally taking over for Willard Scott on the weekday version of the program. He describes what it's like to cover extreme weather, live-on-the-scene; recalls reporting for Today on 9/11 and talks about getting the chance to interview his childhood idol, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 17, 2011 in New York, NY.

"Willard gave me the two best bits of advice I ever got. 'Always be yourself, because at the end of the day that's all you got. You can create a character,' but he said, 'I think you know you just need to be yourself.' And the other one was, 'never give up your day job.'"

Highlights
Al Roker on meeting and working with Willard Scott in Washington, D.C.
01:51
Al Roker on interviewing his childhood idol, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz
01:11
Al Roker on doing the two-man luge with Matt Lauer
00:31
Al Roker on replacing Willard Scott on Today
02:45
Al Roker on covering weather on location for Today
02:17
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on believing he'd be a producer or director; on attending college at SUNY Oswego
On getting his first job as a weatherman in Syracuse, NY; on his on camera presence, learning meteorology, and working with weather maps
On moving to Washington, D.C. to work for the 10pm news at WTTG; on meeting and working with Willard Scott
On leaving Washington D.C. to work for NBC in Cleveland, Ohio; on people blaming the weatherman for bad weather
On moving to New York in 1983; on his first day on the air working with Frank Field on Live at Five; on replacing Field when Field left

Chapter 2

On working on NBC News at Sunrise; on getting hired to do weather on the Sunday version of Today; on doing the Sunday show from Washington, D.C.
On replacing Willard Scott on Today; on some of his favorite moments on the show
On a typical day on Today; on rules for Today
On covering weather on location
On covering 9/11 on Today; on his Today colleague Matt Lauer; on getting gastric bypass surgery
Shows

Today

View Show Page
Al Roker on getting hired to do weather on the Sunday version of Today; on moving to Saturday
03:25
Al Roker on replacing Willard Scott on Today
02:45
Al Roker on finding his place on Today; on how his role has changed over the years; on his favorite moments on the show
05:45
Al Roker on a typical day on Today; on rules for Today
03:28
Al Roker on covering weather on location for Today; on covering 9/11 for Today
07:06
Al Roker on his Today colleague Matt Lauer
00:40
Topics

9/11

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Al Roker on covering 9/11 on Today
03:39

Diversity in Television

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Al Roker on being one of the only African-Americans on camera in the Syracuse area when he was in college
02:05

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Al Roker on covering 9/11 on Today
03:39

Minorities

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Al Roker on being one of the only African-Americans on camera in the Syracuse area when he was in college
02:05

Pop Culture

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Al Roker on rules for Today
00:42

Technological Innovation

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Al Roker on working with different kinds of weather maps over the years
01:03
Professions

Hosts

View Profession
Al Roker on being nervous on camera when he first started in television; on his on camera presence
02:14
Al Roker on learning meteorology and working with weather maps
03:33
Al Roker on people blaming the weatherman for bad weather
01:49

Meteorologist

View Profession
Al Roker on getting his first job as a weatherman
02:55
Al Roker on being on camera, and being one of the only African-Americans on camera in the Syracuse area when he was in college
03:26
Al Roker on covering weather on location for Today
03:27
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Al Roker on moving to Washington, D.C. to work for the 10pm news at WTTG; on meeting and working with Willard Scott
06:23
Al Roker on covering weather on location for Today
03:27
People

Matt Lauer

View Person Page
Al Roker on his Today colleague Matt Lauer
01:41

Don Pardo

View Interview Page
Al Roker on Don Pardo announcing him for the first time on Live at Five
00:44

Willard Scott

View Person Page
Al Roker on meeting and working with Willard Scott in Washington, D.C.
01:51
Al Roker on what he believes Willard Scott saw in him
00:40
Al Roker on filling in for Willard Scott on Today
00:46
Al Roker on replacing Willard Scott on Today
02:45

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