Al Roker to Miss Rockefeller Tree Lighting Amid Health Issues

Al Roker is missing out on another holiday tradition as the Today co-host and weatherman continues to recover following the discovery of blood clots in his leg and lungs. He’ll forgo participating in this year’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony as he recoups with family at home.

The medical challenge arose earlier this November and landed Roker in the hospital for an extended period of time, preventing him from co-hosting NBC’s presentation of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which was helmed instead by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb in his absence.

Rockefeller tree lighting

(Credit: Michael Greenberg/NBC)


According to NBC’s listing for the tree-lighting ceremony, the event will see Mario Lopez step in for Roker as he co-hosts the event alongside Guthrie, Kotb, and Craig Melvin. The special airing for two hours on Wednesday, November 30 will feature an all-star lineup of performers and guests including Jimmie Allen, Andrea Bocelli with Matteo Bocelli and Virginia Bocelli, David Foster and Katharine McPhee, Brett Eldredge, Mickey Guyton, Alicia Keys, The Muppets of Sesame Street, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and more.

Additionally, the evening will feature a performance by Rockefeller Center’s Radio City Rockettes from their “Christmas Spectacular” with a special bit by Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph.

Undoubtedly, Roker’s presence will be missed as he’s been a staple of NBC’s holiday specials, but he’s more than likely to be watching from the sidelines at home like he did on Thanksgiving. During the parade broadcast, Roker had taken to Instagram to acknowledge his absence and support his colleagues posting, “Back home in time to catch a little bit of the #macysthanksgivingdayparade. Missing being next to @savannahguthrie and @hodakotb.”

It was the first time in 27 years that Roker hadn’t appeared on the Thanksgiving parade special. Catch the Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree lighting special when it airs on NBC, and stay tuned as we await Roker’s impending return to Today.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center, Special, Wednesday, November 30, 8/7c, NBC

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