NBC’s TODAY show paid tribute to their longtime weatherman Willard Scott after he died on Saturday at age 87.
TODAY put together a moving tribute to honor Scott, showing clips from his various shows over the 35 years he worked for TODAY and 65 total years he worked for NBC. The network’s montage highlights Scott’s humor, personality, and easy-going relationships with others.
“We’re remembering our former colleague Willard Scott who passed away on Saturday at 87 years old surrounded by his family,” TODAY wrote in a Twitter caption. “We’re taking a look back at his legendary career that spanned 65 years.”
In the video, TODAY host Dylan Dreyer introduces Scott to viewers who may not know him. “In a word, he was iconic, using his larger-than-life personality to light up the television screen every morning for decades.”
TODAY host Sheinelle Jones continued by saying, “Willard died peacefully on Saturday at the age of 87, surrounded by his family. Of course, all of us loved him, no more than Al [Roker], who considered Willard a mentor and a second father. Al joined us to share his memories coming up in just a moment. But first a look back at Willard’s amazing life and career.”
The montage of pictures and videos cuts to a specific interview where Willard Scott says, “Weather can be pretty bland on a day to day basis. And so what you do is add a little shtick to it.”
Scott’s “schticks” were often hilarious and timeless. Jones added in a voiceover, “He was joy and laughter personified. Every morning he gave us the weather and a smile.”
Willard Scott’s NBC Career Over the Years
The montage shows Willard Scott’s career at TODAY from its beginning in 1980 to his eventual retirement in 2015. It also highlighted Scott’s joy of celebrating centenarians’ birthdays, showing up with a cake and candles to honor the man or woman who turned 100 years old. He loved how their image also appeared on the front of the Smuckers’ jam jars.
Willard Scott was born in 1934 in Alexandria, Virginia. At just 16-years-old, he started his career in broadcasting, eventually hosting NBC’s “Joy Boys” show in 1955. Scott stayed with the program until it ended in 1974. He then hopped around and did odd jobs for NBC throughout the 1970s, including being a weatherman. But 1980 is when he was called up to work on TODAY.
In 2015, Scott decided it was time to retire. TODAY celebrated his 65-year career with NBC and featured a special moment between Scott and his protege, Al Roker.
“You have been my second dad, and I would not be here without you. I love you so much,” Roker says to Willard as they sit sipping what looks like champagne.
“Well, I appreciate that. Are you gonna buy me dinner?” Willard Scott quips. His humor always remained sharp and hilarious.