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Willard Scott announces retirement from NBC

‘Today’ will pay tribute to the longtime weatherman on Tuesday

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Charles Sykes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Thanks for the memories, Willard!

Matt Lauer announced on Friday’s episode of the Today show that longtime weatherman Willard Scott, who stepped back from his daily duties in 1996 to make way for Al Roker, will retire.

Scott, who is 81, has worked 65 years for NBC — 35 of which were spent on Today. Over the last two decades, Scott has continued to make appearances with his classic Smucker’s Jelly segment that honors viewers who have turned 100.

A proper sendoff is planned for Scott on Tuesday, but the reminiscing began on Friday with a clip package about the time First Lady Barbara Bush kissed Scott during the 1989 inaugural parade for her husband, George H.W. Bush.

“Barbara Bush singled him out,” said Lauer in the video tribute. “A member of the first family chose to single out America’s weatherman. And I remember smiling from ear to ear for Willard at that moment.” 

“How about that?” Willard said at the time. “I’ve been kissed by the best.”

Scott’s full sendoff will air Tuesday on Today.