He was known as Uncle Willard. But he was also referred to as Bozo the Clown, the original Ronald McDonald, Al Roker’s second dad, or simply, “the heart and soul of the Today show.”
On Tuesday, current and former members of the Today team paid tribute to Willard Scott, who is retiring from NBC after 65 years. The 81-year-old weatherman began his career as a page at NBC and joined the morning news program 35 years ago. During that time, he got kisses from the likes of First Lady Barbara Bush, dressed up as Boy George and Carmen Miranda, wore cowboy hats, and cuddled with small pigs. He also became the champion for just about every centenarian in the country.
“Why now? Why did you decide after 65 years this was it?” Roker asked Scott on Tuesday.
“Well, Donald Trump wrote me in his will. I figured I don’t need to work anymore,” Scott joked. “So I told NBC to take this job and … enjoy it.”
Later in the broadcast, a full tribute to Scott aired. Watch that segment below, which was (naturally!) sponsored by Smucker’s.