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Beyond merely existing to inform us on national news and entertain us with comedic bits, morning shows provide us with familiar faces, creating a comforting presence as we drink our coffee and get ready for the day. The Today Show has featured numerous comforting personalities over the years, from Matt Lauer, to Al Roker, to Carson Daly. However, one of the most beloved men to ever grace The Today Show has announced that he will be retiring: Willard Scott.
Earlier today, Scott announced that he would end his long and storied career with NBC. Having spent 65 years with the network – 35 of which were spent on The Today Show – Scott has seen and done just about everything during his career. Serving as the weatherman for The Today Show, Scott also fostered a strong voiceover career in commercials, and served as the original Ronald McDonald all the way back in the early 1960s. He also spent a decade as the host of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and was succeeded by Matt Lauer when Scott decided to go into semi-retirement during the late 1990s.
While his colleagues stated their intention to give him a proper send-off next week, they decided to look back on one of the more heart-warming moments from Scott’s career. During the inauguration of the first President Bush on January 20, 1989, First Lady Barbara Bush singled Scott out in a crowd, ran over to him – which we’re sure delighted the Secret Service agents serving as her security detail – and planted a firm kiss on Scott’s lips. When questioned about the moment, the First Lady admitted that she didn’t even really know who Willard Scott even was; she just saw his face and immediately knew that she liked it.
Check out the clip from The Today Show below to see the hilarious moment for yourself:
For the most part, Scott had already been in semi-retirement for the last few years, but this announcement indicates that he will no longer have a presence in our morning routines at all. Audiences will most certainly miss Scott’s warm addition to The Today Show, but the emotion with which his colleagues are sending him off is definitive proof of the effect that he has had on all of their lives throughout his career. At the end of the day, it's a bittersweet moment, because while we never like to see anybody leave, watching them go out in a proud, respectable fashion makes the experience well worth it. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and cheers to a job well done, Mr. Scott.