Al Roker Just Had This Major Surgery

Fans of Today have been wondering where their favorite weatherman has gone to. Since Sept. 18th, he has been AWOL from the popular morning program.

Al Roker
Al Roker | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Al Roker has been one of the steady, unchanging parts of Today. Since 1996, after Willard Scott’s retirement, the morning show personality has been the regular weekday weather guy. He’s the one so many count on for updates on atmospheric happenings such as cold fronts, high-pressure winds, and El Niño. He’s down to earth, entertaining and funny. And now he’s been out. So where has Roker been?

Roker’s dedication to his health

The television personality has always struggled with his weight and had gastric bypass surgery in 2002. Soon after, he lost over 100 pounds and has been determined to keep it off and keep in shape. Recently, he found himself in the position of having to speak out against fat-shaming comments made by Bill Maher on his Real Time HBO program.

Al Roker of Today with former Tonight Show host Jay Leno

Maher made the remarks on his Sept. 6 program saying, “In August, 53 Americans died from mass shootings. Terrible right? Do you know how many died from obesity? Forty thousand. Fat-shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback. Some amount of shame is good. We shamed people out of smoking and into wearing seat belts. We shamed them out of littering and most of them out of racism. Shame is the first step in reform.”

Roker responded on the Sept. 16 Today program.

“As somebody who has struggled with his weight all of my adult life and my childhood, and who had been bullied and fat-shamed if you will, even though we didn’t have that term then, it scars people,” he said on the third hour of the morning show.

Why Roker had surgery

Roker had surgery Sept. 18 for hip replacement, necessary because of osteoarthritis.

He talked about it on Today the day before his surgery. “All of a sudden, I started feeling this twinge in my hip — and then my back was acting up. It seems like my hip went fairly quickly.”

He told his Today co-hosts, “In the last three months, my left hip has been deteriorating and I decided, let me go get it taken care of.”

“My sister Lisa is having both of her (hips) done so we got a family plan going,” he joked about the procedure, adding, “I’m getting my hip replaced on Groupon…I’m slowly replacing this body.”

On the day of his surgery, he posted a video of himself lying in the hospital bed letting fans know he was waiting for the doctor to begin the hip resurfacing surgery (a new-age hip replacement). 

When will Roker return to ‘Today’?

Roker hopes to be back at work, as long as there are “no complications …two Mondays from now.”

The Today gang has been supportive of their colleague, cheering him on and awaiting his return.

Read more: What Today Show Co-hosts Say About Al Roker