Al Roker's Relationship With The Today Show Cast Explained

Al Roker's 45-year-long career as a TV personality began in 1996 when he joined the "Today" show as a weathercaster. Speaking to Inc., he revealed that he spent a year in the weekend role before he slowly started to sub for Willard Scott. Eventually, he took over his weeknight role. "Willard was the 'Today' show weather person, beloved, literally like a second dad to me," Roker shared. "And he was the one who said, ya know what? I think it's time to step back, and I'm telling them they're crazy if they don't tap you. And I was fortunate they did, but I was the beneficiary of his largesse. Of saying, 'Ya know what, it's time for me to semi-retire, and so far as I'm concerned, he's weathercaster emeritus at the 'Today' show.'"

Since then, Roker has gone on to become one of the most beloved "Today" show hosts. He has also been on the show long enough to see co-hosts come and go, including former "Today" news anchor Matt Lauer. Viewers have watched him develop friendships with co-hosts, like Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, and more. The group's banter keeps audiences tuned in day after day, but what is Al Roker's relationship with his "Today" show co-hosts like behind the scenes? Keep reading to find out.

Al Roker married former correspondent, Deborah Roberts

The "Today" show has played an important role in Al Roker's life. In fact, he even met his wife, Deborah Roberts, on the set of the show, where she began work as a correspondent back in 1990. At the time, Roker was still married to now ex-wife Alice Bell, so things started out cordial rather than romantic. "Al was so sweet," Roberts told People of her first impression of her husband. "He showed me pictures of his daughter and talked about his family. I just thought he was a nice guy, and that was that." 

The couple didn't begin dating until 1992 after Roker and Bell finalized their divorce. They then got engaged two years later before eventually tying the knot in 1995. Roker shared a clip of the big day to Instagram on his and Bell's 25th wedding anniversary, and the two appeared to be smitten with each other.

The pair went on to welcome daughter, Leila Ruth in 1998 and son, Nicholas Albert in 2002. Roberts spoke to People about what might be the secret to a long and happy marriage. "When I travel, I open my suitcase and I find one or two notes in there that he's slipped in, or in my purse," she said, revealing some of Roker's thoughtful gestures. "'Have a great day. I'm thinking of you.' Or an Emily Dickinson sonnet or something. And I'm just like, 'Oh my gosh.' It just touches me."

The Today show cast helped him through his recovery

In November 2022, it was revealed that Al Roker had been hospitalized due to blood clots in his legs and lungs. As a result, the TV personality had to take a break from his duties on the "Today" show. Roker took to Instagram to share an update on his condition. In the caption, he thanked his followers and loved ones for their continued affection and support, and explained, "So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I've been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs. After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery." Many of Roker's fellow "Today" stars flooded the comments of his post with words of encouragement and well wishes. Hoda Kotb wrote, "Al Roker — hurry back to us ... counting the days." Meanwhile Craig Melvin penned, "Love you brother ... can't wait to have you back!"

Roker's unfortunate medical emergency caused him to miss the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in 27 years. Still, his "Today" co-stars made sure to share a sweet message for him during the parade broadcast while he watched from home. Kotb explained the situation to viewers before stating (via People), "We just want to say, we love you Al. Wondering if you're watching, but we wish you a full recovery."

Craig Melvin admires Al Roker's smarts

"Today" show co-host, Craig Melvin hasn't been shy about his love for Al Roker. He gushed about the TV personality while speaking to Hello! magazine in November 2022. When asked who his most amusing "Today" co-host is, Melvin responded, "Al Roker. Al is so funny. He's also so quick-witted. Some of it is born from his encyclopedic knowledge of everything. He's wit smart. That's also because he's been around longer. He knows more because he's seen and experienced more. He's as kind as he is funny."

Roker doesn't seem to be afraid to make his love for Melvin known either, because he wrote a touching tribute to the news anchor for Variety's New Power of New York list. "How can you not love this guy?" he wrote. "He's a young Southerner who was raised by a mom who was a teacher and a dad who worked shifts at the post office in South Carolina. I love that even though he is so young, he has made his success the old-fashioned way: through hard work, coming up through local news in South Carolina, winning Emmy Awards, becoming an honored anchorman." "Today" show viewers know that while Melvin and Roker are close, they have their on-air disagreements, too with the co-hosts' often jokingly taking jabs at one another. But hey, their banter makes the show great.

He's been a mentor to Craig Melvin

We know that Al Roker and Craig Melvin's on-air squabbles are just for fun because they've actually always had a solid relationship behind the scenes. "Roker's become my secret mentor," Melvin said of his more senior colleague on NBC's "Overheard on the 3rd." "... Years ago, before anybody started paying attention to me at 30 Rock, I asked Al Roker out to lunch not expecting him to actually accept the invitation — and he did." Praising the star's lengthy career in broadcast journalism, he added that he wanted to speak with Roker to learn more about the industry.

Melvin reciprocates his co-host's support by being there for him during hard times. On top of sharing a message of support regarding Roker's November 2022 hospitalization, the news anchor had previously dedicated an Instagram post to him in 2020 after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. "This morning, my dear friend, mentor, road dog, and brother from another mother announced he's having prostate cancer surgery next week," Melvin wrote. "Have been thinking about [Al Roker] all day. For those who know its power, offer up a prayer for our guy ... that cancer picked the wrong prostate. You got this, Al."

Al Roker and Matt Lauer's complicated friendship

You might remember former "Today" show news anchor, Matt Lauer. He was let go by NBC in 2017 after he faced sexual misconduct allegations. Al Roker had a complicated relationship with the co-host back when the two were colleagues. Radar claimed that the pair weren't fond of each other at first because Lauer allegedly played a role in the firing of former "Today" cast member, Ann Curry. The duo also didn't get along in the beginning because Lauer mispronounced Roker's name, as revealed on "Today." However, the co-hosts were eventually able to squash the beef and even started a rather unique tradition. During both the 2006 and 2014 Winter Olympic games, Lauer and Roker slid down the luge track together.

After Lauer was fired from "Today" in 2017, an anonymous source told OK! magazine that he allegedly grew closer to Roker following his cancer diagnosis. "Matt and Al have had limited contact over the past two years," the outlet claimed in 2020. "They are both treading carefully and know it wouldn't be a good idea for either of them to be seen together in public. Matt is heartbroken about Al's health news and has made it clear to Al that he is there if he needs him."

Some of the Today cast bond over fatherhood

The dads of the "Today" show likely have a lot to bond over. They know what it's like to balance their busy careers and fatherhood, and it's probably helpful to be close to someone who understands that struggle. With that in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that Al Roker seems to be great friends with fellow "Today" show dads, Craig Melvin and Carson Daly. The trio spoke about navigating fatherhood during an interview with People in June 2022. "I think Father's Day means a little different thing to each one of us," Roker told the outlet. "But I think at the core, I think we were fortunate enough to see our dads and that informed how we became fathers. I know for myself, I tend to put my dad a bit on a pedestal."

Daly shared that he uses Father's Day to reflect on his relationship with his late father and stepfather. He also spoke about how the trio has each other's support. "It's nice to be able to have another colleague that has a very similar lifestyle," he said. Melvin explained that he was able to repair his relationship with his dad in recent years. According to E! News, the TV personality opened up about his father's addiction in his book, "Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father." Perhaps Melvin also received his co-stars' support when coming forward to open up about his difficult childhood.

The Today show cast relies on Al Roker's expertise

Since Al Roker joined the "Today" show decades ago, it may be safe to say that he's an expert when it comes to his job. This might be the reason why his co-hosts look to him for guidance. In 2019, "Today" show cast members, Craig Melvin, Dylan Dryer, and Sheinelle Jones, spoke to People about what they've learned from their legendary colleague. Dryer told the outlet, "I find the most wisdom in emulating someone and I think even if I come to [Roker] with concern or I'm worried about something, or something is stressing me out — [Roker] shrugs his shoulders and just says 'It's fine. It's going to be fine. It's going to work out and it's going to be fine.'" Jones chimed in to add that those in the industry only have good things to say about the star.

The TV icon even helps his co-hosts out when they need a hand looking after their little ones. Jones told People that Roker helped her during an overwhelming trip to a water park with her three children. The father of three's co-workers must really appreciate the fact that he's not only a mentor but also a babysitter. Unfortunately for Roker, it appears that his fellow "Today" show hosts might sometimes annoy him with their requests. During a "Today" episode, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Hager revealed that they often bug the meteorologist for on-demand weather updates — even when he's off the air. 

Dylan Dreyer said it's 'an honor to work with' Al Roker

"Today" anchor, Dylan Dreyer seems just as close to Al Roker as her colleagues. The broadcast journalist spoke to TV Newser about her relationship with the star. "It is an honor to work with him because he is the best of both worlds," she said of Roker. "We can talk shop about the weather and get into the nitty gritty details or we can just make each other smile and laugh. He's serious when the weather warrants it, but always so much fun and easy to be around. We're both usually smiling when we see each other ... with a quip here, a movie quote there, and he'll follow it up by playing or singing some sort of song."

Dreyer had a lot to live up to during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade because she was there to fill in for Roker while he was away from work due to his hospitalization. She took the time to share a message for the TV personality while he recovered, stating on-camera during the broadcast, "Al, we miss you, we love you and we are thinking about you," (via Hello!). Sadly, Dreyer and the rest of the "Today" show cast had to spend even more time away from Roker than they anticipated when he was hospitalized once again in December 2022 due to complications from blood clots.