Al Roker was noticeably absent from the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday for the first time in 27 years.
Meteorologist Dylan Dreyer filled in for the longtime presenter during the “Today” show’s coverage of the parade on Thursday, amid Roker’s ongoing health battle.
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb continued their tradition of hosting from a post near Macy’s flagship store in New York’s Herald Square, while Dreyer conducted interviews on the street.
At one point, the NBC News meteorologist took a call from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who were watching the parade from the White House.
The couple asked how Roker, 68, was doing, and Dreyer assured POTUS – and the parade’s millions of viewers – that he was doing “great.”
“It is not the Macy’s thanksgiving parade without Al Roker. Thanksgiving is cancelled,” one fan tweeted.
Another chimed in, “can we push thanksgiving back until al roker feels better.”
Despite his absence, the show went on with “Funny Girl” star Lea Michele opening the televised event with her rendition of “Don’t Rain On My Parade.”
This year’s celebration features 28 floats, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns and performances from the likes of Paula Abdul, Sean Paul, The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, Jordan Sparks, Big Time Rush and Gloria Estefan.
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Mariah Carey will take center stage for the finale when she performs her classic Christmas hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” outside the Macy’s store.
Earlier this month, Roker sadly revealed that he had been hospitalized for blood clots in his leg and lungs.
“So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been,” the TV icon captioned an Instagram post featuring flowers and an NBC News mug.
“I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs,” he continued. “After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery.”
He concluded the message by thanking his fans and colleagues alike for the “well wishes and prayers.”
Two years ago, the beloved weather forecaster co-hosted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade just a few weeks after undergoing prostate cancer surgery.
“I really feel good. I was very fortunate,” he shared while appearing on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in February 2021. “We caught it early. It was an aggressive form of prostate cancer, but we caught it very early.”