Get ready to say goodbye the Today show weatherman Willard Scott.

The 81-year-old has announced his retirement and is set to leave the NBC series after 35 years. His last show will be on Dec. 15.

"He is literally my second dad. I love that man," current main weather anchor Al Roker said on Twitter on Friday via the Today show's page, calling Scott his "mentor and hero."

Scott joined the Today show in 1980 as a weatherman. Roker substituted for him on the series in the '90s and then became the show's main weather anchor in 1996, after which Scott took over his role when he was absent.

Willard Scott, Al Roker

Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic

Willard Scott

Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU

He is also known for his "Milestone Birthdays" segments, which pay tribute to non-famous U.S. residents who turned 100 years old. The videos are sponsored by Smucker's jellies, of which he is a celebrity spokesman. The company said the birthday celebrations would continue without him.

Another brand many people associate with Scott is McDonalds. In the '60s, he played the role of Ronald McDonald for the first time, in a series of commercials for the fast food chain. McDonalds paid tribute to him on Friday with a throwback pic and sweet message on Twitter.

On Friday's episode of the Today show, the anchors paid tribute to Scott by showing old clips of him on the series. One of the videos shows him reporting at a parade celebrating the 1989 presidential inauguration of President George Bush, during which then-first lady Barbara Bush raced over to him and gave him a kiss on the lips.

"Suddenly I look over and see this very happy face, race over, give that face a kiss, race back to George," Barbara said. "'I didn't know you knew Willard Scott.' I said, 'I don't know Willard Scott. I just love that face.'"

—Additional reporting by Baker Machado

(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.