"Willard gave me the two best bits of advice I ever got. 'Always be yourself, because at the end of the day that's all you got. You can create a character,' but he said, 'I think you know you just need to be yourself.' And the other one was, 'never give up your day job.'"
About This Interview
In his one-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Al Roker describes his childhood in New York and his early interests in animation and directing. He talks of his years at SUNY Oswego and his first job as a weatherman at a local station in Syracuse, NY. Roker explains how he learned meteorology, speaks of his move to Washington, D.C. to work for the 10pm news at WTTG and recalls meeting and working with Willard Scott in D.C. He then discusses his work at an NBC station in Cleveland, Ohio and finally chronicles his move to New York in 1983 to do weather for Frank Field and the team at Live at Five. Roker then details getting hired first for the Sunday version of Today, then the Saturday show and finally taking over for Willard Scott on the weekday version of the program. He describes what it's like to cover extreme weather, live-on-the-scene; recalls reporting for Today on 9/11 and talks about getting the chance to interview his childhood idol, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 17, 2011 in New York, NY.