“Today” co-anchor Al Roker receives his Guinness World Records certificate. Screenshot from NBCNews.com livestream
With six minutes to go in #Rokerthon, the expression momentarily drained from Al Roker’s face as his co-anchors piled into his small New York City studio, creating a din of noise over the livestream and momentarily blocking the camera’s view of the NBC “Today” co-anchor.
“I don’t think there are enough people in here,” Roker deadpanned. After 33 hours and change — and despite several jokes suggesting the contrary — he was still lucid.
And then he delivered more temperatures.
Roker — a USO tour veteran — set a Guinness World Record a shade after 8 a.m. EST Friday morning for the longest continuous televised weather forecast at 34 hours. He did it to raise awareness for the USO, asking a national audience, a litany of NBC affiliates and livestream viewers to visit his Crowdrise page, where he’d raised more than $70,000 for the organization by the time he went off the air.
Roker stayed on the air at NBCNews.com (simulcast on USO.org) save five-minute breaks he was allowed to bank for extended time off. Around 12:30 a.m. Friday, Roker signed off for his final extended break of the telecast, returning a little before 2 a.m.
He had a lot of help while he was on the air, too. #Rokerthon was often the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter, with thousands of viewers (including USO centers around the world) tweeting in questions like this about the weather to keep Roker’s forecasting streak alive:
Editor’s note: Tune in to Wednesday’s edition of NBC’s “Today” to see the highlights of the “Today”/USO Comedy Tour stage show put on exclusively for troops at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
Even in a war zone, Jay Leno can get a laugh.
“Afghanistan looks like Van Nuys but with less gunfire,” the former host of “The Tonight Show” cracked during one of several “Today” live shots from Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Al Roker — a co-host of NBC’s long-running morning show — brought Leno, comedians Craig Robinson and Iliza Shlesinger and musician Kevin Eubanks to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, for the “Today”/USO Comedy Tour to entertain American troops. The tour is part of the Shine A Light series on “Today.”
Roker is also raising money for the USO through Crowdrise as part of the Shine A Light effort.
“The USO brings entertainment and a bit of levity to a very stressful situation,” Shlesinger said during a “Today” segment. “[J]ust to get a chance to share this with [troops] for just a couple minutes, it’s such an honor.”
While the entertainers did a series of live segments on Wednesday’s broadcast, the highlights of their comedy/variety show for the troops at Bagram will be rebroadcast on NBC on Oct. 7.
“It’s been overwhelming just to be able to look the soldiers in the eye and say thank you to them,” Robinson said. “And they’ve been so grateful that we’re here. It’s really crazy.”
Beloved celebrity weatherman Al Roker announced Tuesday morning that he’ll go on a USO Tour in 2014 as part NBC’s Today Show’s Shine A Light series.
The NBC series is a year-long initiative by the show focusing on service and giving back to communities in need.
From the Today.com:
Al’s goal is to join a USO tour, helping to bring a little bit of America to our troops stationed all around the world.
“A few years ago I went to Afghanistan … You see it on TV, but nothing can prepare you for what these men and women are dealing with,” Al said. “We still have a lot of American troops in harm’s way, and I want them to know that they’re remembered.”
Dates and locations for Roker’s tour are still to be determined.
Roker officially joined the Today Show in 1996 and also hosts Waking Up With Al on The Weather Channel.
Last month, NBC highlighted the USO Christmas Convoy, which hit 50 remote locations in Southwest Asia to bring cheer and gifts to American troops who couldn’t make it home for the holidays to be with their families.