The Today Show announced that Willard Scott will be retiring, after 35 years at the program and 65 years at NBC.
Scott first joined NBC as a page. In 1963, Scott created the Ronald McDonald character and performed as him for two years.
In 1980, Scott joined the Today Show as weatherman. In 1983, Scott began wishing happy birthdays to centenarians. Bryant Gumbel, the main anchor, wrote a critical internal memo that was later leaked to the memo. At one point, he took aim at Scott, saying that he “holds the show hostage to his assortment of whims, wishes, birthdays and bad taste.”
In 1996, Scott stepped down as weatherman and was replaced by Al Roker. However, Scott continued appearing on the program for his birthday segment.