Al Roker and Craig Melvin Absent From 'Today' — Here's Why

Al Roker and Craig Melvin Absent from ‘Today,’ Getting an ‘Early Start to the Weekend'

Al Roker and Craig Melvin.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Literacy Partners

Al Roker and Craig Melvin are out of office.

Both Roker, 69, and Melvin, 45, were absent from Today on Friday, June 28, and their coanchor Sheinelle Jones offered an explanation.

“The guys are getting an early start to the weekend,” Jones, 46, said during the morning show’s third hour while standing next to guest Gracie Abrams, who performed on the show as part of Today’s Citi Concert Series.

While it’s unclear exactly what plans kept Roker and Melvin off the air on Friday, it’s not the first time the twosome have taken a long weekend.

Hoda [Kotb] and Craig are getting a little jump on the weekend,” Savannah Guthrie announced during the May 3 episode, which Roker was also missing from.

Roker missed the May 6 episode as well while his and wife Deborah Roberts’ dog, Pepper, recovered from a health scare.

Al Roker and Craig Melvin Absent from ‘Today,’ Getting an ‘Early Start to the Weekend'

Al Roker and Craig Melvin on ‘Today.’
Nathan Congleton/NBC

“Pepper had emergency surgery but is on the mend,” he wrote via Instagram on May 5. “She’s getting great care and is coming home tomorrow. Woof. You can sleep on our bed as much as you want.”

Roker has also missed work due to health issues of his own. He was absent from several November 2022 broadcasts after doctors discovered that he had blood clots.

Al Roker Quotes About His Health Ups and Downs

Related: Al Roker’s Quotes About His Health Over the Years

He’s an open book. Al Roker has been honest about his health issues — but that wasn’t always the case. In 2002, Roker didn’t initially tell his Today colleagues​ about his gastric bypass surgery. He admitted to USA Today later that year that he’d told them it was a gall bladder removal because he was […]

“So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs,” Roker wrote via Instagram at the time. “After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon.”

Roker ultimately underwent surgery in November 2022, causing him to miss the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in 27 years. He returned to Today in January 2023.

“Al’s recent hospitalization was very scary. [He] counts himself so lucky to have gotten speedy treatment and knows that ultimately he’s lucky to be alive,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly at the time. “He’s been so brave throughout this, never complaining or feeling overly sorry for himself, always wanting to know how others are doing even when he’s at his lowest. Right now he’s following all the doctors’ advice.”

Medical crises aren’t the only reason Today anchors take a break. Guthrie, 52, was absent from the show on June 20 and 21, sharing a glimpse via Instagram of how she was spending the time off.

“Out of office,” she captioned a photo of a coffee cup, a glass of wine and a bottle of water at an outdoor restaurant table.

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