After a long-running "bromance" between weatherman Al Roker and Vice President Joe Biden, the hosts of Wednesday's NBC Today arranged a surprise live appearance from Biden to wish Roker a happy 60th birthday. After Natalie Morales introduced the veep, sitting in a studio in Washington D.C., Roker gushed: "Oh, my gosh. Mr. Vice President!...Oh my gosh, this is such an honor."
Following the birthday wishes, Roker fawned over Biden: "Look, I have been with you on a couple of stories and you make the Ever-Ready Bunny [sic] seem like a slacker. You are constantly on the move. What's your secret?" Biden replied in part: "I'm more optimistic today about the prospects for our country than I was elected as a 29-year-old kid. And I really mean it."
Biden proclaimed: "You know, there's not many people that any network would do this for. And there's a reason for it, Al. The reason why people like you so much is they trust you." The potential 2016 presidential contender then announced:
I want to appoint you to head up NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]....we'll work that out after I'm out of this job or whatever job I'm in next....Look, if I were running the administration in the next one, I'd have you in it. You know, I mean, what the hell?
Roker declared: "Well, I think that's a reason for you to run right there." Biden joked: "I figured I had to do something to get you to say that."
Morales chimed in by repeating Roker's long-standing offer for Biden co-host the morning show: "So this means, Mr. Vice President, we extend the offer once again to get you in studio with us. Because you're so good at what you do."
Biden responded: "I don't know how I'd do on that show. I promise I'll come and try it some day." Morales cheered: "We would love that...Mr. Vice President, you've just made this man's [Roker's] life."
Fellow co-host Willie Geist added: "Thank you Mr. Vice President so much for taking the time."
Despite having a live exclusive five-minute segment with the Vice President of the United States, not one of the supposed NBC journalists asked a single substantive question about the numerous pressing issues facing the country.
Earlier on Today, left-wing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also appeared on the program to celebrate Roker's birthday and issued a decree:
Al, the people of this city love you. All of America loves you, but we love you especially because you're a native New Yorker. So we have a proclamation here. And it has by the way, this is the home that Al grew up in, in St. Albans Queens. So born and bred New Yorker who's gone to the highest heights but still has his feet on the ground. And so on behalf of all 8.4 million New Yorkers, I am declaring today Al Roker Appreciation Day in the city of New York....You're an icon now. You just have to live with it.
Here is a full transcript of the August 20 segment with Biden:
9:16 AM ET
WILLIE GEIST: Al, I'm so excited for you right now. I can hardly contain myself.
AL ROKER: My gosh.
GEIST: As you may have heard, today's Al's 60th birthday. There's one guest he's been trying to get on this show for a very long time.
TAMRON HALL: And to think, it all began with a simple handshake. Take a look.
AL ROKER [TO JOE BIDEN ON 2013 INAUGURATION DAY]: Mr. Vice President! Hey, how you doing?! Come on!
JOE BIDEN: They won't let me.
ROKER: They won't let you?!
[BIDEN RUNS OVER TO ROKER AND SHAKES HIS HAND]
ROKER: Yeah! Alright! Yes!
ROKER: Joe Biden doing our Today's Take would be absolutely awesome.
ROKER: Bacon waffles, you will love the bacon waffle, Mr. Vice President.
ROKER: Come over. Come over Vice President Biden.
GEIST: You've got thing, you and the Vice President.
ROKER: It's a bromance.
NATALIE MORALES: Some day, Al. You just keep asking. It'll happen, okay?
ROKER: Mr. Vice President, we're begging you. Come on down. Come on up to New York City and co-host this fabulous program, Today's Take. Love to have you.
MORALES: Apparently we have begged enough, because with us now from Washington is Vice President Joe Biden.
ROKER: Oh, my gosh. Mr. Vice President!
MORALES: Good morning.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Surprise Al!; Birthday Greetings From the Vice President]
JOE BIDEN: Hey, Al. Happy birthday, man.
ROKER: Thank you, sir.
BIDEN: Happy, happy birthday from all the Bidens.
ROKER: Oh, thank you. Oh my gosh, this is such an honor.
BIDEN: Hey, and I hear all these people wishing you happy birthday. Let me tell you something, age is not a number, it's an attitude, pal. I've adopted Satchel Paige. Remember Satchel Paige?
ROKER: Oh, yeah. Not personally.
BIDEN: That played in the Negro Leagues and then went up to the majors at 45. And on his 47th birthday, Al, when sports writers went into the locker room and said "Satch, what it's like pitching in the bigs at age 47?" He said, "Fellas, let me tell you how I look at it. I think of it this way, how old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?" I'm 42, you're 37. So let's get that straight at the outset here.
ROKER: Alright, I'm with you.
BIDEN: Happy birthday, buddy.
ROKER: Thank you so much. It's an honor to have you on our show. Look, I have been with you on a couple of stories and you make the Ever-Ready Bunny [sic] seem like a slacker. You are constantly on the move. What's your secret?
BIDEN: Hey, Al, you know my dad used to have an expression. He said, "A lucky person gets up in the morning, puts both feet on the floor, knows what they're about to do and thinks it still matters." I think it still matters. I'm more optimistic today about the prospects for our country than I was elected as a 29-year-old kid. And I really mean it.
And I want to say something about you, if I may. You know, there's not many people that any network would do this for. And there's a reason for it, Al. The reason why people like you so much is they trust you. Everybody I know, they trust you. The viewers trust you. And that's a commodity, man, that you cannot – you bank in. And you've banked it. And so that's why everybody loves you, buddy.
And by the way, before I come on and be a co-host, I want to appoint you to head up NOAA.
And then we'll work that out after I'm out of this job or whatever job I'm in next.
ROKER: Is there something you want to tell us, Mr. Vice President?
BIDEN: Absolutely, man. Look, if I were running the administration in the next one, I'd have you in it. You know, I mean, what the hell?
ROKER: Well, I think that's a reason for you to run right there.
BIDEN: I figured I had to do something to get you to say that.
And besides, I don't have the talent to do what you do. And I'd have trouble sitting across from Natalie all day.
MORALES: Thank you!
ROKER: Hey, now!
BIDEN: Shes so damn good she'd intimidate me.
MORALES: Oh, my gosh. So this means, Mr. Vice President, we extend the offer once again to get you in studio with us. Because you're so good at what you do.
ROKER: That's right. And if that's not enough, we've got Willie and Tamron.
GEIST: Apparently he's not interested in that.
BIDEN: But Willie's got talent. It's a different deal with me, you know. I don't know how I'd do on that show. I promise I'll come and try it some day.
MORALES: We would love that.
ROKER: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
MORALES: Mr. Vice President, you've just made this man's life.
ROKER: Thank you.
MORALES: Thank you so much.
ROKER: And please give our love to Mrs. – Dr. Biden as well.
BIDEN: I will. By the way, the whole family sends their best, Al. And my best to your family.
ROKER: Thank you.
GEIST: Thank you, Mr. Vice President so much for taking the time.
BIDEN: Remember Satchel Paige. Satchel Paige.
ROKER: We will. Thank you, sir.
GEIST: How about that? It happened.
MORALES: Didn't we say it was gonna be big?
ROKER: That was big. That was big. Huge.
MORALES: You didn't believe us.
HALL: Yeah, he was like, "Oh, come on, you're overselling it." We didn't oversell.
ROKER: No, you didn't. No you didn't. Wow, you brought it.
MORALES: And that trust he talks about is so true.