TV | September 4, 2021 7:05 pm

Willard Scott, Longtime Television Meteorologist, Dead at 87

He is best known for his work on "The Today Show"

Willard Scott
Weatherman Willard Scott looking playful during the filming of "The Today Show."
William F. Campbell/Getty Images

For some, talking about the weather can be a sign of a conversation that’s lost its spark. For a handful of people, though, talking about the weather can be one of the most engaging things you could imagine. For decades, Willard Scott turned his role as an onscreen meteorologist into a vessel for humorous (and humanistic) conversations, facts and tributes. Scott died on Saturday at his home at the age of 87.

Scott is best known for his time as The Today Show‘s meteorlogist, a role which he held from 1980 through 1996. He continued to make appearances on the show as a substitute for his successor, Al Roker. Roker was among those who took to social media to pay trtibute to Scott in the aftermath of his death, calling him “my second dad.”

Writing at The New York Times, Margalit Fox provided a concise overview of Scott’s career. His time in media began in 1956 with a comedic radio show, The Joy Boys. He played Bozo the Clown on television and developed the character of Ronald McDonald; in 1967, he began giving weather reports on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.

In 1980, he was hired on The Today Show, and in 1983 he began the practice of wishing a happy birthday to people who had turned 100 — something that became a signature of his appearances. His broad approach to humor delighted some and frustrated others, but his broadcast work established an indelible persona on the airwaves. And based on the tributes many of his colleagues have left to him, he leaves behind an enduring legacy on many levels.