Ol’ Willard Scott. I remember him. Yeah…
Willard Scott started doing the weather on the Today show in 1980. He continued to do so until 1996, when Al Roker took over. He’s done commercials, he’s played Bozo the Clown, he was in radio. He’s wished centenarians and long-marrieds happy birthday and happy anniversary, since 1983 (at a fan’s behest) and has done it, twice a week, for Smucker’s, pretty much since he semi-retired. He even got kissed by First lady Babs Bush on live TV.
Did you know that he actually created the character (and obviously was the first) Ronald McDonald? Yep, he created that in 1963 and did until 1966 or so, on a regular basis; occasionally until 1971. That would almost rank up there with Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger and Gargamel, creating and owning the patent of the first artificial heart… almost. Still, that’s a cultural icon that he came up with. It seems that Mickey D’s got rid of him because he was an overweight man and they wondered if it would give the wrong impression to the kids. What the wha…? I get it, but still.
Over the last few years, he’s gotten to where he’s started to ramble nonsense during his Smucker’s spots. I’ve found it often painful to watch (some would say the entire Today! show is painful to watch, but it’s still my favorite morning show) when it comes on. His voice has gotten frail and it’s just sad to see parts of your childhood getting older. Well, he is 80, now. I guess it’s time to hang it up. And hang it up he will, this Tuesday, when Today! will honor him and tell him goodbye. Circle of life and all that, but it’s still sad. So, cheers to you old friend and I’ll try to have some Smucker’s, soon, in your honor.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody ever seems to do anything about it.” – Willard Scott