Al Roker Pays Tribute to Today Weatherman Willard Scott: 'My Second Dad'

Veteran weather anchor Al Roker paid tribute to "Today" weatherman Willard Scott, calling him "my second dad" after he died aged 87.

Roker, 67, heaped praise on legendary broadcaster Scott who died surrounded by his family on Saturday morning.

He said in an Instagram post, which included photos of the pair: "We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning. Willard Scott passed peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris.

"He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him."

Roker's Instagram post was liked more than 80,930 likes and garnered 4,772 comments since it was uploaded on Saturday.

In a tweet also shared on Saturday, Roker said: "This @today tribute to my dear friend, Willard Scott, will tell you why he was so beloved and why he was America's Weatherman to the entire country.

"No broadcaster was loved by so many and brought so many smiles."

Scott joined "Today" in 1980 and became beloved for his connection with viewers, which included wishing happy birthdays to fans who had turned 100 - a feature that only became more popular over the years, according to the network.

His charm was also on flamboyant display when he dressed as Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda during a 1983 broadcast in order to get a $1,000 donation to the USO.

In a 1987 interview with the New York Times, Scott said of his Carmen Miranda stunt: "People said I was a buffoon to do it. Well, all my life I've been a buffoon. That's my act."

He added of his appreciation for his audience: "I just love people. A lot of speakers on the talk circuit leave right afterward. I do a lot of schmoozing. I'm like a dog. You just open the door and I go, 'rrrr, rrrr,' and then I lick everybody's face."

Scott's broadcasting career started in the 1950s where he hosted the NBC radio show "Joy Boys," where he would remain until the program ended in 1974.

He also hosted several children's TV shows where he played a number of characters, including Bozo the clown.

Scott also donned the clown makeup when he became the first person to play McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald, appearing in commercials for the fast-food outlet in the Washington area in 1963.

Al Roker paid tribute to Willard Scott
Al Rocker paid tribute to Willard Scott. In this photo, Al Roker and Willard Scott on NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Center on July 14, 2009 in New York City. Michael N. Todaro / Contributor/Getty