Al Roker made history Friday and broke the Guinness World Record for the longest uninterrupted live weather report broadcast.
He beat the 33-hour record set in September by Norwegian TV personality Eli Kari Gjengedal, forecasting weather live for 34 hours.
He kicked off his #Rokerthon at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT Wednesday and closed out the record-setting event live on the "Today" show Friday at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT. Wednesday night and all day Thursday, Roker's weather reports aired across other NBC platforms including "Nightly News," local newscasts and other programming. As of early Friday, his voice was noticeably hoarse.
— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) November 14, 2014
"For thirty-three hours I've been in this room and it smells like," Roker said Friday, nearing his 34-hour goal.
He was ensconced in Studio 1A’s small office at Rockefeller Center usually used as the Green Room for waiting "Today" show guests. He stood in front of a large, interactive weather map and a window where New York pedestrians occasionally peeked in. A digital clock marked the time that he's been talking about the weather.
Roker sipped occasionally from a ginger drink concoction and munched on some beef jerky. A non-coffee drinker, he favored green tea. Rotating college students, hired as the required witnesses for the record attempt, sat just off-camera.
Guinness allows him a five-minute break each hour, and Roker has skipped some breaks to "bank" time in the hopes of darting off to a recliner installed in his office for a brief nap.
Shown continuously on the "Today" website, the "Rokerthon" made for surreal viewing. Guests like Alan Alda, Candace Bergen, Aaron Sorkin and Nick Lachey stopped in to offer encouragement. He did repeated live cut-ins on NBC affiliates across the country, conversing with local anchors talking through an earpiece so to online viewers it seemed like eavesdropping on one side of a mobile phone conversation.
Roker answered his own phone on the air when his wife called. Technicians also neglected to turn off his microphone when nature called and he had to dart off screen. "We gave new meaning to live stream," he said.
With his weather map headlined "Polar Invasion" and blue arrows pointing south, Roker had no shortage of material.
"I don't know when I've had this much weather to talk about all over the country," he said. "It makes it easy."
The Rokerthon will support Roker's Shine a Light TODAY initiative for the armed forces via Crowdrise.