Willard Scott (1934-2021) was a well-known weatherman on The Today Show.
Scott got his start at WRC-TV, the local NBC affiliate in Washington DC, where he worked with a young Jim Henson. In 1955, Scott hosted Afternoon (later Afternoon with Inga), which featured early appearances by Jim and the Sam and Friends puppets.
In Scott's 1982 autobiography, The Joy of Living, he recalls working with "an innovative bunch of puppets created by a guy named Jim Henson. They were called the Muppets... I worked with a bald-headed Muppet with a big nose, named Sam, sort of the way Fran Allison worked on Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. Then there was the frog named Kermit. I used to do a commercial for a local peanut butter called Schindler's. He'd open his mouth, I'd give him a big spoonful, and he'd go 'ahh'."
The 1991 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast on NBC was hosted by Scott. When the Kermit balloon appeared, he mentioned that they "go way back, and he'll always be my favorite frog in the whole world".
On September 24, 2003, Scott spoke at the dedication ceremony for the Jim Henson and Kermit statue at the University of Maryland, College Park.
- Scott was spoofed as weatherman Millard Hog in Episode 2540 of Sesame Street, which took on the format of a morning show.
- Willard Scott was one of the five personalities from The Today Show who were caricatured for the 2008 The Muppets Take Over Today segment of the program. The Muppet Willard (performed by Tyler Bunch) presented the birthdays of four centenarian Whatnots, live from Washington DC. Later in DC, the real Scott recalled working with Kermit on the Schindler's peanut butter ads.