Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Al Roker and 'Butter Man' Reunite as Homage to Last Year's Viral Moment

Maybe the most memorable viral moment from the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was Today show weatherman Al Roker's hilarious "feud" with the "Butter Man," whose real name is Donny Willis. Now, for the 2020 parade, the pair have reunited as an homage to their heavily talked about battle. This time around, Roker asked Willis about their big moment, and when it was that he realized he'd become an "internet sensation." Willis replied, "It was actually right around this corner."

He continued, "We were coming around the corner last year, and I came over to the grandstands and my wife Ashley jumps out and she said, 'Donny what did you do?' And I said, 'I don't know, What did I do?' And she said, 'They talked about you, we heard your voice!' And I said, 'I don't know, I gotta go.' And I had to run away."

"It has been a 'butter' year than expected. And so we have no complaints. A lot of good things happened with our family," Willis added, then sharing that his wife was recently promoted to principal of her school. "We've been very blessed." Roker then joked, "You've got a shorter parade to harass me, so I will be looking for you."

Many will remember that Roker and the Butter Man first interacted while Roker was reporting from the parade route, as a group of participants dressed as breakfast foods were passing through. As Willis passed by, Roker shook his hand and quipped, "I hate to butter you up, but you gotta move on!" Willis then threw his hands up and yelled into the camera, "Have a happy butter Thanksgiving!" This prompted Roker to shove the Butter Man, and shout, "Get out of here ya butter!" The host then joked, "I can't believe it's not butter!"


Later on, as Roker was riding by the crowd and greeting people, under the presumption he was done with the Butter Man, Willis returned. While Roker waved to the parade watchers, Willis came running alongside him in the butter costume, yelled "We're buttering you up," and then and began to name Thanksgiving foods one might put butter in. Roker laughed and then quipped, "And that's why everybody loves clowns."

About a week after the comical interactions, Willis reunited with Roker on Today, and spoke about the experience. "There’s been so much love and positivity that’s come out of this, and it’s been a blessing for sure," he said. Willis then went on to share that he was happy he seized the moment, adding, "But at the end of the day, don’t hold onto to it so much that it becomes your identity, because it’s a singular moment, but it’s not that totality of your life."