Roker’s New Book Offers Tips on Living a Happier Life

(Image credit: NBC)

Al Roker’s new book, You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success, is out July 28. Roker shares humorous stories from his 40-year career on television, and lessons he’s picked up about living a happier life. 

Roker is the Today weather anchor and feature anchor, and co-host of the morning show’s third hour. 

The book offers 16 “Al-truisms”--lessons Roker has learned that readers can apply to their own lives. Each one represents a chapter. He describes them to B+C as “things I have learned, people I have dealt with. At the end, I think it’s a positive book we can use right now and just have some fun.”

Roker came to WNBC New York in 1983, after stints at WTVH Syracuse and WKYC Cleveland. He joined Today in 1996. 

Roker looks into his college days doing the weather in Syracuse. “The bulk of my wardrobe consisted of flannel plaid shirts and denim overalls. Farmer chic. My dressiest items were a few button-down polyester shirts with gigantic collars, jeans, a pair of flared slacks, and a single extrawide avocado-green tie with mustard-yellow stripes,” he writes. 

He talks about arriving at NBC, and hanging out at the commissary in 30 Rock. “Sitting at a scuffed-up table, drinking a cup of bitter, slightly odd-smelling coffee, I could witness the history of NBC unfolding right before my eyes. It wasn’t unusual to see Tom Brokaw from the nightly news come in to grab lunch. Jon Lovitz, Billy Crystal and Dana Carvey might be huddled together working on a script, throwing back pools of coffee. The commissary was the great equalizer…I marveled that I was part of it.”

Publishers Weekly calls You Look So Much Better in Person a “sunny, pleasant book” that’s perfect for fans of Roker or “anyone in need of a quick pick-me-up.”

Roker said he would get up an hour or so earlier to work on the book. The house was quiet, he said, and he found the time conducive to working. “You find time for the things you love,” he said. “We waste a lot of time scrolling the internet, going on the TikTok, the Twitter, the this, the that. If it’s something you believe in, you find the time.”

In terms of the book title, Roker said he hears it a lot from viewers. “I understand you think that’s a compliment,” he said, “but it’s really not.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.