Al Roker Tells Us a Hamster Story About Brian Williams

Al Roker gossiping about colleague Brian Williams.Photo: Getty Images

We’ve always thought of Brian Williams as charmingly quirky, but his behavior at Wednesday’s Gracie Allen Awards for women in radio and television, where he was one of the few men present, struck us as odd. We spotted him backstage. Then he exited to our left. Then reappeared to our right. Then exited to our left, then reappeared again. We had to ask: Was he circling the ballroom endlessly? “Yes, he just does that,” said his NBC colleague Al Roker, standing nearby, observing Williams. “He just wanders around, basically looking for snacks. That’s why he’s so thin. He eats constantly, but he’s got the metabolism of a hamster. Literally, the NBC bullpen is like a giant hamster wheel. If you’ve ever been there, it’s circular and it spins as he goes. Brian’s hamster wheel powers Nightly News. We’re very green.” According to Roker, Williams responds best to Goldberg’s Peanut Chews.

I leave a trail, and I’ve managed to lure him into my office,” says Roker. “It’s very nice when he comes. He’s got a lovely singing voice. Sometimes he does show tunes.” Roker also confirmed that Williams, in addition to being hamsterlike, was bred to be a newscaster. “He came out like that. He was born with the hair and a starched shirt. Well, bib at the time,” says Roker. “Didn’t cry as much as commanded attention. Actually, he couldn’t talk until his parents got him a TelePrompTer at age 3.” —Jada Yuan