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Al Roker, Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, & Willie Geist Got Real Talking Fatherhood

The TODAY co-Hosts had a really candid discussion about being dads in the modern world ahead of Father's Day. 

By Chris Phelan

In honor of Father's Day, the dads of TODAY came together in a local Brooklyn restaurant to make a few pizzas, hang out, and, most importantly,  break down stereotypes about American fatherhood.

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Al Roker, Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, and Willie Geist had quite the bonding session ahead of Father's Day. The TODAY cameras were rolling as the four men engaged in an emotional and candid chat about being dads in today's society — in between bites of pasta and pizza, of course. The conversation, aired during the June 14 episode of TODAY and can be seen in its entirety below:

Al Roker, Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, & Willie Geist talk dad life in 2024

Willie Geist Craig Melvin Carson Daly Al Roker talk over pizza at lucalis

One of the most prominent themes of the day was breaking down misconceptions about modern masculinity as a father. Daly — who has openly discussed his anxiety journey throughout his career — shared his goals as a father with four kids, and his comments resonated with the rest of his colleagues.

"It's OK to ask for help," Daly explained. "Cycles can be broken. These are the larger lessons of life that I love teaching as a father."

Geist has been a mainstay of NBC for nearly 20 years, and even the longtime TODAY correspondent revealed that his own feelings about being a dad conflict with being vulnerable as a human being.

"I think there's something old school about being a dad," said Geist, the father of two. "You want to, in their eyes, be the hero. And showing that kind of vulnerability, maybe you feel like that puts a little bit of a dent in that. But I think it's so important to do it and reveal that life is not all perfect. Things come up along the way. You are vulnerable."

The concept of breaking cycles came up often throughout the chat — the four men consistently brought up the differences between them and their fathers, with assurances that they try to parent their kids differently. For Melvin, his admission of being emotional in front of his children was a breath of fresh air.

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"They probably see me cry as much as they see my wife cry," he admitted. "And we're teaching them that it's OK."

One of the chat's most poignant (and fun) moments came when America's weatherman confessed his struggles over the past 18 months with feeling vulnerable in front of his kids. Roker underwent emergency surgery less than two years ago that was considered life-threatening.

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"You know, that was the hardest thing for me in the last year and a half: letting them see that I'm not invincible," Roker revealed. "Because that's how, kind of, our dads were."

Daly comforted the TODAY veteran like only he could — with a well-timed joke.

"You are invincible, by the way," he said. "It turned out you were right."