Interview: Morning Joe's Willie Geist Talks Pat Buchanan's 'Thug Life' Tattoo
Way funnier than this photo would lead you to believe.
Open-minded types that we are, we're finding ourselves increasingly entertained by MSNBC's Morning Joe, which we'll nominate as the best show to breakfast by--it has a kind of looseness that TV needs more of, plus it's actually aimed at adults. And our favorite within this favorite is Willie Geist, who co-hosts the program with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (along with regular guests Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan). Willie may well be the most amusing man on morning television, so we thought we'd ask him a few questions about his early-a.m. cable life.
Is it our imagination, or is more alcohol consumed on your show than on most morning programs?
It is not your imagination. People assume there's some FCC rule that says you can't drink alcohol on television. Nonsense. No such rule exists. Actually we haven't checked the rules, but there probably isn't one, right? Anyway, thousands of drunk people are watching our show at 3 and 4 a.m. in some parts of the country. The least we can do is share an occasional drink with them.
Having to be awake and alert and on TV at 6 a.m. seems rather intimidating. What time do you have to go to bed and get up?
"Intimidating" isn't the word. It's unreasonable, unnatural, and probably unsafe. My alarm goes off at 4 a.m. For the first three minutes of the alarm, I assume it's all part of a horrific dream I'm having. Then the painful reality of my life takes hold and I get in the shower, where it's hard to distinguish the drops of water from the tears. I usually get to bed around 10 or 10:30 (i.e., whenever The Bachelor ends and the post-show online chat is over--my money's on Jillian, by the way).
Morning Joe is a rather political program. How would you describe your own politics?
Since I'm not doing the political analysis around here, I keep my politics close to the vest. My two most recent jobs have been on shows hosted by conservatives, Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough, so people make assumptions about me. Those assumptions are not entirely accurate. All I'll say is, Ron Paul was robbed.
If you could have the career of one steroid-using baseball player, who would you choose and why?
Jose Canseco. He's the anti-Barry Bonds. Rather than splitting hairs about the steroids he took, Canseco writes books bragging about them and trashing his own legacy. I met Canseco in a nightclub in Miami a few years ago, just after he had left baseball. It was late and he was standing alone. He was wearing a mesh tank-top with nothing underneath it. I went up and told him enthusiastically that he should make a comeback so he could reach the 500-home-run milestone. His response was --and I'm paraphrasing here--"F*** you." Instead of returning to baseball, Canseco joined the cast of The Surreal Life 5 where he traded barbs with Bronson Pinchot and Omarosa. If you're going to be a disgraced cheater, you might as well have fun doing it.