‘Sunday Today’: Willie Geist’s Net Worth, Plus the Unusual Way He Landed an Interview with Bill Murray

Willie Geist, the host of Sunday Today with Willie Geist, has become known as a crackerjack interviewer on his weekend morning show, and has been giving institutions like CBS Sunday Morning a run for their money.

Willie Geist
Willie Geist | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Showtime

Find out how the 44-year-old was able to score an interview with elusive comedian Bill Murray, plus what Geist’s net worth is.

Geist’s unique interviewing style

Viewers may notice, as they watch Geist interview a guest on Sunday Today, that he doesn’t keep any notes or papers handy, as is customary for many television interviewers.

Instead, Geist lets the interview take the course of any relaxed conversation. It’s a great format for his weekend show, and a welcome break from the soundbite-heavy morning show rhythm. The no-boundaries approach allows guests – and viewers – to enjoy the in-depth exchange.

“I try to be totally and eminently prepared so that when I sit down it’s more of a conversation and not a cross-examination,” he told northjersey.com in 2017. “I’m trying to strip away what feels artificial about TV so I can just sit at a table with Ed Sheeran or Gal Gadot and just talk to them. You get more out of them when it feels like a conversation.” 

“So I don’t bring papers with me to the interview. . . I think if you’re always thinking of the next question or you’re looking down at your paper, it means you’re not listening and you’re not following up on something interesting they might have said.”

Landing Bill Murray for an interview

As is well-known, comedian Bill Murray is extraordinarily difficult to invite on any program. He has made avoidance an art form.

Geist appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2018 to explain the lengths he went to in order to simply ask Murray on his program.

“It’s very hard to get to him. I don’t know if people realize, he has a 1-800 number. It’s a true story. He doesn’t have a publicist or manager like every other celebrity on earth.”

Comedian Bill Murray appearing on 'Sunday Today with Willie Geist' in 2018
Comedian Bill Murray appearing on ‘Sunday Today with Willie Geist’ in 2018 | Tyler Essary/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The anchor left a message on Murray’s toll-free number, not sure whether to expect to ever hear from the actor. After a time, Murray appeared on Today for an interview with Savannah Guthrie.

“He walked into the green room where our bookers were and said, ‘I got the message, I’d like to do the Willie Geist show,’” Geist said.

“So I went to his hotel here in New York. We quickly scrambled some cameras and set them up, and I did an hour with Bill Murray about SNL and Ghostbusters and Caddyshack.”

Willie Geist’s net worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Geist earns $5 million per year and has a net worth of $12 million.

Named co-host on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in September 2007, Geist before long was filling in for Matt Lauer on the Today Show in 2010. He was named co-host of Today in 2012, then was made permanent host of Sunday Today with Willie Geist in 2016.

Geist has been able to attract top names such as Jerry Seinfeld, Ina Garten, and even more reclusive guests, such as David Letterman for his Sunday morning show because of his knack for putting guests at ease.

“I don’t know what sort of black magic he’s messing with, but he makes his guests feel incredibly safe,” Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds said, according to Variety. “Like you can open up and tell him anything. On camera, he’s welcoming, curious and easy to speak with.”

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