Natalie Morales Makes Debut on 'The Talk' , Says She Feels 'Safe' in New Gig

"It's like [the] first day at school and I'm the new kid," the new host said Monday

natalie morales
Photo: the talk/ twitter

Natalie Morales' journey co-hosting The Talk is off to a great start!

Hitting the stage with her new team during Monday's episode, Morales opened up about how she feels about the gig.

"It's like [the] first day at school and I'm the new kid at school. And I'm like, 'I don't know who to hang out with,'" she said.

"It's amazing that I'm hanging out with the coolest kids up here," she continued. "Because, I mean, you have just been amazing from the beginning from day one when this was announced. And I've never done this before a studio audience, so this energy is unreal."

After a video featuring highlights of her career's journey aired, Morales said she is looking forward to working alongside fellow co-hosts Amanda Kloots, Jerry O'Connell, Sheryl Underwood and Akbar Gbajabiamila.

"People were asking me like, 'How does it feel?' And I'm like, 'You know, as long as I have this team, I feel so safe and secure,'" she said. "And I know that we're going to have some disagreements, but we're going to be respectful always and we're going to have a seriously good time."

Morales — who even got a congratulatory message from Monday's celebrity guest, Scott Foley — additionally gifted her new coworkers a framed photo of a lunch they had together.

Concluding her first day, O'Connell, 47, asked Morales how she felt her debut went. "Great first day of school," she said.

At the start of the episode, Morales appeared in a hilarious opening skit where she got lost on her way to the CBS show's set. She wound up stuck in an assortment of situations, including a run-in with Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Morales even found herself stuck in Squid Game and asked one of the participants, "Do you know where The Talk stage is?" Gbajabiamila, 42, ended up saving her before things turned deadly.

natalie morales
natalie morales / instagram

On Oct. 1, PEOPLE confirmed Morales is leaving NBC after 22 years. Though she is expected to continue appearing on Dateline as a correspondent until the end of the year, a source revealed Morales would be joining The Talk.

"It's an extraordinary opportunity to be joining this team at The Talk," Morales said in a statement confirming the news. "I love the new energy and direction and couldn't be more excited to join Sheryl, Amanda, Jerry and Akbar. I'm looking forward to many good times while talking about the days' topics, and I can't wait to get going."

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The CBS daytime series has experienced several cast changes in recent months. Sharon Osbourne departed The Talk in March after controversially defending pal Piers Morgan's comments discounting Meghan Markle's experience with the British royal family.

Elaine Welteroth announced her departure in August after just one season. That same month, Carrie Ann Inaba exited The Talk after three seasons but continued as a judge on Dancing with the Stars.

O'Connell and Gbajabiamila came on board for the show's 12th season, which premiered last month.

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