The podcast will feature in-depth interviews with A-list celebrities including Bill Murray, Drew Barrymore, John Goodman, Emily Blunt and more

By Jodi Guglielmi
April 12, 2018 03:51 PM
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Credit: Peter Kramer/NBC News

Willie Geist has found his groove.

Not only is Geist, 42, celebrating two years as the host of the hit NBC show Sunday Today, but he is also launching a new spin-off podcast titled Sunday Sitdown.

“We’ve come a long way and want to continue to grow,” he tells PEOPLE. “The podcast is really an addition and a complement to what we are doing on the air.”

The podcast will feature interviews shown on Sunday Today, but rather than the 7-8 minute segments that air on the show, Sunday Sitdown will run the full-length conversations.

“I sit down with people for 45 minutes or an hour,” he says. “It made sense to take this great stuff, a lot of which has never seen the light of day, and turn those interviews into a podcast.”

The podcast will feature in-depth interviews with A-list celebrities including Bill Murray, Drew Barrymore, John Goodman and Emily Blunt.

Geist says the advantage of sitting down with celebrities for an extended period of time is having the ability to engage in meaningful conversations with his guests.

“You get comfortable with one another and create a real rapport,” he says. “We are able to broaden the conversations to talk about [the guest’s] lives and careers — not just what’s happening at the moment.”

He adds, “If I had my way, we wouldn’t have those big lights on the interviews and somehow hide the cameras, and just sit and talk to the person. The more natural you can make it, the more humanity you can bring to it.”

And while the host is proud to say he’s already crossed off a number of names on his celebrity guest wish-list, he still has his fingers crossed when it comes to a few names.

“I’d love to have Jay Z on. Or Beyonce. Or Jay Z and Beyonce would be great!” he says. “I was raised on the Rolling Stones so I’d love Mick Jagger or Keith Richards — or them together! It would be nostalgic dream guests, and I think my father would be proud of me.”

The first episode of the Sunday Sitdown podcast will be available starting Sunday. Sunday Today with Willie Geist airs Sundays (8 a.m. ET) on NBC.