‘Dateline NBC’s’ Keith Morrison Explains Why He Leans on Things (Exclusive)

Morrison breaks his silence on a national obsession

Keith Morrison

“Dateline NBC” correspondent Keith Morrison has built up a cult-hero fanbase of loyal true crime fans, but they all seem to have one question: Why is he always leaning on something?

Morrison leans on so many things that there is an Instagram page dedicated to it. The bio states, “If you’re watching ‘Dateline’ right now, chances are high that Keith Morrison is leaning on something.” Morrison’s habit also has a Facebook page and had been discussed in various Reddit threads.

“How it became a thing? I don’t know,” Morrison told TheWrap.

We pressed Morrison for more information on how this all started.

“If you watch TV news for any length of time … a reporter appearing in a story is called a standup. If you’re reading a little bit of copy and talking into a camera, I suppose, to tell part of the story you can’t cover with video or insert yourself in them somehow, I’ve never been too fond of [standups] to be honest,” Morrison said.

“If you watch, you’ll see people walking. A lot. They start at one place and walk, walk, walk while they’re talking to you. Then you see when people are kind of waiving their arms around while they’re talking to you with their hands,” Morrison said. “Whenever I’ve had to do a standup, I figured the best thing to do, is to look relaxed and not look too excitable on camera, so I just lean on something,” Morrison said. “It just became a thing.”

Actor Dax Shepard recently told People magazine that he loves “Dateline NBC” because of Morrison’s “ability to lean on almost any surface (barbed wire, fire, wind), his high-octane brand of empathy and his spot-on eye for pairing any environment with the perfect leather jacket.”

Now we know that Morrison simply wants to look relaxed. Mystery solved! Check out some examples:

Oh, snap! Keith leans on top of a Adirondack chair! Yes yes yes yes!

A photo posted by Keith Leans On Things (@keithleansonthings) on Feb 27, 2016 at 11:43pm PST

A new episode of “Dateline NBC” airs on Friday night at 9 p.m. ET.