Brian Ach/AP Images for The Hollywood Reporter

360,000: Average total viewers for the first quarter, good enough to beat CNN for the 17th straight quarter.

Why they matter: The crackly chemistry between Brzezinski, 46, and Scarborough, 51, gives their morning report a can't-miss jolt that occasionally invites teasing. "People view us exactly how Samantha Bee described us in her deadly accurate 60 Minutes-style exposé about the Morning Joe dysfunctional family," says Scarborough of the Daily Show segment that portrayed the hosts as bickering parents. The show is as comfortable becoming a pop-culture punch line -- its website touts its viral June interview/takedown by Russell Brand as one of its 2013 highlights -- as it is tackling serious subjects, including recent segments about post-traumatic stress disorder and veteran suicides.

Big get: Vice President Joe Biden stopped by for an exclusive gun-safety roundtable in April 2013.

Off-hours: "After the show, I spend a good chunk of my day in the studio recording music," says Scarborough, who plays guitar, bass and keyboards and describes his style as "alt-pop." Meanwhile, Brzezinski will host a conference on success and well-being based on Arianna Huffington's book Thrive in April.

They can't work without: "My venti extra hot, extra foam Black Eye Misto," says Brzezinski (Starbucks sponsored the show until last summer). Scarborough cites his "$29.95 L.L.Bean pullover sweater that I wear every morning from Oct. 15 to March 15." (Although Brzezinski eventually took him suit shopping.)