Affable Jonathan Choe is fine with being recognized as “the Asian guy.”
That’s because he’s a sweetie — although he claims to have some salt, which he describes as brashness. I’ve never noticed. I just remembered a well-dressed Fox 9 reporter.
Last week Choe celebrated his second anniversary at NBC10 Boston, as did another former Twin Cities broadcaster, Joy Lim Nakrin, formerly of KSTP-TV. “We both started May 2,” wrote Choe via e-mail. I shot video with Choe during the Super Bowl, after he finished interviewing me for a piece that aired on his new TV home.
Q: How long did the city of Boston seem depressed about the result of the Super Bowl, which I found delightful, because Patriots QB Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick are smug and have won enough?
A: The city was depressed for a month, and then folks moved on, fully expecting to compete for a Super Bowl again. But peeps know time is running out on Brady. So we know this could be the beginning of the end for the dynasty.
Q: Did Tom Brady make much news in Boston after swearing at a CBS cameraman, who was just doing his job, and ordering him to get out of the way when he was trotting back on the field after halftime in the Jaguars game?
A: For like one block of news. That was it. I didn’t see it after that. We don’t play those types of highlights about Tom Brady. We try to focus on the positive.
Q: How many selfies did you take when you were in Minnesota?
A: I haven’t taken count but at least 20. Let me be very clear: I am only taking selfies with people who recognize me from my Fox 9 days. That’s been such a pleasant surprise. Now most of the time they are like: Aren’t you that Asian guy on TV? [Or] You are Jonathan Choe, the Dinkytown riot guy from Fox 9. People have been so gracious. I didn’t realize it when I was here in Minnesota, dealing with minus 20, but you start to realize you miss the people. That’s what I miss about the Twin Cities.
Q: Any chance you’ll come back to Minnesota?
A: Ask my wife. My wife’s a Brooklyn Park girl. She loves Minnesota. We still have family here. Even during the Super Bowl, I’m trying to see my father-in-law and maybe a few cousins here and there. I love it in Boston right now, part of NBC10. We’re kind of that renegade startup disrupting the entire market and I just want to be a part of that. You know me. Wherever I go I can’t fit in, I’m always different. I need to be in a place where I can start running my mouth, and I don’t know if I can do that here in Minnesota and make it. It will also be home away from home.
Q: You had what I gather was a learning curve where “Minnesota Nice” is concerned?
A: My wife always reminds me to be humble and respect the culture wherever I go. So I learned a lot about my character in Minnesota. Not everyone understood my brash personality and my direct approach.
Q: You’re so nice. Is there anybody you despise?
A: [Laughter without sound] I’m not a perfect human, but I don’t know if there is anybody I actually despise.
Q: What would be your emotional support animal if you needed to take one on a plane ride?
A: Of course, a puppy. I think I’ve only seen a peacock once at a zoo. The feathers.
Q: What would you like to be in your next life?
A: Great question. Are you talking about reincarnation? I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation. I believe in the man upstairs, heaven, Jesus. In my next life, if I were able to do it all again, I’d be myself. I would try to do some things differently. Maybe study a little bit more. I limped out of college but I made it! I got a jobby job, I’m paying the bills, so it’s all good.
Q: Are you finding your pal, NBC10 colleague and former KSTPer Joy Lim Nakrin, a boyfriend who is husband-worthy (should she want one), or does she not need your help?
A: Joy is fine. She’s in a good relationship.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.