Q&A: Mike Jerrick

The over-the-top Fox 29 morning personality, 66, on car-free living, Rouge, and why his grandkids probably shouldn’t ask him for help with arithmetic

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Michael Eugene Joseph Jerrick. Joseph is my confirmation name. We’re a big-time Catholic family, and Jerrick is Czech.

I grew up in … Wichita. They call it the “Air Capital of the World” because almost every plane overhead is made there.

I came to Philly … in 1999 for Good Day Philadelphia, and for some reason I was immediately accepted by the audience. They got my sense of humor.

The best part about my job … is that it’s between being a news guy and a late-night talk-show guy, somewhere between Tom Brokaw and Johnny Carson.

On workdays, I wake up … at 4 a.m. I’ve done that for 17 years.

The farthest I’ve ever been from Philadelphia … is Kuala Lumpur. I was hosting a beauty pageant.

If you’re pouring me a drink, make it a … pineapple juice. I’m on a kick. I recently curtailed my alcohol consumption and feel a lot better.

My current relationship status is … um, is “involved” the right word? I am not single.

I live in … a converted factory in Old City. And I own a condo in New York, where I am about once a month.

The first concert I ever went to was … Aretha Franklin with the Drifters, in Wichita. We got second-row tickets for $14. Damn, I’m old.

When I became a grandfather for the first time … I openly wept.

If you really want to make me mad … don’t care. Don’t care about what you’re doing, don’t care about your friends, don’t care about your loved ones. You gotta be all in.

The first car I bought … was a chocolate brown Volkswagen Rabbit. These days, I don’t drive. I haven’t had a car since 1999. It’s wonderful.

One thing about Philly I’d like to change … is the location of our sports stadiums. They should be closer to the city, as they are in many other cities.

The last time I was in church … was a week ago. I was having a really bad day.

One TV show I can’t miss is … TMZ Live, Seinfeld reruns, and Fareed Zakaria GPS. Although I probably should have named a Fox show.

I am terrible at … anything involving math.

The last book I read cover to cover was … Alive, about the plane that crashed in the Andes and the people started eating each other. Fun!

If you’re buying me dinner, let’s go to … Barclay Prime. But when I have friends in from out of town, I always take them to the window seats at Rouge.

The most memorable interview I’ve done … was Robin Williams. And when I was fresh out of college, I had a one-on-one in a hotel room with Henry Fonda. He offered me orange juice.

My secret talent is that I can … paint. I do abstract art, which no one has seen or ever will see. It takes my mind off of other things. I have a tendency to be a little … frenetic.

To stay in shape … I watch exercise videos.

If I weren’t doing this, I would probably be a … prisoner. I really need to stay busy.

Published as “One of Us” in the October 2016 issue of Philadelphia magazine.