Longtime Southern California columnist T.J. Simers has been acerbic and acidic throughout much of his career, but that’s not how he sees himself. He sees himself as a humor columnist. That’s actually his first goal when he wakes up in the morning — to make people laugh.
In our chat, we talk about how and why he made the transition from the L.A. Times to the Orange County Register, how he built the T.J. Simers world for his readers complete with recurring characters and inside jokes, and why he feels comfortable being completely (and oftentimes uncomfortably) honest with his subjects in the newspaper and in real life.
Plus, he explains why a columnist’s best attribute is survival, and we reminisce about Mike Royko, Jim Murray, and Red Smith.
My favorite Simers quote from our chat:
“Do I cringe at myself sometimes? Absolutely.”
Here are some of the subjects we talked about (and some we didn’t).