21 questions

Chris Hayes Once Directed a Musical Featuring a Singing Pig

Chris Hayes.

Name: Christopher Hayes
Park Slope
Journalist. Host, Up with Chris Hayes, Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 8 a.m. on MSNBC.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
My parents, who live in the Bronx.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
A banquet in an Italian-American banquet hall in the way east Bronx, where my mom was being honored along with other Italian-American educators. Seriously, I still think about those mozzarella balls. 

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I try to learn as much as possible about what’s going in our public life so I can talk about it on live TV on Saturday and Sunday mornings with genuine command and depth. 

What was your first job in New York?
Cashier at the Wild Asia food concession in the Bronx Zoo. I was 14.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
The most recent play I saw was Mike Daisey’s amazing Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at the Public, but the last Broadway show was In The Heights. I actually went to high school with Lin-Manuel Miranda and am proud to say I directed the first musical he ever wrote.  It was twenty-minutes-long and featured a menacing, singing pig. 

Do you give money to panhandlers?

What’s your drink?
I’m tempted to lie and say something like a Manhattan, but in truth it’s Jack and Diet Coke. 

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Three to four times a week. My wife’s a vegetarian so it’s a lot of beans, lentils, salads, and the like.

What’s your favorite medication?
Jack and Diet Coke. 

What’s hanging above your sofa?
A Botero print that my aunt gave us for our wedding. She bought it, I believe, at an Amnesty International fund-raising auction years and years ago, and thought we’d like it.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
For someone with relatively short hair, I’d say $60 is where you cross into ridiculousness.

When’s bedtime?
Sometime around midnight. On Friday and Saturday nights before the show, I try to get to bed around 10 p.m.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I guess I’m supposed to say old, but I do love the pedestrian plaza and uncanny, overwhelming light of the new one.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
I think he’s a great counter-example to the American dream.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The inequality. 

Who is your mortal enemy?
I don’t think I have one. (Although, Lord, if I do, I should probably find out who the hell he is.)

When’s the last time you drove a car?
In the past week, doing some shopping to provision the room for our new baby.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
It’s radicalized me. It’s prompted to me learn a lot about finance and economics and it’s given me a whole lot to talk, think, and write about. 

Times, Post, or Daily News?

Where do you go to be alone?
I go for a walk. There are few things I love quite as much as taking a walk in New York.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Being unselfconsciously comfortable with asking someone how much they pay in rent minutes after you’ve met them.

Chris Hayes Answers 21 Questions