Seconds after meeting him, one has a feeling Steve Patterson is right at home anywhere. He’d even fit in, back in the day, along with literati of the time, enthusiastically engaging in a Victorian-era parlor game (now known as the Proust Questionnaire), responding to a list of questions to reveal one’s personality to other guests. He took a crack at it for us!
While growing up outside of Pittsburgh, Patterson, co-host since 2014 of Kstp’s Twin Cities Live (TCL), was always drawn to the art of conversation. “When I was a kid, I’d like to sit with the adults,” he says, lured to “the rhythm and patterns of conversation.” At lunchtime during high school, Patterson could be found eating lunch with faculty and staff and, no doubt, keeping pace with their exchanges. Save your sympathy—he was chatting them up by choice, not for a lack of friendships with peers. “I was the most social person in the school,” he says, and it’s not difficult to imagine it. Whatever the “it factor” is, Patterson has it. Genuinely affable. Tremendously quick witted. And openly sincere when the moment calls for it.
In those early days, whether he knew it or not, Patterson was honing skills that would serve him well along his career path. While many watch him weekdays at 3 p.m. on Channel 5’s TCL, he can be heard weekdays on FM 107.1’s The Donna and Steve Show, where he dips in between 9 a.m.–noon with his brand of snappy repartee.
Patterson, who lives in Chaska with his high school sweetheart wife, Lu, and their children (Adelynn, 7; Greyson, 5; and Lyla Lu, 2), doesn’t mind the commute to the TV and radio stations’ St. Paul offices. “As long as you love where you’re going home to, commutes don’t matter,” he says. While this area of the metro lays claim to plenty of boast-worthy features, there was another, more important draw that led the Pattersons to Chaska—the couple’s home is minutes from Patterson’s sister and living close to her family (which includes similarly-aged cousins for the Patterson kids) was, and remains, a top priority.
But Patterson didn’t begin his career here. After graduating from California’s Azusa Pacific University in 2006, he created and ran an entertainment website, which featured celebrity interviews on the red carpet. Hubbard Broadcasting’s ReelzChannel came calling, and Patterson was a correspondent and anchor of Hollywood Dailies and later served as host of the daily entertainment program, The REELZ Show. He also co-created the weekly show Who Said What? Other gigs included cohosting The People’s Choice Awards LIVE Red Carpet PreShow for Reelz and hosting and co-writing Directv’s The Screening Room.
“That was a really lucky start to my career,” Patterson says. For a guy who cut his teeth on developing conversation skills and whose first career love was entertainment reporting, doesn’t he miss the red carpets, premieres, awards shows and the saturation of all things entertainment Los Angeles generates? For him, the pull to return west holds little muscle. Patterson says the deeper he gets into fatherhood, the less inclined he is to be in the “market chase,” in search of the next bigger gig, sporting a larger, broader audience. “I don’t miss L.A.,” Patterson says. “None of that appeals to me.” As a person who keeps the humor barrel locked and loaded at all times, this time, he’s not joking. “I found the profession that I really love,” Patterson says. “The quality of life I have here appeals to me so much more.”
Q & A
If it was good enough for the likes of Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Paul Cézanne, et al, then by golly, it’s good enough for Patterson. We put him to the test—the Proust Questionnaire—or a version of it, that is!
What are your favorite names?
Lu, Adelynn, Greyson and Lyla (Those may or may not be the names of my wife and children.)
What is your idea of perfect happiness in the Southwest Metro?
A summer evening, grilling on the deck, kids playing in the yard, craft beer in hand.
What is your greatest fear?
Drowning in a sea of peanut butter. Think about it.
Which living person do you most admire?
My dad—he’s the one voice I turn to when looking for Godly, wise counsel. He’s my go-to.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My unfailing ability to procrastinate.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When people interrupt or don’t listen. Read the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … it sums it up perfectly.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Uhhh … yeah. That’s not me. I am the proud owner of two knock-off replica watches.
What is your favorite journey in and out of the Southwest Metro?
In: A nice walk around the Lowry Nature Center. Tough to find a better setting than that. Out: Manzanita, Oregon. We vacationed there last year. Along the ocean. Overcast. Crashing waves. Unreal!
On what occasion do you lie?
Right now. Not true. See, that was a lie. (I don’t lie … that I know of?)
What do you dislike the most about your appearance?
You know, I’ve come to not care about my pointy nose (that used to bother me). But my profile reveals an unpronounced jawline/chin. I can almost instantly create a double or triple chin. It’s pretty remarkable.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Decidedly” and the good, old crutch word “like.”
What is your greatest regret?
It’s cliché, but having caused hurt to those I love the most.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife. She has personified the love and grace of Jesus to me like no one else. And I have three little kids, who all run up to me when I get home from work at the end of the day. That is a real treasure.
When and where were you happiest?
My wife and I just went on a Mediterranean cruise with Twin Cities Live. We got to spend so much time with each other. We laughed so much. It was long overdue.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be a great singer. I’d sing all the time. I’d harmonize with people during meetings.
What is your current state of mind?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d swap out my love handles for a six pack.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I’d add one more baby.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The day I was told I would get paid to be a broadcaster was a great day. I had done it for free for two and a half years [at another job].
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being alone. No family. Ugh, just the thought is crushing.
Where would you like to live (besides Chaska)?
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favorite writers?
Timothy Keller [author of] Reason for God—my most highlighted book of all time.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Who are your heroes in real life?
My dad. Hmmm … that feels incomplete. Also Bono. Do people still say that?
What is your favorite motto?
Screw motivation. Cultivate discipline.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My humor. I’m always looking for a laugh, and I maintain there is no greater feeling on earth than a deep, uncontrollable belly laugh.
What is your favorite occupation?
I’m doing it. I love hosting live TV shows!