For almost two decades, Tony Perkins has been with Washingtonians as they get up in the morning—first on WKYS’s The Donnie Simpson Show, then on WTTG Fox 5’s morning news show, and then, beginning in 1999, as Good Morning America’s weatherman. Nearly seven years of commuting between New York and Washington—where his wife, Rhonda, and, more recently, young son Connor still lived—took their toll. In December, he left GMA and returned to Fox 5’s morning show.
What’s the best thing about being back? Coming home to my son. I walk in the door, and he runs up and hugs me.
Where’s your favorite place to watch a sunrise or sunset? Either at my house or at the Frederick Douglass house in Anacostia. That’s such a great vista of Washington.
What’s your favorite kind of day weather-wise? Mid-70s, sunny, slightly breezy, a good spring day. My favorite times in DC are those first days of spring: The flowers are coming up, and the cherry blossoms are just blooming.
Favorite memory from New York? Meeting Ringo Starr and singing with him on stage at GMA. I’m a huge Beatles fan, so that was a thrill.
Favorite pastime? I’m a music buff. I’m a frustrated musician; I can pick out a few chords on guitar. I really enjoy listening to music and collecting Beatles memorabilia.
Favorite television show? Grey’s Anatomy. I DVR that every week. And Seinfeld reruns. I laugh at them like the first run.
Favorite book? I’ve always loved Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It’s an amazing novel. It really captures the experience that a lot of black folks have gone through in this country. Then there’s a book Charlie Gibson introduced me to: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
What’s on your bookshelf now? The Everything Potty Training Book by Linda Sonna. Connor’s at that age. Also I’m reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
All-time favorite restaurant? Georgia Brown’s. When I was in my twenties, it was Houston’s in Georgetown. It’s no longer there.
Favorite everyday restaurant? Outback Steakhouse. There are times I’m there at least once a week. They’re kid-friendly—that helps.
Favorite food? A perfectly prepared steak. For dessert, a banana split without the nuts.
Best meal ever? My wife’s spaghetti with meat sauce and mushrooms. The first time she prepared it, I was just blown away.
Favorite vacation? Maui in Hawaii. I’ve only been once. It was absolutely gorgeous.
Historical figure you’d most like to meet? The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Favorite object you own? A few years ago I treated myself to a high-end stereo system. I love going downstairs and just listening to music.
What would others be surprised to know about you? I’m not always happy or happy-go-lucky.
What makes Washington special? It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. DC in the springtime is beautiful. I like that we experience all four seasons here. After the cold temperatures and the wind, you appreciate spring that much more.