After only two weeks on the job, a young Korean woman named Mary H.K. Choi has emerged as the NYT's funniest new writer in ages.
Is it too early for editors to consider moving her brilliant and insightful "Townies" column from the Opinionator blog to the Op-Ed page, and kick Tom Friedman to the curb?
Choi's first effort comically chronicled her multiple moves around New York -- a new apartment for every miserable breakup in her young life, and a long partnership with a moving man who carried her stuff nine times as she criss-crossed the city in search of a permanent place.
This week, Choi's second column confessed the misery a young Korean woman faces getting a pedicure from a middle-aged Korean woman whose grey roots remind her of her mother. It's more than that, really, but we can't do justice to it with a summary.
In October, the Opinionator blog launched a new "Townies" column for fresh young voices. Its first contributor was Sloane Crosley, the popular essayist with two best-selling collections under her belt. Crosley delivered her predictably droll commentaries on predictable topics like cats and New Year's Eve. No surprises.
But the arrival of the considerably less well-known Choi has delivered a dose of comic adrenalin to the Townies column. Her bio identifies her as a writer for The Awl and senior editor for Complex Magazine. Before that she edited something called "Missbehave" and wrote a comic called "Lady Deadpool."
We can easily envision Choi alongside the comedy stylings of Ross Douthat, the hilarious Bob Herbert, and the rest of the op-ed gang. The NYTPicker proudly declares itself pro-Choi.