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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

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In Movies & TV

Married with three kids, meteorologist Rob Haswell also co-hosts "Real Milwaukee."

In Movies & TV

"When we start getting into severe weather season," says Haswell, 'You're not going to turn to a phone to know what's going on."

In Movies & TV

Says Haswell, "My first dream was to be in 'SNL,' to be a stand-up comic."

In Movies & TV

On living in Milwaukee: "I love it here. It's a lot like where I grew up. Down to earth."

In Movies & TV

"I love the weather, and that's always going to be my bread and butter. The other stuff is just a bonus," he says.

Milwaukee Talks: FOX 6 meteorologist Rob Haswell


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OMC: How old were you at this point?

RH: It was '98, so I was 27. I went back to school part-time to get my meteorology education. That took a while, because I was doing a couple of courses a year, because, you know, radio and TV pay so well!

OMC: But you do have a credited movie role. You were in a JFK, Jr. story?

RH: "America's Prince," which is why I'm only two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

OMC: I didn't see any clips on YouTube ...

RH: You won't see any clips of it anywhere, although it must be airing somewhere because I occasionally get residual checks for $14. I was typecast as an entertainment reporter. My visual got edited onto the cutting room floor, so you only hear my voice during a montage scene. My credit is called "Follies Host."

OMC: You came to Milwaukee in 2005. How's that going?

RH: I love it here. It's a lot like where I grew up. Down to earth. I miss some things about Toronto, the multi-cultural stuff. But there's some; I love Indian food. I love our festivals here. I don't think a lot of the people know how good it is.

OMC: And now you see a different side of the city through "Real Milwaukee."

RH: You know, "Wakeup" always afforded me the opportunity to do something other than weather. I love the weather, and that's always going to be my bread and butter. The other stuff is just a bonus. "Real Milwaukee" is a whole hour of it. It's great that we get to chat about politics then spitting on your cell phone.

OMC: Did your training in improv comedy help you prepare for this show?

RH: Obviously. If you can think on your feet, it's key to this kind of show. What's made me fit in with the group on "Wakeup" is being able to go with the flow. If I took anything away from Second City, it's the "yes ... and" philosophy of comedy. You can apply it to anything. If you can listen, take what the other person is offering you and build on it, you can do anything.

OMC: Having guest-hosted your show three times, I find the timing part to be especially hard.

RH: Being the only guy gives me an edge, because I get a unique voice in that group. My trump card is that none of them know what's it like to be a guy. Improv is a little like jazz. If you try to structure it, it's not going to work. When it works, it's awesome. When it doesn't, eh, we try again next time.

OMC: Is it more or less fun than doing the weather?

RH: It's different fun. The weather side services my science geek side, and I love teaching people. The "Real Milwaukee" thing lets me go off on other tangents.

OMC: Do you do a lot of prep work for "Real Milwaukee," or do you just react?

RH: It depends on the day. If it's something that I want to talk about, then yeah. I would say more so than anything, I try not to over-prep.

OMC: All three of your kids' names begin with the letter "N." What's the story there?

RH: It was kind of an accident. Noah was my choice. I really wanted a Biblical name, because they stand the test of time. We couldn't agree on a girl's name for my first daughter. My wife wanted Stella. "Stella Haswella?" That's not gonna work. She remembered someone she knew who had a daughter named Nyla, which means "Egyptian princess." And once you have two, what are you gonna do? Gertrude? When Nadia came along, and it was one of the few names we agreed upon.

OMC: Crazy morning schedule and three kids ... do you have time for any hobbies?

RH: I do, actually, and having three kids was not an accident. My wife always wanted three kids, so I knew when I put the ring on her finger. I play guitar, but I rarely pick it up because I have so much going on. Right now, the biggest extracurricular hobby is coaching both of my kids' hockey teams. I'm at the Ozaukee Ice Center sometimes six days a week.

OMC: Good to see you representing your Canadian heritage.

RH: I wanted my kids to be more active than I was. In my 20s, I was a sloth. We tried soccer and little league baseball, but my son got beaned. He was a ball magnet. He got hit by a ball from the outfield.

OMC: Are your kids American citizens?

RH: The girls are. Noah will be when we are, but it just takes forever.

OMC: Is that something you're working on?

RH: That's the plan.

OMC: You have a Far Side chicken tattoo, I heard ...

RH: Yeah, I was a 18-year-old moron, that's what that adds up to.

OMC: You were almost on a Bobcat Goldthwait show?

RH: I was on a Bobcat Goldthwait show! That one doesn't get credited anywhere because it was a pilot. He's insane. It was kind of a "Gong Show" thing.

OMC: Do you still have the acting bug?

RH: It's the retirement plan. If I'm graced with the ability to actually retire in the future, I would love to be that old guy character actor. Like the dad from "Frasier." I would love to do that in my old age. But with three kids, you have to have a real job and healthcare. That's something that actors just don't have.

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