On Tuesday, we published a piece looking at some of Glendale-native Kato Kaelin’s, uh, passionate tweets about the Brewers and the Packers.
After it ran, Kaelin offered us some clarification on tweets like this one, from Thursday night:
America’s most famous house guest says he has a lot going on these days. Even though he lives in Los Angeles, he says he watches just about every Packers and Brewers game, and he’s currently in Wisconsin to emcee Wizard World Comic Con in Madison on Sunday. He’s also pitching some TV projects and runs a lounge wear company.
We spoke with the outspoken sports fan before he jumped on plane to his hometown. Enjoy this latest Milwaukee Talks.
OnMilwaukee: How often are you in Milwaukee these days?
Kato Kaelin: I have very, very close ties in Milwaukee. That's where I was raised. I do at least one Packers game. Then I try to see them on the road somewhere. Gosh, I've seen the Brewers probably five times this year and yeah, I pretty much watch all the games … I have the satellite, but now I miss everything because I'm gone, and it's just like, "Oh jeez, I'm paying for this thing." I gotta get rid of it. I watch a lot of it online, on the phone.
You are obviously a very passionate Brewers and Packers fan.
Yeah, very. I'm actually very passionate about all Wisconsin sports, and you know, I blame my late parents. My dad had two restaurants in Milwaukee, one was called Nino’s Steak Round Up, the other was The Bayside, and he would get a bus. He had 44 tickets when the Brewers played at County Stadium. I had three other brothers, and we always got at least a game a week, and I would travel with 44 of the people that would attend his restaurant. He took care of them by giving them tickets for, you know, good PR.
So I was raised watching this. These people on a bus drinking brandy and beer, and just going crazy. And the loyalty. There is nothing, and I've been to every stadium, I think, and every game in like Wisconsin, like Milwaukee, of how loyal fans are. I think that's why Brewers, for example, hit these attendance marks, because they're the best people in the world. So sometimes I feel cheated when I see mental mistakes, or not loyalty. I'm sure Matt Garza is a great guy.
I don't think he's a great guy, actually …
I don't know. Counsell keeps pitching him when I think, even the dugout's going, "We're gonna write this (off) as a loss." And it just happens that way. But yeah, I hate that that happens, and we've got this great farm system. Just bring up the guys. What does it matter?
If you follow my tweets and everything, in the beginning of the year I saw Neftalí Feliz, I said, "Get rid of him now." They gave him 19 chances and we could have easily been up for 12, 13 games at one point. And he lost, like I think it was, I don't know the facts, but it's an incredible amount. Either 19 losses, whatever it is, he gave up winning one and all these games. I'm like, "Ugh."
He was not good.
How did this guy make the team? This a coach watching the farm and spring training? So I go, just like I'm talking now, I go, "Jeez!" It just eats at me.
On Twitter, you don’t do a lot of self-censoring. Is that a real reflection of you? Or are you amping it up? Are you really that angry?
I have a knee-jerk reaction, which is not the best thing to do. So even with the Packers, I just, at that moment, I see it happen, I go, "Oh jeez." If you go way back, I think I feel 98 percent of the things I said were right on the money.
Do you regret some of the, for lack of a better word, vitriol?
I should not say the word hate when I do in my tweets because I say, "congratulate, don't hate," and I agree with that.
But you do it a lot.
OK. Yeah, a little bit, but believe me, none of it is personal. It's all about the sport, the passion. It's not about me saying something about someone's way or something, I don't pick on the person. I pick on the situation.
So people should take you with a grain of salt since you're a passionate fan?
I’m 100 percent passionate. I'm telling you, God's honest truth, I love Milwaukee, I'm not just saying that, I really love where I'm from. I know because it has everything to do with my family. Just seeing them watch sports and the passion. So that just goes to my brain.
Believe me, I wish I wasn't this way. My Sundays the Packers lose, it's death. The Sunday is ruined. I can't watch games with people. I have one friend; he's the only guy I can actually watch a game with because he's probably the same, I'm a little worse, but we text about, oh I would say at least 300 texts during games.
I sometimes feel the same way, but I try not to tell the whole world about it.
Yeah well, I guess if you're saying ... I'll tone down.
Don’t do it because of me. I just want to get a better understanding of it. Because you are kind of a public persona …
Yeah, I hope it didn't come across mean spirited. I'll tell you what's mean spirited, it's the comments that I do read from people that I have to hit the block button a lot because people bring in something that has nothing to do with the sport. The O.J. Simpson parole and bringing up the bloody glove. They do the exact wrong thing. It’s just 23 years ago. They just have an easy out, they're behind their computer, their phone and they think, "Oh boy, I'll really get him with this thing." It just makes no sense. Immediate block.
I actually didn’t want to go there with O.J., but since you brought it up, that is going to be a part of your life forever. Have you just come to accept that to many people that's who you are? Or is your goal to change that?
I saw the show and he whether he gets out, believe me, the O.J. stuff, for me, is way, way in the back. I don't have in my calendar circled things about O.J.'s parole date. My life is not O.J. My life is me moving forward for the last 22 years. The people, obviously, have not moved past. Well, some of these Twitter people that just think they have an easy out.
There are a lot of haters out there.
It's an easy block. But if you noticed, and I don't know how long you've followed me, but I've been passionate the last few years, very, very much dealt with Twitter between the Packers and the Brewers and sometimes the Bucks. But, it's always been about winning a winner for the city. It's just God awful mistakes that the team makes.
Tell me about Wizard World Comic Con. You're coming to Madison this weekend?
So, basically we have an entertainment stage. I travel, I'm the emcee, so I'm the first person you see as me and you walk in. I welcome the people and then I have the best acts of Madison and Minneapolis. We have jugglers, musicians, bands come in and it's like "America's Got Talent" on my stage and I'm the Tyra Banks. But I'm the dude.
It's gone really well. I'm working while Stan Lee will be there and everybody who is signing – Charlie Sheen or whoever else, Kate Beckinsale, whoever's coming to the show. Then a lot of times the actors that are signing come up on my stage and we'll do maybe karaoke – What I call katooke. The crowd, honestly, they go crazy. They just love it, love it, love it.
You're also involved in a sleepwear company?
Yeah, I have a clothing line called Slackerwear. My partner's Rhonda Shear. She's a phenomenal business woman who's in the Forbes 5000. So yeah, my Slackerwear is pretty cool. I design it myself, especially for Packers, Brewer fans because all my pockets on the sweatpants come with an actual pocket that says, "TV remote." So you'll never lose it. It closes with a zipper.
And you're pitching a TV show?
Yeah, I’m working on something. True Crime is the No. 1 genre. I'm up for a game show right now, I won't mentioned it. But I'm up at the final, a very, very clever game show, as the host. We'll see if that gets picked up. Then I wrote a show called "Wrong Place Wrong Time," and it has a show runner attached, I think it won three Emmy's. It's about people that are auxiliary to any kind of crime and how your life changes in just a matter of seconds – and you're on the sidelines of crime.
When’s the next time you're going to be in Milwaukee?
If I can get the extra day, I maybe could drive down after the show on Sunday.
Would you go to a playoff game if the Brewers make it into the postseason?
I'm still rooting for the Brewers, Dodgers so badly.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.