Kato Kaelin

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Kato Kaelin
Kato Kaelin 2011.jpg
Kaelin in 2011
Brian Jerard Kaelin

(1959-03-09) March 9, 1959 (age 64)
  • Actor
  • media personality
Years active1987–present
Known forServing as a witness in the O. J. Simpson murder trial in 1995

Brian Gerard Kaelin[1] (born March 9, 1959), known as Kato Kaelin,[a] is an American actor and radio and television personality, who was a witness in the O. J. Simpson murder case.

Early life and education[edit]

Kaelin was born on March 9, 1959, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[2] Kaelin was nicknamed "Kato" as a child after the character played by Bruce Lee on the television series The Green Hornet.[3] He graduated from Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin, in 1977. He attended, but never graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He pledged the SAE Fraternity in the fall of 1980 and was accepted at the end of the term at California State University, Fullerton. During his time at Eau Claire he created his own talk show, Kato and Friends, and hosted The Gameshow on the campus television station, TV10.[4] He eventually moved to Hollywood.

O. J. Simpson murder case[edit]

Kaelin was a minor witness for the prosecution in the 1995 O. J. Simpson murder case.[5] In 1994, he was staying in a guest house on Simpson's Rockingham estate[6] and was present at the compound on the night of the two murders on June 12. He witnessed some of Simpson's movements before and after the time of the murders.[7] His story seemed to contradict Simpson's version of the events on some key points, as he testified that he could not account for Simpson's whereabouts between 9:36 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the evening the murders took place, which the prosecution alleged occurred between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. In spite of "valuable evidence" provided by Kaelin in his testimony, prosecutor Marcia Clark took the unusual step of having him declared a hostile witness, "allowing her to attack her own prosecution witness without repeated objections from Simpson's defense team."[8] He received considerable media attention during the trial; one survey found that 74 percent of Americans could identify him, compared to 25 percent for Vice President Al Gore at that time.[9]

Landmark libel case[edit]

After Simpson was acquitted, the cover of an issue of the tabloid newspaper National Examiner featured a photo of Kaelin without his shirt on, with the headline "Cops think Kato did it!" The article within the issue alleged that police suspected Kaelin of perjury. Kaelin sued the publisher, Globe Communications, for libel, alleging that the cover headline implied he was suspected of the murders. The federal District Court for Central California dismissed the case, saying the story was not libelous or malicious. This was reversed by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled:

We hold that reasonable jurors could find that clear and convincing evidence established: (1) the front page headline falsely insinuated that the police believed that Kaelin committed the murders; and (2) the false insinuation was not necessarily cured by ... subheading or by the non-defamatory story about Kaelin that appeared 17 pages away. We also hold that Kaelin produced sufficiently clear and convincing evidence of the newspaper's knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth of its headline to defeat a motion for summary judgment.[10][11]

The decision was a landmark case in libel law, finding that a headline could be considered libel. Kaelin later settled the US$15 million lawsuit[12] with Globe Communications out of court.[13]


Kaelin at the 2018 Wizarding World Con in Chicago

Before his involvement in the O. J. Simpson trial, Kaelin appeared in the beach comedy movie Beach Fever (1987), in which his character created a love potion with his friend and hit on girls at the beach; he also starred in Night Shadow (1989), a low budget horror movie.

Kaelin briefly made national headlines when he said he never told the New York Post columnist Cindy Adams that Simpson definitely killed his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. He said he has expressed his opinion before, that he thinks Simpson did it, but "I have no firsthand knowledge."[14]

Soon after the trial, Kaelin appeared on the first episode of the Fox sketch comedy MADtv (October 1995) and made a cameo appearance on the HBO sketch comedy Mr. Show with Bob and David during the series' first season (November 1995); in the latter series' episode titled "We Regret to Inform You", he shows up at lobotomized actor Borden Grote's party.[15] He appeared in the feature film The Still Life (2006) and had a minor role in National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2 (2006).[16] In February 2009, Kaelin guest-starred in the web series Star-ving[17] and the movie Whacked[citation needed]. He was a guest on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, on March 29, 1995.

In 1995, from the popularity of the Howard Stern Show, the Los Angeles radio station 97.1 KSLX, which had played Classic Rock after Stern in the morning, switched to an All Talk format, and Kato Kaelin, along with standup comic Bobby Hellman, hosted an afternoon show (following Susan Olsen and Ken Ober). Kato wound up hosting without Bobby, and the gig lasted about a year.

Kaelin has made numerous forays into reality television. In 2002, he participated in the series Celebrity Boot Camp.[18] In 2004, he participated in the development of a reality show called House Guest, in which he would live in other celebrities' homes; that show never aired. He was seen on an episode of the E! reality series Sunset Tan, asking specifically for a "farmer's tan".[when?] He was also a guest player on the sixth episode of the Comedy Central series Reality Bites Back.[when?] In 2008, he was a contestant in the Fox Reality Channel show Gimme My Reality Show, in which minor celebrities competed to receive their own reality show.[16]

Kaelin has also participated in game shows. He appeared on the NBC version of The Weakest Link (2002). He was a contestant on the game shows Russian Roulette[when?] as well as the reality dating show BZZZ! hosted by Annie Wood.[when?] In 2005, he appeared in the first three National Lampoon's Strip Poker pay-per-view programs (Kaelin is an avid poker player); the titles were filmed at Hedonism II, a naturist resort in Negril, Jamaica, which led him to quip, "The first few days there were the hardest!" The Playboy bunnies, WWE Divas, and pin-up models competing in the no-limit Texas hold 'em games, and upon losing all their chips and clothes, had to dive into the "Pool of Shame" and visit "Kato's Guesthouse", where he would interview the nude defeated players. He also appeared in numerous comedic skits.[16]

Kaelin also has worked as a radio and television host. For a short time in 1995, he worked as a radio talk host on KLSX in Los Angeles, and provided online content for National Lampoon.[19] From June 2005 to some time in 2006, Kaelin co-hosted Eye for an Eye, a daytime TV court show syndicated in 34 countries.[20] Kaelin was a recurring guest on the video game review show X-Play.[21]

Kaelin has also appeared in several parodies. In 2009, he was seen on the series Tosh.0, in a parody of the Keyboard Cat video titled "Keyboard Kato".[22] And in 2010, Kaelin appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, wearing a wig to play his younger self in a taped skit parodying 1990s television appearances by 2010 US senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell.[23]

Since 2011, Kaelin has hosted the TV talk show Tailgating with Kato.[24]

In 2016, he made a brief appearance on the FX comedy series Baskets, where he performed the national anthem at a rodeo.

In 2016, Kaelin appeared in the Troma Entertainment film B.C. Butcher.[25]

In 2019, Kaelin was a house guest in the second American season of the reality show competition Celebrity Big Brother. He was evicted by a 5-0 vote on February 4, 2019, finishing in 8th place out of 12 house guests.[26][27]

Personal life[edit]

Kaelin was best friends with the actor and comedian Norm Macdonald from mid-2000 to mid-2001, according to Macdonald's The Norm Show co-star Artie Lange. He was even given a guest role on the show. He and Macdonald had a falling out that ended their friendship.[28][29]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Beach Fever Chat Frederick IV
1989 Night Shadow Dean Lesher
1992 Prototype Regalia
1994 Save Me Bond Trader #1 / Police Officer
1994 Hail Caesar Party guest Uncredited
1994 Cyborg 3: The Recycler Beggar Direct-to-video
1994 Inner Sanctum II Extra Uncredited
1996 For Life or Death Kato
1998 BASEketball Driveway Announcer
1999 The Decade Kree Uncredited
2003 Pauly Shore Is Dead Kato Kaelin
2006 The Still Life Photographer
2006 National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2 Celebrity Judge #3 Direct-to-video
2007 Revamped Jonathan Direct-to-video
2009 Ratko: The Dictator's Son Roman the Architect
2011 Panman New Panman
2015 Sacred Blood Thaddeus Wilson
2015 Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin Record Label Executive
2016 B.C. Butcher Rex


Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Watcher Joseph Weston Episode: "Second Chances: Last Time Around/Jack Flash/Hit Man"
1995 Mr. Show with Bob and David Party guest Episode: "We Regret to Inform You"
1998, 1999 Unhappily Ever After Smoking Teacher / Happy Bender 2 episodes
1999 Beggars and Choosers Kato Kaelin 3 episodes
2001 The Norm Show Rick Episode: "Norm vs. Homelessness"
2002 Fatal Kiss Jonathan Television film
2003 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Instructor Episode: "Present Perfect"
2009 Star-ving Kato Episode: "Starving... Literally"
2009 Tosh.0 Keyboard Kato Episode: "Afro Ninja"
2009 Valley Peaks Bronson Greywolf Episode: "The Future's Beginnings: Part 3"
2010 Laugh Track Mash-ups Teacher Episode: "Late for Class!"
2011 Can't Get Arrested Kato 2 episodes
2013 The Eric Andre Show Self Episode: "Scott Porter/Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake"
2014 Winners Kato Kaelin Episode: "Home Alone"
2014 Beverley Hills Pawn Self Episode: "Hornet and a Haunting"
2015 The PET Squad Files Rise and Shine USA Host Episode: "Welcome to F***ing Hollywood"
2016 Baskets Singer Episode: "Renior"
2018 Guest House Rent Kato Television film
2018 Weird Bizarre and Psychotic Host Television film
2018 The Last Sharknado: It's About Time Viking King Television film
2019 Celebrity Big Brother Himself Houseguest; 8th Place



  1. ^ "Grand Jury Testimony - June 17 & 18, 1994". Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  2. ^ "NNDB Kato Kælin". Nndb.com. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Brian "Kato" Kaelin Archived December 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Rosen, Marjorie (September 12, 1994). "The Man in the Guesthouse - OJ Simpson Trial, Where Are They Now?, Kato Kaelin". People. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  5. ^ "Kato Kaelin Biography (Actor) —". Infoplease.com. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  6. ^ Simpson, O. J.; Fenjves, Pablo (2006). If I Did It (2006 cancelled ed.).
  7. ^ "Kato Kaelin". Nndb.com. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "Kato Kaelin, Simpson Houseguest, Now Treated As A Hostile Witness". Chicago Tribune. March 27, 1995.
  9. ^ Anolik, Lili (June 2014). "How O. J. Simpson Killed Popular Culture". Vanity Fair.
  10. ^ "BRIAN "KATO" KAELIN v. GLOBE, ___ 3rd ___(9th Cir., 1998)". journalism.uoregon.edu. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  11. ^ "Headline Suggesting "Kato" Kaelin Was Murder Suspect Could Be Defamation". South-Western Legal Studies.
  12. ^ "Kato Settles $15 Million Suit Against National Examiner". Chicago Tribune. October 12, 1999. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "'Kato' Kaelin Settles Libel Suit with Tabloid". Los Angeles Times. October 9, 1999.
  14. ^ "Interview with Dr. Drew". CNN. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "John Leonard's Television Notes". New York. October 16, 1995. p. 103. Retrieved September 20, 2012 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ a b c Kato Kaelin at IMDb
  17. ^ "Interview with David Faustino and Corin Nemec of Crackle's 'Star-ving'". Tilzy.tv. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
  18. ^ Celebrity Boot Camp at IMDb
  19. ^ Michaelson, Judith (August 1, 1995). "KLSX (With Kato) Joins Talk Radio Wars Today : Radio: The station will switch from its classic rock format to become the first major FM outlet in this market to institute a talk lineup". Los Angeles Times.
  20. ^ "Kato Kaelin Weighs In on O. J. Simpson's Latest Arrest". Fox News. December 7, 2011.
  21. ^ "Kato Kaelin". Mahalo.com. January 25, 1995. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  22. ^ "Tosh.0: Exclusive - Kato Kaelin Keyboard Cat - Video Clip | Tosh.0 | Comedy Central". Tosh.comedycentral.com. May 28, 2009. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  23. ^ "Real Time With Bill Maher: Craziest Christine O'Donnell Clip Yet! (HBO)". YouTube. September 28, 2010. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  24. ^ "Kato Kaelin: OJ Simpson Did It". Sports Interaction.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Troma's Latest Horror Comedy, BC Butcher, Was Directed by a 17-Year-Old Girl". 6 January 2016.
  26. ^ Porreca, Brian (January 13, 2019). "'Celebrity Big Brother' Cast Includes Anthony Scaramucci, Dina Lohan and Ryan Lochte". www.hollywoodreporter.com/. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  27. ^ Ross, Dalton (January 13, 2019). "Anthony Scaramucci Among 12 New Celebrity Big Brother Houseguests". www.ew.com/. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  28. ^ "Stern Show News - Archive". MarksFriggin.com. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  29. ^ "Kato Kaelin Norm Macdonald falling out. Howard Stern. Sam Simon. Artie Lange". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved April 22, 2014.

External links[edit]