Kato's 15 minutes have arrived he's now got his own fan club

April 05, 1995|By Georgea Kovanis | Georgea Kovanis,Knight-Ridder News Service

Believe it or not, we've actually encountered someone who, um, uh, like, you know, thinks Kato Kaelin has a future in show business.

"I think he's a cute guy. He's a very gentle spirit. He seems a little humble. . . . I think Kato could probably be a good actor," says Kato Kaelin Global Fan Club President Cecelia DeVaughn of Toledo, Ohio.

The fan club was organized last summer by a bunch of friends who were sitting around, talking about the Trial of the Century and Brian "Kato" Kaelin, O. J. Simpson trial witness and Houseguest of the Century.

A few weeks ago, they decided their idea was so clever and over-the-top wacky that they'd open up membership to the rest of us.

By late last week, about 100 people had signed on.

That's in addition to 100 honorary members and some folks the fan club is calling celebrity members -- a couple of FBI agents from Toledo and "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, who may not know of his membership status. (The club faxed Mr. Leno with news that he'd been inducted.)

For the $10 sign-up fee, members receive a membership card, a certificate and some vague mention of newsletters.

To expand its scope, the club has hired a California personal shopper/concierge service to answer membership phone lines and help members -- or whoever else calls -- send gifts to the players in the trial.

Club founder Matthew Fitzgibbons, 42, a promoter from Toledo who says he used to manage Tiny Tim in the 1980s and apparently believes he is entitled to share Kato's 15 minutes of fame, maintains the concierge can deliver just about anything to the Los Angeles courthouse -- "whether it's a rose for Johnnie Cochran or a lobster dinner for Lance Ito."

So far, no one has sent anyone anything via the concierge service -- not even Mr. Fitzgibbons, who admits his admiration for Kato has its limits.

"I am a fan of Kato Kaelin's providing Kato Kaelin has the substance necessary to carry him beyond being some other celebrity personality floating around Hollywood," he says.

To join the fan club, call (800) 434-KATO, anytime. The membership is $10, plus a $3 processing fee.

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