The “25 Facts” series features people, places, and stuff that make Milwaukee great. These articles are meant just for fun and we have nothing but love for everyone included. Brought to you by Milwaukee Food & Drink Specials. (And yes, we know there are only 10 facts this time around.)
Milwaukee has produced a variety of great and/or interesting people. Jerry Harrison, Vel Phillips, and Josh Hoppert all hail from the Brew City, along with a variety of other noteworthy individuals. But Milwaukee has also gotten lucky on a number of occasions. James Lovell, Oprah Winfrey, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and many others were born outside of Milwaukee, but eventually found their way here for varying amounts of time. One such transplant is a gentleman by the name of Paul Kennedy.
You might know Paul “PK” Kennedy as the charismatic bartender from Buffalo, New York who’s provided countless whiskeys and even more jokes at a variety of local watering holes. Or you might know him as a trivia night host, a wedding officiant, a lover of dogs, a Miller’s Crossing enthusiast, and an all-around great guy. If you’re most fond of PK, the lover of dogs, you’ll be interested to know about an event happening this Friday.
On February 22, Walker’s Point Music Hall welcomes you to enjoy an evening of metal and punk from Population Control, Curbsitter, Cryptual, Steel Iron, and Warbastard. The 8 p.m. show will have no cover charge, but donations will be accepted and applied to the cost of surgery for PK’s sick pup, Blackie. In anticipation of this Friday’s event, here are 10 facts about Paul Kennedy, his dogs, and how they all fit into the history of Milwaukee.
1a. PK’s first dog was named Rufus.
1b. PK’s favorite Arrested Development (TV series) character is Gob.
1c. Speech from Arrested Development (musical group) graduated from Milwaukee’s Rufus King High School.
2. PK’s favorite baseball player of all time is Roberto Clemente. In 1953, when Clemente was 18 years old, the Milwaukee Braves offered him a $30,000 bonus to come and play for them, but he declined as he’d already promised his services to the Brooklyn Dodgers.
3a. Songs For Swingin’ Lovers is PK’s favorite Frank Sinatra album.
3b. PK’s favorite concert of all time was The Clash at the Aragon Ballroom in 1982.
3c. On May 14, 1984, Frank Sinatra and The Clash both played at the MECCA in Milwaukee—Frank at the Arena (now UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena) and The Clash at the Auditorium (now the Miller High Life Theatre).
4. PK’s all-time favorite lyricist is Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus, otherwise known as Elvis Costello. Elvis Costello’s most recent performance in Milwaukee was on July 16, 2017, the same night that now-former Milwaukee Brewer and all-time greatest laugher Brett Phillips hit his first career Major League home run.
5. PK once had a dog named Petey, named for the dog of the same name in The Little Rascals. The dog who played Petey in The Little Rascals (1994) was also in Homeward Bound 2: Lost In San Francisco (1996). The latter film features a cameo appearance from Milwaukee’s own Bob Uecker, as the voice of Trixie Uecker.
6. PK’s first job in Milwaukee was at Lenny’s Tap on 18th and State Street. By car, it’s 615 miles away from The Now Pizzeria in Hamburg, New York—PK’s favorite pizzeria.
7. PK also has a dog named Bug, who is not named for Bug Hall who played Alfalfa in The Little Rascals (1994), but we’ll never pass up an opportunity to make two TLR references in one article. Plus, Bug Hall played Milwaukee businessman Arthur Davidson, one of the four founders of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, in the 2016 television miniseries Harley And The Davidsons.
8. PK once adopted a dog named Omaha, but changed the pup’s name to Pickles. In Omaha, Nebraska, there is a restaurant called the Chicago Dawg House. At said restaurant, they have a sandwich called the Milwaukee Ave Polish Sausage. It’s topped with a pickle, among other things.
NOTE: “Milwaukee Ave” is admittedly more of a Chicago reference than a Milwaukee one, but we’re going to count this as a PK/Pickles/Milwaukee fact anyway.
9. PK’s rock star crush is Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders. Their last show in Milwaukee was at the Riverside Theater on July 10, 2018. That same night, Corbin Burnes made his Major League debut with a two-inning save in an 8-4 Brewers win over the Miami Marlins. Burnes’ laugh isn’t particularly hilarious.
10. The names of the other dogs PK has had that aren’t mentioned elsewhere in this article are Lobo, Sadie, Murph, and Vinnie. He’s also fostered a number of pets—too many to list here. He’s also officiated two weddings. Even though he’s a ’til-death Buffalo Bills fan, he will gladly talk Packers football, or Brewers baseball, or movies, or relationships, or Rodney Dangerfield, or sandwiches, or family, or whatever you want or need to discuss with him. “Packers” is an anagram for “PK cares,” and he sure does. Go see him on Friday!