Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
During my long journalistic career, I can think of only a handful of times when I was uncomfortable.
I went to a practice at the old Milwaukee Arena. The Los Angeles Lakers were in town to play the Bucks, and I wanted to interview former Buck, 7-foot legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
At the conclusion of the Lakers’ shoot-around, I asked Kareem for some time for a few questions. This was the same year that Magic Johnson was a rookie for the Lakers.
Kareem consented to the interview but wasn’t all that enthused about the whole idea.
I suggested we go sit down in one of the thousands of non-occupied Arena seats. No, said Kareem. Right here on the court would be just fine.
Not fine. Kareem stood the entire time.
Imagine yours truly, of average height. I extend my arm as high as it will go. I’m holding the very bottom of my microphone. It rises to the bottom of Kareem’s chin.
One of my questions was about the worth, the value that Magic brought to the Lakers. Kareem responded with the not-so sound bite of the year:
“Magic keeps teams honest.”
End of quote.
I think I’ll pack up and go home now.
Remember when the Brewers went to the World Series in 1982? They had to clinch the American League East title on the last weekend of the season in Baltimore. The weekend before, at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, the Brewers hurt their chances with losses to the Orioles.
That Sunday afternoon after a Brewer loss, I sprinted to the Orioles’ dressing room after getting Brewer interviews. Of course it was a happy visitor’s locker room, but you’d never know it from what I experienced. I immediately sought out Baltimore manager, the legendary and talkative Earl Weaver.
I apologized for being late, having been in the Brewers’ locker room and Weaver gave his OK.
The interview went well, but after I thanked Weaver and shut off my tape recorder, Weaver went off. As I put my stuff in my briefcase to move on, Weaver stood above me and shouted that there was nothing he had given me in the interview that could be used on-air and I knew it and was left with nothing.
Suddenly I decided not to interview any Baltimore players, that I really did have enough and had plenty for the next morning’s broadcast. So I high-tailed it out of there.
In the late 80’s the World Wrestling Federation held a huge outdoor wrestling show at the old Milwaukee County Stadium. Following a news conference to promote the show, I interviewed Hulk Hogan. To me, he appeared to be the size of Montana.
It didn’t matter. I was a pro wrestling fan and was having fun with the Hulkster, one of the stars of the upcoming show’s cage match against Andre the Giant.
When Hulk firmly grabbed each of my arms and shoulders to make a point during the interview, I was momentarily shocked. The obvious increase in my octaves during the next question was evidence.
I was never petrified, scared, or terrified during an interview, not even during my youngest days in the business.
That brings us to…
In my first year on the job at WUWM, I would have done cartwheels at the prospect of interviewing….
I’ll give Mila Kunis credit for her innate talent as she turned what started out as a very awkward situation into an entertaining exchange.
Watch her save what could have been a colossal fail as she's interviewed by 25-year old Chris Stark of the BBC.