Hanging with one of the ‘boys’
His character on the sitcom "My Boys'' is a Chicago Cubs fan, but actor and comedian Jamie Kaler, a Massachusetts native, is a fierce Boston sports fan.
Kaler, who was in town last week for a special screening of "My Boys'' at Ned Devine’s in Faneuil Hall, said he was lucky enough to be holed up in the Four Seasons hotel on Boylston Street the same day as the Celtics’ rolling rally.
"The parade was right outside my window. I was taking photos with my cell phone and texting my friends back in L.A. It was awesome,'' said Kaler, 43, who lived in North Andover and later Hooksett, N.H.
"All my friends are Yankees fans, too, so this is great. We’re killing everyone.''
A 1987 graduate of Boston University, Kaler lives in Los Angeles. He said he didn’t go to any of the NBA Finals games because he "didn’t want to pay 25 grand for a ticket.''
"I saw a Celtics-Lakers regular season game and we killed them. It was throwback night and the Lakers were in those short-shorts and they were losing by 20 at the half. They came out of the half wearing their regular uniforms. It was great,'' Kaler said.
"My Boys'' revolves around sports reporter PJ Franklin (Jordana Spiro) and her group of single guy friends – Bobby (Kyle Howard), Brendan (Reid Scott), Kenny (Michael Bunin) and Mike Callahan (Kaler) – as they search for love and deal with life’s ups and downs.
Kaler’s character lives in the big city, hangs out at the local pub and chases women. Playing Mike is a case of art imitating life, Kaler said.
"I have no idea what that is all about ... are you kidding?'' Kaler asked, laughing. "It’s the easiest job I’ve ever had.''
Before the part on "My Boys,'' Kaler spent five years in the Navy as a combat systems officer on a destroyer. He comes from a military family; his late father was a pilot in World War II and his brother is an admiral.
"The question isn’t how did I go from the Navy to acting, but how did an actor survive five years in the Navy,'' said Kaler, who added he’s always been the "class clown.''
After the he left the Navy, Kaler worked as a bartender in San Diego and took sketch and improv comedy classes. He was on stage a few nights a week and eventually landed roles on hit shows like "Friends,'' "Will and Grace'' and "Monk.''
He’s the youngest of six from a tight Irish-Catholic family and Kaler said his 83-year-old mother is his biggest fan. She even gave actor Tony Shalhoub from "Monk'' an earful on the red carpet after the character Kaler played on "Monk'' was shot by Shalhoub.
"I was hosting the Screen Actor Guild Awards and I flew Mom out for that. I got her a dress to wear on the red carpet, too. She went right over to him and said, ‘You shot my son.’'' Kaler said.
As "My Boys'' makes its way to becoming a hit, Kaler said he’s starting to be recognized in public.
"I just got recognized at the parade. A group of girls came up to me and said, ‘I know you get this all the time but you look like that guy on ‘My Boys’ ... The fans of our show are so great,'' Kaler said.
Filming for the second season has just wrapped and Kaler said it "all goes bad for'' his character. "We all have great story arcs for the next nine episodes, but my character official reaches mentally handicapped status,'' he said, reluctant to reveal any plot details.
On the set, though, Kaler said the camaraderie is real. "We have good chemistry and we all get along. It’s sickening to say, but we’re all really good friends.''
After seeing the Red Sox in six different ballparks last season, Kaler said he’s looking forward to seeing a few more games while he’s on hiatus, including one at Yankee Stadium. He’ll also be doing some standup gigs.
Check out www.jamiekaler.com for more information.
Reach Dana Barbuto at firstname.lastname@example.org.