Fairfield’s own mighty Leo Kelly, age six, became an overnight sensation with his adorably honest reviews of Shirley Temple drinks from restaurants all across town. His cyber moniker, The Shirley Temple King (@theshirleytempleking), skyrocketed from a few hundred followers to more than 200,000 in just a few short weeks after his Longhorn’s Steakhouse review went viral. (At press time, his followers are up to nearly 285,000.)
It wasn’t long until Ellen DeGeneres got wind of the pint-sized connoisseur and invited him onto her show. Of course, he went. The whole family went to L.A. so he could rate mocktails from celebrity chefs and dish on his only perfect rating to date: the one by Santa Claus. If you can’t wait for that time of year, he does have some good advice: “Don’t walk, run to Hoodoo Brown BBQ in Ridgefield!” Leo gave its Shirley Temple a whopping 9.5. It’s made with cherries on the inside and on the outside. Thumbs up!
We were lucky enough to score time with this in-demand drink critic. Read on to hear about his day with Ellen and what he loves about his hometown.
eight questions for leo
1. Who got you on to the drink?
“I would always go out to eat with my parents, and one day they ordered me a Shirley Temple when I was about three years old. I’ve been ordering them ever since.”
2. What makes for the best Shirley Temple?
“I like ‘classic’ Shirley Temples: three or four ice cubes, ginger ale, grenadine, three cherries. A lot of places are making me fancy ones with great presentation and garnishes, but it’s really all about the taste.”
3. What was it like meeting Ellen?
“Ellen was so nice, and going on the show was very, very fun. I went to the studio with my parents and we had lunch, and then I got to see the set and they showed me where I would walk and sit. A little while later we taped, and I got to meet Ellen DeGeneres.”
4. What was the other coolest thing you did in LA?
“My parents took me to Universal Studios Hollywood the day before we taped Ellen. I got to meet Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang, Frankenstein, the Simpsons family and lots of other characters. I loved the Simpsons ride.”
5. Were you familiar with Barstool Sport’s “Pizza Reviews” when you came up with the Shirley Temple reviews?
“My dad would talk about the pizza reviews, but I never saw one. Sometimes I watch them now and he does a really good job.”
6. Other than Shirley Temples, of course, what do you enjoy a lot?
“I like to play with my brother and sister and hang out with my entire family. I like to play golf and do science experiments. I love reading and writing books.”
7. What do you want to do when you grow up?
“A scientist, an actor and an author.”
8. Are your school friends aware of your success?
“Some of my friends know about it and they are excited for me, but I just like to be Leo at school.”