Is Levi Johnston The New Kato Kaelin?

by BILLY GRAY · December 9, 2009

Levi Johnston has so far had the good fortune to stay away from likely murderers (we hope). But ESPN's Bill Simmons thinks the teen dad/porn star has filled the shoes of one of the more regrettable relics from the '90s: OJ Simpson leech Kato Kaelin.

There are some similarities to be sure. Neither Johnston nor Kaelin exactly scream "brain trust." Both had fleeting athletic ambitions (hockey for Levi, baseball for Kato) that fizzled as they settled comfortably into their post-glory days paunch. And both at some point aspired to be actors.

However, Johnston only realized his name was meant to on the marquee after his abrupt rise to a strange hybrid of political and tabloid fame. Kaelin knew he was a STAH before he caught his accidental big break, appearing in Night Shadow and Beach Fever, both seminal works in the early '90s San Fernando Valley avant-gardeĀ  movement.

Differences aside, both stars did decide to cash in on their unlikely celebrity by taking off their clothes, Johnston in Playgirl and Kaelin in strip poker pay-per-view "entertainments."

Will Levi's impact come to rival Kaelin's? He has his work cut out for him: Kato got a shout-out in Clueless after all.

If things fizzle out for the thrilla from Wasilla, he can take the speaking tour (seriously) path blazed by his predecessor, which Kaelin wisely dubbed "The Sixteenth Minute."