Kathy and Levi: Two fame whores find each other

On a bizarre episode of "Larry King," Bristol's baby daddy trashes Sarah and flirts with the "D-list" guest host

Published August 11, 2009 4:12PM (EDT)

While Bristol Palin continues her reign as teen abstinence spokesperson and cautionary tale, her ex-boyfriend and baby daddy Levi Johnston is having a bit more fun with his time in the spotlight. In a move that seems engineered to nab a spot on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" 19-year-old Johnston showed up at Sunday's "Teen Choice Awards" on the arm of none other than media-baiting Kathy Griffin. The couple milked the red carpet for all it was worth, Griffin cracking uncomfortable jokes about slipping her date a roofie as Johnston gamely grinned.

Not content to leave their publicity stunt behind after a one-night stand, Griffin hosted "Larry King Live" Monday night and invited Johnston on as a guest. (The clip is posted below.) "Levi, let's just kiss and tell, shall we?" said Griffin, by way of beginning the conversation, as the words "Kathy the Cougar" flashed across the screen. Then, after Johnston awkwardly produced a prom-worthy corsage to give the host, she went for the money shot: "I woke up this morning, in your arms, spooning, so confused about what love is. And I realized I found it in your chocolate-brown eyes."

The interview was train-wreck funny, horrifying and entertaining in equal measure, with Griffin making gently lewd comments, ribbing Johnston for his backwoods proclivities (chewing tobacco, hunting) and egging on her guest to talk smack about Sarah Palin. Which he did, eventually: "Sarah could make all the trouble go away if she moves you into the big house, everybody gets along, and you actually get to help raise the kid," Griffin said. "Why is that a problem?" Which is when the too-candid-for-his-own-good Levi Johnston made an appearance: "I don't know," he replied. "She screwed all that up. I'm not really looking forward to being around that family anymore."  (As Thomas Schaller wrote in War Room earlier today, Johnston had more to say on the Palins' marriage in an interview with RadarOnline.)

But that was the only semi-serious moment in an interview in which Johnston expressed an interest in getting his "Bristol" ring-finger tattoo removed and even weighed in on Miley Cyrus' controversial performance: "She did her little thing on the pole. I thought it was a bit inappropriate for the teen awards." (A bit rich coming from the poster boy for unprotected teen sex.) Despite the air of D-list desperation that pervaded the interview, Griffin and Johnston made a strangely effective comedy team, as he played the (likely genuinely) bewildered straight man to her wacky "cougar."  She even riffed on his stiff performance, at a moment when he was supposed to be making a favorable comparison between Griffin and Amanda Bynes. "Levi, we practiced this!" she shrieked. "I mean, this is completely off the cuff!"

It wasn't exactly the penetrating look at the day's news promised by Larry King. But then again, Larry King doesn't offer that, either.

By Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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