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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Richards Outranks O.J. In Online Searches

Comedian Michael Richards, noted for his recent racist rant caught on tape, has exceeded O.J. Simpson in Web searches, according to one Internet search engine.

Former "Seinfeld" star Richards, a.k.a. "Kramer," makes his first-ever appearance on this week's LYCOS 50. During an appearance at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles last week, Richards let loose with a racist tirade after being heckled by an audience member.

The video of Richards' breakdown found its way to the Internet, and Richards apologized on the Late Show with David Letterman and on Reverend Jesse Jackson's syndicated radio show. Based on web search activity, Web users are far more interested in Richards' outburst rather than the other hot story of last week, FOX terminating the OJ Simpson interview.

In fact, Richards generates 512 percent more search activity than Simpson. Search queries specifying the Laugh Factory video and the Letterman appearance accounted for 100 percent of Michael Richards' search activity, with Web users searching overwhelmingly for Michael Richards, as opposed to "Kramer."

Meanwhile, with holiday shopping in full swing, the Nintendo Wii game system makes its debut on this week's list, generating 54 percent more search interest than Xbox and 45 percent more searches than Playstation.

Names from the infamous OJ Simpson murder trial also generated more online interest this week than OJ himself. Following news that Fox TV cancelled OJ's If I Did It interview special that was to air this week, online interest peaked for the two murder victims, Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Meanwhile, former American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry is this week's biggest search gainer, up 1,100 percent in search activity, as his first album with his new band, aptly named Daughtry, hit stores last week. Katie Holmes continues to stir up interest online, particularly following her recent nuptials to Tom Cruise.

Holmes is much more popular with Web users, generating 59 percent more online interest than Cruise.

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