What Is Kato Kaelin's Real Name?

Very few people have managed to turn being in the wrong place at the wrong time into a profitable career, but Kato Kaelin has managed to pull it off. What's more, Kaelin's one brush with "fame" came 30 years ago, and he's still managed to hold on to that bit of celebrity even after his 15 minutes of fame should have, by all rights, long since worn off. Remarkably, Kaelin achieved the spotlight by having been an out-of-work, wannabe actor who happened to be couch surfing at the home of a double murder. 

Almost overnight, Kaelin went from being a virtual nobody to a minor figure in the O.J. Simpson trial, at the time called the "Trial of the Century." Since then, he's turned "being Kato Kaelin" into an income stream, getting by doing low-visibility projects on radio, reality TV, and the like.

On top of all of this, Kato Kaelin became a household name — while not actually using his real name.

Brian Jerard Kaelin took the name of a comic book character

Fans of comic books and of 1960s pop culture should immediately recognize the name "Kato" as that of the sidekick to the Green Hornet, one of the myriads of crime-fighting superheroes that sprang up in radio serials and comic books in the early-mid 20th century. Specifically, according to TV Over Mind, Kato served as the main character's bodyguard, driver, and whatever other odd jobs needed to be done. 

By the 1960s, when a certain Brian Jerard Kaelin was a young boy, the TV version of "The Green Hornet" was popular, and indeed, in a particular Wisconsin family, so popular was the show and the character of Kato that any number of boys in the Kaelin family would at one time or another be given the nickname "Kato," according to The Associated Press. However, for one reason or another, it stuck particularly strongly to Brian, and he used that name well into his adulthood, well into the day he became a third-tier celebrity, and he uses it to this day — and not the name his parents bestowed upon him at birth.