Wiki-Wiki-Whattt? : OJ Simpson Key Player Facts I Learned Online

Show of hands for everyone who watched The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story on Tuesday night?? Great. Most of you. You’re not alone. 5.1 million viewers also watched the premiere of the latest true crime addiction, and guys, it’s worth it. People from their late 20s up probably remember the OJ Simpson case clearly, since it was covered by the media in excess from 1994 to 1995. As for me, I don’t necessarily remember being glued to the trial since I was nine years old, but I do remember my 4th grade social studies teacher Ms. Reinhardt bringing in one of those TVs on a large rolling cart on October 3rd, 1995, the day the verdict came out. I remember her saying something akin to, “This is an important moment in U.S. history, we’re going to watch this.” And we did. And she was right. 20 years later, America is still compelled to the story, and it’s just as intriguing as ever.

But seeing as how we were kids when this first came into the public eye, I didn’t exactly understand or know all the facts. I also didn’t care enough to do more research on the people with Encarta. But now that the Internet exists, specifically Wikipedia, finding facts about this case and the folks in it is as easy as pie. While I was watching Tuesday’s episode, I was switching between Wiki and IMDb needing more info. Here are some surprising facts about the key players in the OJ Simpson trial that I found out thanks to my extensive Internet research. What a time to be alive.

Robert Shapiro

Role in Case: OJ Simpson’s defense lawyer

Played by: John Travolta

Wiki-Wiki-What?: Is the co-founder of, an online fashion subscription service that you probably know from annoying pop-ups on your Internet journey. He is also the voice of, and pictured in, the TV commercials for LegalZoom, the online legal technology company he co-founded in 2001.

Johnnie Cochran

Role in Case: OJ Simpson’s defense lawyer

Played by: Courtney B. Vance

Wiki-Wiki-What?: A month after his victory with OJ, Johnnie scored another big legal win with another high-profile client – Tupac Shakur. In early 1995, Tupac had been sentenced to 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years at New York’s Riker’s Island prison stemming from a 1993 sexual assault case. Thanks to Johnnie’s help, Tupac was released after Death Row Records execs put up some of the $1.4 million bail. Tupac would be killed a year later.

Robert Kardashian

Role in Case: OJ Simpson’s defense lawyer/ BFF

Played by: David Schwimmer

Wiki-Wiki-What?: He definitely doesn’t have any famous family members LOLOL Ok but frreal,in 1973, Robert co-founded a trade publication called Radio & Records that provided news and airplay information for the radio and music industries. It was used as a ref for a number of countdown shows throughout the years, including Casey Kasem’s American Top 40, Solid Gold, and Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. It was relaunched as a sister trade to Billboard and had its final issue in 2009.

F. Lee Bailey

Role in Case: OJ Simpson’s defense lawyer

Played by: Nathan Lane

Wiki-Wiki-What?: He served as the defense lawyer for Patty Hearst in 1976, when the 19-year-old newspaper heiress was on trial for committing armed bank robberies under the control of the Symbionese Liberation Army (cray revolutionary/terrorist group). They kidnapped her, sexually assaulted and brainwashed her, hence the robberies.  Bailey failed to win the case, and Patty was sentenced to seven years in prison. Almost two years later, President Carter commuted her sentence and in 2001 she was pardoned by Bill Clinton.

Nicole Brown Simpson

Role in Case: Victim

Played by: Kelly Dowdle

Wiki-Wiki-What?: Nicole first met OJ when she was 18 and working as a waitress at upscale Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive nightclub Daisy. He was still married to his first wife Marguerite when they started dating and he subsequently divorce Marguerite two years after meeting Nicole.

Ron Goldman

Role in Case: Victim

Played by:  Jake Koeppl

Wiki-Wiki-What?: He occassionally worked as a nightclub promoter throughout Los Angeles, and also worked as a waiter and had aspirations to be an actor. In 1992, he appeared as a contestant on the short-lived game show Studs (this clip is fabulously 90s), which was basically a dating show with hot guys (Jon Hamm and Chris Hardwick were also contestants on said show).

Marcia Clark

Role in Case: Lead prosecutor

Played by: (The amazing) Sarah Paulson

Wiki-Wiki-What?: Marcia played District Attorney Sidney Barnes in a 2013 episode of Pretty Little Liars called Now You See Me, Now You Don’t. She gives the good news to Hanna’s mom that the murder charge against her (for killing Detective Wilden) were dropped after the real killer was identified. I watch PLL and I don’t remember this. Apparently Marcia’s a big PLL fan.

Christopher Darden

Role in Case: Deputy DA, Marcia Clark’s co-counsel

Played by: Sterling K. Brown

Wiki-Wiki-What?: In 1997, Christopher married Marcia Carter, who was the vice president and corporate controller of Rysher Entertainment, a TV and movie production and distribution company. You might be familiar with the company if you stayed through the end title credits of shows like Saved by the Bell, Star Search or Sex and the City.

Judge Lance Ito

Role in Case: Judge in the trial

Played by: Kenneth Choi

Wiki-Wiki-What?: After apparently meeting on the v romantic setting of an Eagle Rock, California murder scene, he married Margaret Ann York, the first woman to attain the rank of Deputy Chief in the LAPD, making her the highest-ranking woman officer in that department when she retired in 2002.

Paula Barbieri

Role in Case: OJ’s girlfriend at the time of the murders

Played by: Angie Patterson

Wiki-Wiki-What?: OJ and Nicole divorced in 1992, and he had been dating the model/actress for a while until the morning of the murders, she allegedly left OK a 30-minute long message on his answering machine to break up with him. She said in the voicemail that she was flying to Las Vegas to be with Michael Bolton – yes that Michael Bolton. They had met on the set of his 1994 music video for the song Completely, and apparently fell in love? Well doesn’t matter because she stuck by OJ’s side for a while until she couldn’t take the pressure of the murder trial anymore.

Kato Kaelin

Role in Case: Witness/friend of OJ and Nicole/lived in OJ’s guest house at the time of the murders

Played by: Billy Magnussen

Wiki-Wiki-What?: Following the trial, he made a number of appearances, including the very first episode of MADtv, and Mr. Show with Bob and David. He was also randomly BFFs with SNL alum Norm Macdonald.


We Need To Talk About Happy Endings’ “New Day”

Happy Endings fans – we need to talk about the show. If you’re not a Happy Endings fan, you are missing one of the greatest things that has ever happened to television so stop reading this right now and go out and buy the DVDs of all three seasons and binge watch until you look like Max hibernating in his apartment.

Great. Welcome back all Happy Endings fans new and old. In February, someone from the Happy Endings writers’ room Twitter account posted a mysterious link to this countdown, with the phrase, “It’s almost a new day”. WHAT DOES IT MEAN, cried every single person in the fandom. Some folks quickly figured out that the countdown led to April 1st – AKA April Fool’s Day AKA THE DAY EVERYONE THINKS THEY’RE A JOKER (see whole rant here).

Since then, the anon Tweeter has been posting random hints, like pictures of Michael Jordan – who not only played for the Chicago Bulls/the city where Happy Endings takes place – but made a brief comeback to the Washington Wizards, the great Mark Morrison hit, RETURN of the Mack, stuff about ketchup, and coordinates to the Four Seasons Hotel in Chi-town.

All these hints could mean nothing or they could mean something, but I’m hoping they do mean something, like a brief reunion of sorts? A revival on Netflix? Recently, the anon did start following the Netflix and Yahoo! Screen accounts on Twitter.

So in saying this, I’m a naturally positive person. I’m a “everything happens for a reason” type of gal. No cynical bones in my body. Which is why I really think something significant will happen come April 1st.

Reasons Why I Think This Is Not Bullshit

  • Ever since the show was cancelled in 2013, it has had a strong cult following grow year by year. Happy Endings’ grassroots fans used word of mouth as a weapon, also with the help of TV critics and Internet critics who loved the show and will forever put it on the “Cancelled Too Soon” lists from now until eternity. Fans were clamoring for more when it ended, and that need/want hasn’t faltered since
  • This is the age of TV where there are 10 million pilots made and only a handful are actually picked up. But this is also the age where shows like Community or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, both of which were given the axe by NBC, were picked up by online services Yahoo! Screen and Netflix, respectively. TV is changing, so why can’t Happy Endings do the same too?
  • Adam Pally is leaving The Mindy Project and Damon Wayans Jr. is leaving New Girl. Eliza Coupe’s show Benched, was recently cancelled, Casey Wilson is on the bubble for renewal for Marry Me, and Elisha Cuthbert and Zachary Knighton are on shows that could possibly get the boot. Are they secretly quitting all their current jobs to be avail for Happy Endings reincarnate??
  • Adam Pally said this of the countdown to The Huffington Post: “I can’t tell you anything. I know as much as you. I’ll tell you this: I know the origin of that Happy Endings countdown clock was not intended to be where it is headed. That’s as much as I can give you.” BUT LIKE, OBVIOUSLY HE KNOWS SOMETHING, RIGHT
  • It would be extremely mean to have a 50+ day countdown to nothing. 

But even for the most positive of people, I know that like most things in life, we can’t get our hopes up too high.

Reasons Why I Think This Is Bullshit

  • It’s on April Fool’s Day. Honestly, this “holiday” needs to stop. Reiterating this with another link to my previous post.
  • Reps for Netflix, Amazon, and Yahoo have all denied any news of a comeback. ABC bosses are clueless, Sony (the studio that produced the show) has “no comment”. This could also mean something is most definitely happening.
  • The writers link pranks. See Season 3, Episode 12, “The Marry Prankster
  • Casey Wilson is pregnant. Her husband, the creator of Happy Endings and their new show Marry Me, still might have a second season of the NBC show to get ready for, come fall.
  • Speaking of Casey Wilson, she’s a life ruiner. She ruins people’s lives (jk, love ya Pen Pen, but ugh). In a new interview, Casey basically shuts all the speculation down. And she would know, because, again, her husband was the creator of Happy Endings (yes, that’s how they met).
It’s certainly nothing to my knowledge so I think it might be our writer’s assistant joking around and unfortunately, I know it’s not a welcome joke for everyone necessary.

Casey Wilson: I know. I don’t love that he did it to be honest. But at the same time, I think he was framing it like he knew fans would be excited. I don’t think he meant it in any way but to my knowledge, there’s nothing moving forward. I mean I’m still on the show.

You’d probably know.

CW: I would hope. I would hope. But nothing sadly and I apologize if it got anyone excited… It got me excited.

For a second, were you like, “Oh, great, why didn’t they tell me”?

Yeah. I was like I’m sure they want to tell because they’re bringing me such a great offer that they want to wait… So nothing yet.

You’d think I’d be convinced that there’s definitely nothing happening  after Casey’s interview, but I’m still holding on to a glimmer of hope. Maybe at least a small series of webisodes?? A TV movie a la Lifetime? I’ll even settle for a reunion where the cast sits around and does nothing but drink and and eat ribs. Anything. Just let it be something. I can’t be the only one who’s dying over this! And there’s less than 24 hours left!!! What do y’all think? Are we just wasting our time? SHOULD WE ALL JUST GET TOGETHER AND HAVE A MASSIVE HAPPY ENDINGS VIEWING PARTY??