K-Fed Returns - In a Superbowl Ad

Times Staff Writer

With his split from wife of two years Britney Spears, Kevin Federline may have traded the nickname “K-Fed” for the more downmarket “Fed-Ex,” but at least his job prospects are looking up.

In November, the pop tart reportedly broadsided Federline, the father of her two sons, by delivering the news she was divorcing him via text message. Now, he looks to be regrouping with a little help from the fast food nation.

First came Federline’s appearance in a TV commercial for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company that’s set to premiere during the Super Bowl but has already been widely circulated on the Internet. (You can see it here)

Playing like an extended montage of rap video clichés, he is shown popping champagne, flashing his diamond bling and busting rhymes directly at the camera while dressed in a fur coat. Quick cut: Federline is suddenly behind the counter of a greasy burger joint in a polyester uniform, rapping his verses into a surveillance camera. The ad’s tagline appears on-screen just as he leans in to operate the deep fryer: “Life comes at you fast.”

Seizing on his apparent fast food affinity, Taco Bell’s president has offered Federline a chance to, ahem, think outside the bun.

After reading remarks Federline made to Item magazine — “My kids are going to have to learn what a real job, what life is. You don’t have it easy with me. Period. My kids are going to work at Taco Bell, dammit,” he is quoted as having said — Taco Bell Corp’s president Greg Creed made an overture to the underemployed rapper-actor in a solicitous letter obtained by the Times.

“We’re flattered, but obviously, [the kids are] too young to work for us,” Creed’s letter reads. “So here’s our offer to you: Come work for us, just for a one hour shift. We’ll get you a uniform, a custom name tag and show you what a great place Taco Bell is to work.”

Enclosed with the letter was a photograph of his Taco Bell garb: the salsa-proof purple and black work shirt and slacks, baseball cap and pre-printed “K-Fed” nametag.

Considering Federline’s hardcore hip-hop album “Playing With Fire,” has sold a paltry 17,000 copies since its October release, the artist who dubbed himself “America’s Most Hated” could do worse. These days, plenty of quasi-celebrities — Kirstie Alley, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth and Dustin “Screech” Diamond to name but three — pad their bank accounts (if not their egos) by playing into shameless marketing ploys.

According to Federline’s publicist, however, celebrity watchers shouldn’t expect to hear him utter, “Yo quiero Taco Bell” anytime soon. “He had a huge, huge laugh,” she said.