Who's Raquel Houghton? And more importantly, why is everyone and their dog Googling her today?

Well, depending on who you believe, Houghton is either the ex-girlfriend of comedian Dane Cook ... or his wife -- if sites that report the two got married in December 2008 are correct. We can state with certainty that Houghton was a contestant on the eight season of 'American Idol' earlier this year (she made it to Hollywood, but not the top 32), and she also fronts an L.A.-based band called the Valli Girls.

Why she's all the rage on Google Trends at the moment is a deeper mystery. Who's Raquel Houghton? And more importantly, why is everyone and their dog Googling her today?

Well, depending on who you believe, Houghton is either the ex-girlfriend of comedian Dane Cook ... or his wife -- if sites that report the two got married in December 2008 are correct. We can state with certainty that Houghton was a contestant on the eight season of 'American Idol' earlier this year (she made it to Hollywood, but not the top 32), and she also fronts an L.A.-based band called the Valli Girls.

Why she's all the rage on Google at the moment is simple, however. And it isn't because Cook, who's currently appearing in the New York Comedy Festival (as part of his ISolated INcident Global Thermo Comedy Tour), name-checked her in a public appearance or made fun of her one of his stand-up routines. It's because Houghton was a guest on Howard Stern's radio show yesterday, and Stern -- classy guy that he is -- wouldn't shut up about how hot she is. So now people are searching for photo evidence of said hotness. Mystery solved!

Houghton was first mentioned in gossip columns back in 2006, when Cook was filming 'Employee of the Month' with Jessica Simpson. At the time, In Touch reported that Houghton flew to the set to make sure that he and Simpson did not hook up, although the two were later linked.

As for Cook's current romantic status, earlier this week, he told the New York Post, "Comedy is my mistress, and I'm having dalliances with her every night."
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