Lindsay Lohan may be a tabloid publisher’s dream, but for fans of celebrity news her exploits tend to induce more guilt than pleasure. We remember her when she was just a girl, brimming with talent and potential. We know how far she’s fallen.

That’s why, when we really need to scratch that gossip-news itch, we increasingly turn to disposable "stars" like Snooki and Courtney Stodden. Their failures don’t fill us with shame and dread. They make us feel the way we want to feel when we click on a celebrity headline: superior!

Andy Warhol created the first disposable celebrities when he plucked Edie Sedgwick, Baby Jane Holzer and others out of obscurity and declared them "Superstars." As it turned out, making them famous required nothing more than saying it was so.

"They were all dedicated to Andy's visions and gave their best to him, because he had freed them to be themselves," explains Victor Bockris, author of "Warhol: The Biography." "They were on the cutting edge of the front line at the height of the cultural revolution. They were electric and creative."

True, Snooki isn’t exactly an obvious heir to willowy, wealthy Edie Sedgwick, but bear with us.

"Andy Warhol was democratic about success," Bockris says. "He liked whoever was successful. If Andy were alive he would say that 'Jersey Shore' is 'fabulous!' and he would take Snooki with him everywhere. She is today's Warhol Superstar."

In 1968, Warhol very famously said, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." The statement seemed to prefigure our Internet-enabled era, where notoriety touches more people than ever before – only to fade as our attention is drawn away by the next distraction. (Warhol also said, "In the future 15 people will be famous" and "In 15 minutes everybody will be famous," but those predictions didn’t pan out as well.)

And no group embodies Warhol’s prediction more accurately than the stars of reality TV.

If Warhol is the fickle father of the insta-celebrity, the "Miss America" broadcast, one of TV’s most reliably successful offerings in the ‘60s, is its hovering stage mother. The winners of this annual pageant soon flooded the red-carpet-and-velvet-rope circuit, posing an early threat to the original celebrities, Hollywood actors.

In the decades that followed, “non fiction” shows including "The Real World," "Survivor," "The Real Housewives" and "Jersey Shore" proved that Americans had an unlimited appetite for the antics of talentless showboats. The deal is simple: we get to judge them while they let it all hang out. But they get to be famous.

Some also made money off their quick rise to fame -– from appearance fees, endorsement deals, ghost-written books and more -– but not all. Not by a long shot.

Snooki, who has kept her celebrity momentum going well past her presumed expiration date, is among the leaders of today’s disposable celebrity bunch. The "Jersey Shore" party girl became a breakout star of the booze-fueled show after a male bar patron socked her in the jaw as MTV’s cameras rolled.

Standing 4'9", with skin the color of an Oompa Loompa, Snooki was too ridiculous to worry about. When Chris Brown hit Rihanna in February 2009, the world rushed to her defense. When footage of Snooki’s beating aired later that year, the world clicked "share."

But Snooki isn’t the only one to rise in the ranks as a beloved celebrity fell. In the spring of 2011, as Lindsay Lohan was being fitted with her house-arrest ankle bracelet, 16-year-old Courtney Stodden was slipping on her new wedding ring -- given to her by 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchinson. As if to maximize the "ick" factor, Stodden spent much of her time prancing around in bikinis for photographers and talking about how satisfying her sex life was. With Lohan looking lost to us for good, Stodden was a breath of fresh (and guilt-free!) air.

"Whether we care about a child star, see them as a precious part of our memories of youth, want to compare their lives to our own or are fascinated by their potential decline, there is some sense of a narrative there," says New York University professor of pop culture Moya Luckett, trying to explain the public’s connection to Lohan. "Courtney Stodden, on the other hand, came out of nowhere...There is no connection and we see her as just another space filler who has no narrative or back story, with whom we have no connections and who we expect to vanish within the next few months."

And right on schedule, as Lohan begins to regain her footing in Hollywood, Stodden is grasping at straws in her fourteenth minute. She recently went so far as to release a kitty fetish video.

"It is very unlikely that Courtney Stodden will be successful at becoming a mainstream star, despite her brazen attempts to attract attention,” says CEO and president of 5WPR, Ronn Torossian, who has represented celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Pamela Anerson. “I couldn’t think of any brand who would associate with her in any sort of serious way. And at this point, I am doubtful that she has any earning potential at all."

But in the wake of Lohan's latest set-back -- an eyebrow raising collision with an 18-wheeler -- Stodden might just get a few minutes added to the clock.

Check out a timeline of reality stardom below:

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Pregnant singer Christina Aguilera and her fiance Matthew Rutler were photographed out and about in New York City on April 17.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Katie Holmes spotted out and about in New York City on April 17.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    "Downton Abbey" actress Jessica Brown Findlay hopped on a train at Manchester Piccadilly Train Station after her interview on "BBC Breakfast" on April 17 in England.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Heather Graham visited NBC Studios for an appearance on "The Today Show" on April 17 in New York City.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Justin Bieber and his crew, including Lil Za, were spotted out for dinner at The Grove in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 16.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger, filmed a commercial for Rimmel London in London, England, on April 15.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Halle Berry filmed scenes for her TV series "Extant" in Century City, Calif. on April 15.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Lauren Conrad did some shopping in West Hollywood on April 15.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan posed during a photocall for their film "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" prior to the German premiere of the film in Berlin on April 15.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Kim Kardashian and her fiance Kanye West walked hand-in-hand as they went shopping in Givenchy, Balmain and Lanvin on April 14 in Paris, France.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum joked around backstage at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 13.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Lupita Nyong'o arrived at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 13.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Taylor Swift and a friend were spotted out and about in New York City on April 12.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Jessica Biel was all smiles as she headed out for an espresso in New York City on April 12.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Leonardo DiCaprio stopped by the McDonald’s® and Stingray Desert Coachella Pool Party at the Bootsy Bellows Estate on April 12 to celebrate the launch of McDonald’s® Bacon Clubhouse Burger™ and the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Julianne Hough looked Coachella cool at The Old Navy Oasis in Indio, Calif.m on April 12.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Selena Gomez and Kendall and Kylie Jenner at the first weekend of The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 11.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield visited BBC Radio 1 in London on April 9 to promote their new film, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Pregnant Kristin Cavallari was spotted running in West Hollywood on April 9.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Danica McKellar left "Dancing with the Stars" practice in Hollywood on April 8.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Julianne Moore was pretty in white while out in NYC April 8.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Anne Hathaway wrapped herself up in a giant coat while out in NYC on April 8.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Lady Gaga struck her usual unique pose outside the Roseland Ballroom on April 7.

  • Celebrity News: April 2014

    British socialite <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/07/peaches-geldof-dead_n_5105968.html" target="_blank">Peaches Geldof died</a> of an "unexplained and sudden" cause on April 7. She was 25.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 7

    "Dancing with the Stars" star Derek Hough took a break from rehearsal on April 7 to snack on the new Ritz crackers.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Jamie Lynn Sigler was spotted purchasing a Rembrandt whitening kit at Target in New York on April 7.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw at the 2014 Academy Of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton at the 2014 Academy Of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Carrie Underwood at the 2014 Academy Of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Taylor Swift at the 2014 Academy Of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Cameron Diaz made an appearance on "Wetten, dass..???" TV show on April 5 in Offenburg, Germany.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Heidi Klum attended the "America's Got Talent" red carpet event at Madison Square Garden on April 4 in New York City.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Nicole Richie attended Lucky FABB: Fashion and Beauty Blog Conference at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills on April 4.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Shakira and Usher attended NBC's "The Voice" red carpet event at The Sayers Club in Hollywood on April 3.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Dianna Agron was spotted out and about West Hollywood on April 3.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Kiernan Shipka, Jessica Pare, Elisabeth Moss, Jon Hamm, January Jones and Christina Hendricks attended the "Mad Men" season 7 premiere at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood on April 2.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann attended the U.K. premiere of their movie "The Other Woman" on April 2 in London.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Lady Gaga arrived at the "Late Show with David Letterman" taping in NYC April 2.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Heidi Klum joined Dr. Scholl’s to announce the DreamWalk line of insoles to help women everywhere bring their uncomfortable shoes out of the “shoe closet" in New York on April 2.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe posed together before the screening of their new film "Noah" in Paris on April 1.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Comedienne Amy Schumer promoted her "Finger Blaster" sketch from season 2 of the Comedy Central hit "Inside Amy Schumer" in NYC, April 1.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Naomi Watts left the gym with a friend after a morning workout on April 1 in Brentwood, Calif.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Hulk Hogan attended the WrestleMania 30 press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe New York on April 1.

  • Celebrity Photos: April 2014

    Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans posed with Captain America during The NYSE Opening Bell at New York Stock Exchange on April 1.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Cobie Smulders attended The Cinema Society & Gucci Guilty screening of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" at the TriBeCa Grand Hotel in NYC, March 31.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Emma Watson wowed at the UK Premiere of "Noah" at Odeon Leicester Square on March 31 in London.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Naomi Watts went for a morning jog with a friend in Brentwood, Calif., on March 31.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Johnny Depp attended the "Transcendence" press conference at Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 31 in Beijing, China.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet attended the European Premiere of "Divergent" at Odeon Leicester Square on March 30 in London.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Lea Michele had a Marilyn moment while on the red carpet at the 27th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 29.

  • Celebrity Photos: March 2014

    Taylor Swift spent some quality time with her model pal Lily Aldridge in NYC on March 28.