David Hasselhoff, who was one of the biggest stars on the planet when “Baywatch” bounced onto the TV scene in the late 1980s, has seen his personal life turned into material for comedians over the years. He’s now joined in on the comedic assault.
The new AXS six-part series “Hoff the Record” has Hasselhoff playing a fictional version of himself.
“I get to address crap that has happened to me where they have taken things out of my personal life and exploited it,” Hasselhoff says. “These are things that have been just horrific for my family, for my kids. I decided I could address all of this with humor without going on ‘Larry King’ or CNN or ‘Geraldo.’ They all wanted me. I decide all they wanted to do was sell tickets. So I played my cards right and did this show.”
Hasselhoff had an idea about doing a show that poked fun at his own life before the production team behind the British version of “The Office” approached him. They agreed the show would be a mockumentary on the life of the Hoff.
Nothing is held back. In the opening episode, Hasselhoff travels to London in an attempt to revive his career only to discover that he can’t even get cast in a biopic on his life.
Seven actors have been called in to read for the role, none who look or sound like Hasselhoff. The group ranges from a woman to a Russian with a heavy accent.
“When we shot the audition, none of the actors knew it was a fake,” Hasselhoff says. “I had to go into this room full of people dressed as the ‘Knight Rider.’ I come in and act like I don’t know who any of the other actors are.”
The sequence includes putting the actors through an audition that has them pretending to run in slow motion, as if they were on “Baywatch,” and pretending to drive the “Knight Rider” car.
Hasselhoff wanted to poke fun at his life because the public really has no idea how horrible being in show business can be. He also wants to show that there is an upside to making a living in the entertainment world.
“It is so cut throat. But, when you get on that stage, it is worth every minute of it. You can have a blast and make a lot of people happy,” Hasselhoff says. “And, I’m still doing it.”
He’s done that in a massive way over the years. “Baywatch” was the most watched TV show in the world when it reached 1.1 billion viewers in 148 countries. And, Hasselhoff has had an equally strong music career, especially in Germany.
He’s not doing it as much in the United States as he has in the past. Hasselhoff’s convinced that “Hoff the Record” will be the spark to rekindle the fires in America.
Putting the show together was easy. He’s got plenty of stores that sound too bizarre to be true from his own life.
He offers the example of a speaking engagement at Oxford University where the first question he got was whether or not the KITT car was gay.
“I said no it is not, and no, I didn’t sleep with Pamela Anderson, and yes, I’m a liar,” Hasselhoff says. “People stop me everywhere like I’m part of the family to ask questions. What I’m trying to show with this series is that I’ve done nothing wrong over the years. I was just being human.”
Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley
Hoff the Record
- 6 p.m. Thursday, March 31, AXS
- To get you in the mood for watching Hasselhoff’s new show, AXS is showing a marathon of his work starting at noon Saturday, March 26. The lineup includes “Sharknado 3,” “Knight Rider,” “Dodgeball,” “Ted 2,” “Click” and Piranha 3DD.”