You don't know what it's like to be David Hasselhoff.
I've been thinking about what it's like to be David Hasselhoff, ever since I saw the video of him drunk on the floor, having difficulties eating a hamburger, as filmed by his daughter in a Las Vegas hotel room. This month, a 30 second clip of that video was broadcast on Entertainment Tonight, and its full version was posted multiple times on YouTube. Shortly thereafter, reenactments, parodies, commentaries, responses, mashups, including claymation and puppet versions, also surfaced online.
One reason this drunken video appeals to me is because this is the first video of Hasselhoff's I have seen where I feel as though I could relate to him at all. There he is drunk on a floor. I've done that!
In his previous videos, such as "Looking for Freedom", Hasselhoff wears a duster and laments on not feeling free, while repeatedly engaging in car stunts. In "Crazy for You", Hasselhoff is seen riding a motorcycle, wearing a jacket with a big eagle on the back, to the amusement park, at which point his wiener dog starts up the roller coaster ride, set to a song that is basically the Village People's "YMCA"-- Listen to them back to back, and keep the homophonic jokes to yourself. Though I have stood around in the dark in a tuxedo, Hasselhoff's cover of "Secret Agent Man" doesn't really feel like me, either. His cover of "Hooked on a Feeling", meanwhile, has been described by one video blogger as Hasselhoff's "... most unexplainable work ever,"** I can't relate with anything that goes on this video at all. Though, if Hasselhoff does have an alcohol problem, it would explain a lot in regards to "Hooked on a Feeling"'s shot choices.
**[writer's note: the cited review is too pointless to continue past the 03:13 mark. Maybe even stop at 02:50.].
His most recent music video (not to be confused with his drunken video) that I found was the perceived comic relief, "Jump in my Car", which, almost 20 years after the Knight Rider series ended, still features Hasselhoff seated behind the wheel of a black Trans Am fitted out to look like KITT, which, was not an original KITT that had been kicking around since the show's conclusion, but was built special for this video, which, since it was filmed in Australia, featured a car with right hand drive. And though I have had some occasion to have to work a little harder than I would have liked to persuade a woman into my car, it's still Hasselhoff's struggle with a burger on the floor that I can identify with most easily. Even more so even than his portrayal of the struggle between the two sides of Jekyll and Hyde in "Confrontation", though that one is pretty compelling, also.
Before I forget, of all the versions online of the Hasselhoff drunk film I've seen, I like this one best:
With all of this attention that the Hasselhoff drunken video has received, airing on a number of entertainment gossip shows, streamed repeatedly online, and at least one documented incident of a parody of the video being shown on a news broadcast, to quote the guy who does the review for the "Hooked on a Feeling" video, "I have questions." Questions such as, why was this item leaked to the press? If it was an issue between the Hoff and his daughter, then it must have been one of the two of them. Several thousand Internet hits later, and I am here writing a piece about identifying with David Hasselhoff for the first time. This leads me to the question, was this video leaked on purpose?
Which led me to my Theory: Hasselhoff purposefully leaked the video to "turbo boost" his career.
#2 Though this video is a seemingly negative portrayal of Hasselhoff, as the series Dirt portrays, you can usually make any situation work in your favor.
#3 The more human portrayal has been used before. Where before Hasselhoff has been somewhat of a playboy figure, now he's a regular guy who has been drinking too much and has trouble at home. In no time, I expect to see him on Oprah talking about his feelings to expand his audience base even more.
#4 Hasselhoff seemingly even had the forethought to make sure that the last word in the full length video is "Wendys"; perhaps a pre-planned product placement deal Hasselhoff had inked, so that even if his publicity stunt went bad, he would still get paid. Think it couldn't happen?
Conclusion: What once appeared to me as a drunken, unguarded Hasselhoff, having problems just like me, just like anyone, I now believe was really another example of the marketing genius, David Hasselhoff, who will continue to break down barriers, save lives, and perform incredible vehicle stunts for years to come.
ABOUT JEFFREY D. WALKER
A practicing attorney and semi-professional musician, Walker writes for his own amusement, for the sake of opinion, to garner a couple of laughs, and to perhaps provoke a question or two, but otherwise, he doesn't think it'll amount to much.
This column cracks me up the same way that those "Stars are just like us" pages in People Magazine (I think it's people, anyway).
"They yawn! They eat! They pick their noses! They reproduce!"
You get the idea.
The difference is, you're being sarcastic and funny and I believe I'm laughing with you... but those magazines are serious, and I'm laughing at them.
5.16.07 @ 8:44a
Lo! The perfect conspiracy! I'm with you, Jeffrey!
5.16.07 @ 10:23a
I always thought the whole "David Hasselhoff is HUGE in Germany" was a joke until I got off a train in Munich in 1990 and there were concert posters for him plastered on every available space.
5.16.07 @ 1:11p
Several years ago my husband and a friend went to a game where Hasselhoff sang the Star Spangled Banner. They ended up talking to him during the course of the game, telling him, "Hey, good job on the national anthem" And he warmly and appreciatively responded (paraphrasing)'Wow, thanks so much guys, thanks for noticing- really, that means a lot to me, thank you....'
Of course my husband didn't mention that they were late arriving to the game and had in fact never even heard him sing it! Which I suspect is exactly why he doled out the compliment so freely.