The Cult of David Hasselhoff

He ate a hamburger off the floor — and we love him for it

And last week, he launched a new television show, “Hoff The Record,” a documentary-style comedy series in which Hasselhoff plays a fictionalized version of himself, pretending to restart his career amid a variety of comical challenges.  He says he was inspired to make a show like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” starring Larry David.

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 Hoff’s charm for fans always has been his embrace of parody and ability to turn it to his advantage. His self-deprecating sense of humor, charm and shamelessness have endeared a cult following of fans. 

He could have taken his action star status in “Knight Rider” and pouted for decades that he didn’t become Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger, but instead he has endured by embracing mockery — and even encouraging it.

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He’s made a lot of money off not being easily embarrassed.  

When his daughter posted a video of him drunkenly eating a hamburger off the floor – which got a million views in one day – he joked that he should make another and set the world record for burgers eaten off the floor.   

He was not afraid to transition into the music business. Americans didn’t embrace it, but Germans did.  He was like Elvis there with music and videos that seemed a bit cheesy for our market but were wildly successful in Germany. 

His song “Looking for Freedom” became a rallying cry for Germans the same year the Berlin Wall fell.  He famously performed this song at the Berlin Wall on New Year’s Eve 1989, only weeks after the wall started coming down.

The Hoff had helped usher in a new era for Europe – his song spent eight weeks at No.1 in Germany in 1989 and there’s now a Hasselhoff museum in Berlin.

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Hasselhoff said he would like to see “Knight Rider” revived and that, if it were, there are “so many people out there that will absolutely freak out and love it.”

He envisions something similar to “Fast and Furious” with Michael Knight coming out of retirement with his son and having various adventures around the world with his “Knight Rider” car. “How cool does that sound?” Hasselhoff said. “How cool could it be? I’d love to turn ‘Knight Rider’ into a real franchise,” he told Variety.

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When Hasselhoff played the father of Ian Ziering’s Fin Shephard in the film “Sharknado 3,” he proudly pronounced the film will be the “worst movie you have ever seen.”

“If I take it all seriously, I will pass away like so many stars have done in a terrible way,” Hasselhoff said. “It’s horrible what happens. They just take life too seriously and they don’t have anybody to say, ‘Forget about it, man. Laugh about it. It’s actually pretty funny.’ ” 

And a pretty good record of success for a performer who has made a career of not taking his career too seriously.

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