“If you wanna Hassle the Hoff, the time is now.”
That’s how David Hasselhoff, the star of Knight Rider and Baywatch and the big-in-Berlin pop singer, began his Reddit AMA on Friday. Here are six things we learned about The Hoff.
1. HE BLEW HIS AUDITION FOR KNIGHT RIDER.
Though the role of Michael Knight may have seemed tailor-made for Hasselhoff, the actor admitted that when it came time to audition, he tanked. “I was seen on an airplane by Brandon Tartikoff, who was the head of NBC programming, and he personally called me in,” he explained. “The first audition I blew because I was nervous. And the second audition I programmed myself to see it, believe it, live it, and I lived by those words, and programmed myself into I'm here for a reason, and I believe that luck is being prepared for opportunity when it presents itself, and I came in to rock and roll—and I got it.”
2. EVERY DAY ON KNIGHT RIDER WAS A GIFT.
When asked what his favorite part was about working on Knight Rider, Hasselhoff said that, “Waking up, going to work on Knight Rider was an absolute ... gift of rock and roll joy. It was just absolutely amazing to get paid to drive a car fast, to work with scripts that were about saving lives not taking lives, it was a show that really lived up to its motto—that one man can make a difference. And as corny as it sounds, that show and that saying have been kind of my motto and the way that I feel about life ... and about everything. That you can make a difference. And if you make a difference in your own life, you can make a difference in someone else’s.”
3. THERE’S A KITT CAR CLUB.
Hasselhoff says that he has “access to about 35 KITTS pretty much all over the world. There's a KITT car club, and I'm kind of the mentor of that. And I continually restore KITT cars for my own use. I just restored one and sold it for charity for a gentleman in Turkey.”
“The true story—and this is the true story—[is that] there was never one original KITT car,” Hasselhoff continued. “It was made up of many different pieces. And if anyone says it's an original KITT car, the sad part is it's not true. There have been cars that were driven by me, fantastic replicas, but most of the cars were stunt cars, and never actually one original. The original dash and the original nose of the car is in a secret place. And I can't tell you where.”
4. HE DOESN’T THINK HE PLAYED A PART IN BRINGING DOWN THE BERLIN WALL.
When one commenter noted that, “I saw a VH1 I Love the ‘80s show where it seemed like you felt you should get some credit for [bringing down the Berlin Wall],” Hasselhoff was quick to clarify: "No, I never said I felt I should get credit. I've always been misquoted, and I was only asked to sing above the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve because I asked if I could. I also went behind the Berlin Wall before the wall came down, and saw the horror of how people were living. I did a special for National Geographic that was quite accurate, quite moving, about people who escaped, who died, trying to escape—the last person died only 30 days before the Wall came down. And I did find that they were signing my song ‘Living for Freedom.’ I've talked to hundreds of East Berliners who said ‘It was a song about freedom, it was a song about hope—everybody else thought it was just a pop song in West Germany, but for us who lived in East Germany, it was a song that gave us hope…’ And that's my connection.”
5. BAYWATCH PLAYED A ROLE IN CANCER RESEARCH.
Hasselhoff shared that his favorite, and “the most emotional,” episode of Baywatch was one called “Charlie.” It was a true story about “a boy who had cancer who came to live with the Baywatch crew. He spent his last six months on the set of Baywatch while UCLA did research trying to find the gene that caused his cancer. And the great news is they did find the gene that caused his cancer, and were able to identify it. The bad news is that Charlie passed away, and we gave him a lifeguard burial. So we re-created that scene, which happened in real life, on the show, played by another boy named Michael Cuccione. And Michael and I became good friends … He fought his own cancer until he died a few years later. They were amazing, inspirational children. And their memories will always live on through Baywatch.”
6. HE MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE ANTICHRIST
When asked about pervasive web conspiracy theories that he is the Antichrist, Hasselhoff replied that, “When I first read that I was the Antichrist, that was the first time I realized there are some wacky, messed-up people on the Internet who have nothing better to do than to sit there and smoke something they probably shouldn't be smoking ... and come up with crazy stuff like that. I have to tell you that I did read the entire two pages of why I'm the Antichrist. And at the end, I was actually doubting myself. Because it was so good! I have been called ‘The Antichrist’ by several of my ex-wives though. But I just think it's funny that there are people in the world who have nothing better to do than to come up with that stuff. So my answer to that is: get a life! And then: LOL, because it did make me laugh."