Origin of "Germans love David Hasselhoff"?

When Norm MacDonald anchored SNL’s “Weekend Update,” he had a running gag that “Germans love David Hasselhoff” – just like Chevy Chase, back in the '70s, had a running gag that “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.” I forgot all about this after MacDonald moved on, but recently I saw Dodgeball and there was a bit with the German team kissing Hasselhoff’s picture – I’m wondering, where did this come from? Did MacDonald just make this up and it became a cultural catchphrase? Or is Hasselhoff actually popular in Germany for some reason?

No, it’s true. David Hasselhoff has had a somewhat successful pop career in Germany. Kind like the French like Jerry Lewis, the Germans like Hasselhoff.

From what I’ve read, Hasselhoff is indeed very popular in Germany.

Why? Beats me.


Keep in mind that this was in the late 80’s, early 90’s, so a modern German will deny they love him, in much the same way Americans deny we loved MC Hammer.

This thread once again proves my theory that GERMANS LOVE DAVID HASSELHOFF.

I’m not going to go digging for cites, but in recent news storys Hasselhoff’s gotten the Germans to give him some credit for the Berlin Wall coming down, and he’s also made, what I consider to be a very disturbing comment about the love he’s gotten from German children…

I still love MC Hammer!
It’s Hammer Time !!!

…“Can’t touch this”

Hasselhoff took his fame on Knight Rider (a huge hit in Germany) and used it to do some concerts in Germany…thus the fan base. His singing voice isn’t horrible, but not good enough to compete in the larger US market. He was perfect as a singing “star” for the smaller German market.

I met Hasselhoff once and mentioned his huge fanbase in Germany…he had a good sense of humor about it, spoke some German, and seemed to just take it for what it was - a nice side gig in a foreign country that gave him a chance to sing in front of an audience and make some bucks.

Another American TV star did the same thing…Audrey Landers of “Dallas” fame went to Germany and did her share of singing concerts. She has a decent singing voice, and used her TV fame to create a minor singing career in Germany. She just never quite achieved the large fan base that Hasselfhoff did.

For those who wonder why I’m astro’s ex-wife… :rolleyes:

Is this for real? The country that gave the world Goethe, Beethoven, Marx, Hegel Kant, Nietzsche and Wagner dug Knight Rider? I’m starting to believe all those theories about Western cultures in decline.

Then again, Great Britain did give us both Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Benny Hill, in the same decade . . . I guess there’s just different levels of culture coexisting in every country.

Not to mention that Baywatch was also the most popular show in Germany (and the world) at one time… Big Brother (German version), too. Popular TV shows suck everywhere.

Hasselhoff was on Baywatch? I didn’t notice.

Then again, Great Britain did give us both Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Benny Hill, in the same decade .

And how fabulous is that!

I actually have an MP3 of Hassel The Hoff singing “Looking for Freedom”, which was procured to taunt a German in my wife’s lab. It’s a scream.

One morning in June some 20 years ago,
I was born a rich man’s son.
I had everything that money could buy,
But freedom, I had none.

Awwwwww, man! I can’t believe I was beaten on this one! Back when I was 19 (1991) my best friend and I went to Germany and couldn’t believe that not only was David Hasselhoff a star over there… But that Audrey Landers had several CDs!!! Yes, the chick from DallasHere’s a pic of her “Greatest Hits” CD cover… You’ll notice that the site is BMGNEWS**.DE** hehehehehe…

Oh, that’s not a stretch – don’t the Germans love well-crafted machines? :slight_smile:

Greetings from the land of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Spinoza, Erasmus, Van den Vondel, Vermeer, Hals and Potter - where in the 1980’s, the only thing more popular than Knight Rider was The Dukes of Flippin’ Hazzard. :smiley:

Looking for Freedom is a scream, by the way.

“Been workin’ on the farm,
Got some muscle in my arm
But still I’m not a self-made man…”


You ought to see the video. Lots of shots of Hasselhoff singing all macho-like in a leather jacket, fistpumping away, whilst KITT jumps over passing trains in the background. C’mon - a curly mullet, a jumping car, a cheap leather jacket, and an easy-sing-along tune… of COURSE the Germans loved it. Have you ever been to Germany? :wink:

The fact that Hasselhoff actually made a stage name for himself in Frank Wildhorn’s “Jeckyll & Hyde” makes me believe that musical theatre is doomed.

When business starts to taper off
They call in David Hasselhoff
Or sign a Donny Osmond-type that has a low I.Q.

from Gerard Alessandrini’s “Forbidden Broadway” 20th Anniversary CD


Just to add a little German culture historic background: :wink:

Up to the mid-1980s there was only public television in Germany. In the late 80s private television took off. In the first years the networks were underfunded compared to the public system and could (or at least did) not produce their own programs. Since domestic productions were in the hands of the public system, they imported US series. Knight Rider was among the series aimed at younger viewers. I was about nine at the time and watching an action series (!) on those slightly indecent commercial channels (In the early years they lived on cheap gameshows, cheap cartoons, cheap imported series and even cheaper quasi-soft-porn) was definitely cool. Even the fact that reception was often crappy or not available at all added to the appeal. So to this day Knight Rider has a special place in the hearts of my generation - it was a step on our journey towards the modern media world.

I guess you had to be there to understand the nostalgia when a group of current German university students watches a rerun of Knight-Rider or A-Team together.

Tutti Frutti :smiley:

Actually, when the various RTL incarnations throughout Europe started to re-run (re-re-run?) Knight Rider et al in the mid 90’s, me and my college mates made a point of tuning in to the German RTL Plus version. Why? Because in Holland, everything is subtitled. The Germans - they dub everything. Everything. Which to us easily-amused-neighbours-to-the-West is downright hilarious.

I mean, a mere…

  • “Sei vorsichtig, Michael!”
  • “Mach’ ich, Kumpel!”

…would have us in stitches for minutes. :smiley:

Be sure to check out the customer reviews of Hasselhoff’s greatest hits album. There are over a thousand of them and many are brutally funny.

Oh, and the song Hot Shot City is particularly good.