Open season on the Hoff reigned Sunday in Hollywood. David Hasselhoff endured taunts and verbal jabs — some edgier than others — from friends, past costars, and comics about his much-rumored drinking problem and notoriously cheesy ‘Baywatch‘ and ‘Knight Rider‘ claims to fame, as the tenth honoree of Comedy Central’s annual Roast, which will air Aug. 15.
Hasselhoff’s ‘Baywatch’ costars, including previous Roastee Pam Anderson, attended, with Hulk Hogan, Jerry Springer, ‘Family Guy’s’ Seth MacFarlane, Whitney Cummings, Jeff Ross, Greg Giraldo, Gilbert Gottfried and Lisa Lampanelli rounding out the stage dais. Hasselhoff’s former co-‘America’s Got Talent’ judges Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan sent in a taped message, in front of a live ‘Talent’ audience.
“We thought it was important to tell you that we were not the ones who got you kicked off the show,” Osbourne said to Hasselhoff, who left the show over the winter hiatus after four seasons when his contract negotiations broke down.
Morgan joked, “It was a group decision. Producers, the network, the octopus who picked the World Cup. Let’s be honest, it was our concept … Now the critics won’t stop complaining it’s been our best season ever. David, let’s not play the blame game. It’s not our fault we’re doing so much better without you.”
Sharon added, “One more thing. David, have you pissed yourself yet on the plane? Do you remember you did that on the plane? You don’t have to do that anymore.”
In customary Roast form, the two professed their love for Hasselhoff afterward.
Hasselhoff told Fancast on the beach boardwalk-style red carpet before the Roast that he was ready for the tough jokes. He said: “Everything in my life has been pretty much raked over the coals. I said, ‘My mom passed away, don’t go after my mom. Don’t go after my kids, and I will be fine.’ And if they do, I will go after them. The thing is everybody makes a lot of fun of me until they get in the same room with me and they go, ‘Hi, we’re sorry.’ Everyone’s apologizing to me already. So, it’s fine. It’s a great evening to laugh, that’s what it’s about.”
Watch Hasselhoff’s Return to Daytime:
Hasselhoff’s off-limits daughter, Hayley, star of ABC Family’s ‘Huge,’ said that behind the scenes, her father had been eagerly anticipating the Roast.
“He’s really excited. He has been talking about it from day one,” Hayley says. “Literally, I found out about it, and every day he’s like, ‘Did you get your dress? Did you get your dress?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, dad.’ He’s such a humorous person and comedy is his thing, so why not put it out on a plate and talk about it, and be open.”
Asked about preparing material for the Roast, comedian Greg Giraldo, currently a judge on NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing,’ says Hasselhoff’s drinking, which has reportedly landed him in the hospital several times, was the ripest area for comedy: “I would imagine that drunkenness and success in Germany is going to come up a lot.”
Asked if Hasselhoff is now sober, Giraldo says, “I think that’s probably, I don’t know – I think he is off booze right this second.”
Some of the night’s bon mots:
Lisa Lampanelli: “David Hasselhoff’s career has become such a disaster, I saw an oily pelican fly out of his ass. He quit that cushy gig as a judge on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ What’s wrong with you, man? That was the worst career move since Mel Gibson bought his girlfriend that tape recorder.”
Jeff Ross: “I will say I’m so happy you wore a shirt tonight because it will be so much easier picking vomit [off that] than out of your chest hair later.”
Seth MacFarlane: “David, your acting is like ‘Inception.’ There is no sense of reality. It’s impossible to follow what’s happening. And when we wade through, we realize you were unconscious the whole time. You will always be Mitch Buchanan from ‘Baywatch’ to me. You did for lifeguards what skin cancer did for lifeguards. Thanks to David, ‘Baywatch’ is on in every continent in Antarctica. And he ought to be huge there because he is a lot like Antarctica: a big useless white space that is going away.”
Pam Anderson: “I remember my first year of ‘Baywatch,’ because I can’t swim. But David was so sweet. He pulled me aside and said, ‘I can’t act.'”
Hulk Hogan: “David, you’re going to be taking a lot of shots up here – and in the dressing room, and at home, and in the ambulance … I love you, because you get knocked down, you sleep it off, then you get back up again.”
Previous celebrity Roastees include Denis Leary, Joan Rivers, Flavor Flav, and Bob Saget.