An estimate of 3.5 million viewers watched David Hasselhoff getting roasted by Hulk Hogan, Jerry Springer, and others with “The Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff” Sunday night — an increase from the 2.8 million viewers that watched Joan Rivers’ roast the previous year.
The Hoff first hit the screen as Dr. Snapper Foster on CBS’ The Young & The Restless from 1975-1982, and briefly reprise the role for a short-term stint back in mid-June of this year. He became King of the Road on NBC’s Knight Rider from 1982-86 as Michael Knight, a modern-day Lone Ranger-knight that champions “the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless” against criminals above the law with the aid of KITT (voice of William Daniels) as his hi-tech Tonto, who made a special appearance at the roast. Called by the Hoff as “James Bond with a car”, Knight Rider created the “super-vehicle” genre, and has spawned two pilots and two short-lived spin-offs.
In the 1990s, he became King of the Beach as lifeguard Mitch Buchannon on Baywatch (1989-90, NBC; 1991-2001, syndication). The series lasted one season on NBC, but was revived in syndication a year later with Hasselhoff as executive producer. Called by the Hoff as “Knight Rider in a bathing suit”, Baywatch became the world’s most-watched show, and spawned Baywatch Nights (1995-97) with Angie Harmon, whose character became partners with Mitch to run a private detective agency; the show became Baywatch Hawaii in the last two seasons. Baywatch launched the careers of several such as Pamela Anderson, Alexandra Paul, Gena Lee Nolin, and Nicole Eggert — all of which attended the roast.
He was one of the judges on NBC’s America’s Got Talent from 2006-09. Besides television, the Hoff is also a European music superstar. For instance, 1989’s “Looking for Freedom” hit #1 in Germany, and the Hoff received the privilege to perform it during the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also appeared in big screen hits that includes Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and Click, and appeared on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde.
The Hoff has been married twice: first to Knight Rider recurring co-star and daytime vixen Catherine Hickland (Stevie Mason) from 1984-89, and then to actress Pamela Bach, who appeared on Baywatch in a recurring role, from 1989-2006 with whom he has two daughters: 20-year-old Taylor-Ann, who guest-starred with Dad on Y&R, and 17-year-old Hayley, who stars on the ABC Family series Huge.