Drunk Hasselhoff: An Exclusive, Authorized Interview as the Actor Talks Baseball, Berliners, and Angela Lansbury*

1983 Donruss Knight Rider #23

Interview by M. G.

MG: Danke, Fräulein. And if I may, that’s a lovely apron-dress thingy you’re wearing tonight.

[Barmaid walks away unamused.]

DH: (sighs) It’s called a dirndl.

MG: Ah, so she misunderstood. I thought perhaps she didn’t like me.

DH: Right. What paper did you say you’re with again?

MG: Paper? Come now, Hoff, you should realize it’s the digital age. After all, you’re “The King—

DH: “The King of the Internet.” Yeah, very funny.

MG: Huh, they’re showing baseball on TV. I would have thought these Germans would all be watching soccer.

DH: They were. I changed it.

MG: Wow. You better watch your back.

DH: They know me here, and I’m friends with Boris, the owner. Besides, the O’s are in the playoffs, dammit, so of course. . . . Wait—what the hell are you drinking?

MG: Uh, Heineken. Why?

DH: Nobody here drinks that shit. It’s not even German.

MG: The Dutch aren’t German?

DH: At least order a Becks or Bitburger.

MG: What are you drinking?

DH: Laphroaig (coughs), ten-year.

MG: Scotch isn’t exactly local.

DH: I’m making my way through the E.U. France is next.

MG: Which brings me to my first question: Now I understand it’s a sensitive topic, but what made you pick this place for our meeting?**

DH: For one, I prefer that you don’t know my hotel.

MG: Fair enough.

DH: You might be one of these crazies with “Looking for Freedom” as their ringtone. You just never know with fans: look what happened to Nancy Kerrigan.

MG: In truth, that wasn’t one of her fans; he was more a henchman for Harding.

DH: So if you were to, say, crack a pipe over my head in an alley later tonight, it could really be for someone else’s benefit.

MG: Right. Nothing personal against you.

DH: Oh, that makes me feel much better.

MG: You know what I meant, though: why did you pick here, a bar? I thought you were on the wagon—or is it off the wagon?

DH: It’s on, and I was more just clinging, kind of dragging in the dirt.

MG: Hanging on for dear life to a cheese burger.

DH: (grimaces) You had to go there.

MG: Sorry. . . . It doesn’t make up for it, but we do have something in common.

DH: You’ve been to Betty Ford?

MG: No, we grew up in the same place.

DH: (looks up at the game) You’re from Baltimore?

MG: Well, no—not really. It’s a small town an hour west—

DH: Frederick?

MG: Yes! You know, it was briefly the capital of Maryland at the start of the Civil War.

DH: Wasn’t it named after Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist?

MG: That’s a popular misconception.

DH: Guess what the folks in Baltimore call Frederick?

MG: What?

DH: Fredneck.

MG: Yeah, well, your name sounds like an onomatopoeia for your damn poofy hair.

DH: Onomatowhaty?

MG: Forget it. I guess you don’t spend as much time outdoors soaking up the rays as back in your Baywatch days, huh?

DH: Actually, you’d be surprised how much of that show was filmed on set.

MG: As popular as the show made you back in the states, you’re pretty well liked around here. You really parlayed that singing atop the Wall business into a career.

DH: What can I say? As far as audiences go, they’re absotutely wunderbar.

MG: That reminds me: I wanted to ask if I could have your autograph.

DH: I’d be delighted. Whaddya got?

MG: Would you sign my 1982 Knight Rider trading card set?

DH: The whole thing? That was like a fifty-card issue.

MG: Fifty-five.

DH: Christ.

MG: It’d really mean a lot to me. You know, I grew up on that show. Michael Knight was my role model; he practically raised me.

DH: That’s genuinely disturbing.

MG: Honestly, every Saturday afternoon—it was like my generation’s The Lone Ranger. I believe it was the lead-in for Murder, She Wrote. Of course, this was well into syndication.

DH: Gawd-damned Angela Lansbury. She showed her true colors in The Manchurian Candidate. Still I’ll admit she’s one fine strawberry shortcake.

MG: Yeah, I guess she used to be pretty sexy.

DH: Used to?

[In the background, the crowd on the television erupts with a home run hit by Baltimore.]

DH: [Tosses his drink back and slams it down.] This is it! This is the year!

MG: You think so?

DH: If Showalter can’t do it, nobody can.

MG: So how about it? Will you sign the cards?

DH: What’s in it for me?

MG: I’ll give you half of the proceeds when I sell them on E-bay.

DH: Hmm. Kid, I’ll tell you what: throw in a glass—no, make it a bottle of Pernod and you’ve got yourself a deal.

*This interview is neither exclusive nor authorized. And, of course, it’s probably not real.

**Note: Berlin’s Da Lichtenstein is well-known for catering to expats; hence Hasselhoff likely felt there was less chance of being spotted by eager fans and sycophants.