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'Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff' Recap

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 16th 2010 9:03AM
David Hasselhoff gets roasted on Comedy CentralJoan Rivers, William Shatner, Bob Saget, Larry the Cable Guy - Comedy Central has taken aim at some of the easiest targets in show business with its recent roasts. But roasting David Hasselhoff is like leveling a cannon at a beached whale. Kind of hard to miss, especially when your dais includes the modern roastmaster general, Jeffrey Ross, and easy target connoisseur, official Roast Master Seth MacFarlane.

A sampling of the Hasselhoff resume: star of 'Baywatch' (not to mention 'Baywatch Nights') and 'Knight Rider,' a music career that has made him the toast of Germany, two stints on the soap 'The Young and the Restless' as Doctor William "Snapper" Foster, Jr. (was Bill, Sr. also a "Snapper?"), and a highly publicized drunken burger slurping meltdown.

It's a long list, almost too much for just an hour and a half of Roast to cover. The opening montage, which included clips not only from his own projects but also from 'South Park,' 'The Simpsons,' and 'SpongeBob SquarePants,' barely scratched the surface. As Ross said during one of the commercial outros, "This is what you call a field day in the roast business."

Hasselhoff owned it from the beginning, entering with a clutch of models dressed for Oktoberfest, singing "Hooked On a Feeling" and mugging for the camera. And he was a good sport throughout, winking and pointing at the audience and laughing at every obvious joke.

Seth MacFarlane roasts David Hasselhoff on Comedy CentralMacFarlane's first line summed it up nicely, "I am here to salute the greatest cartoon character of all time, David Hasselhoff." In roasts, caricature is king.

Most of the roasters stuck to the predictable script, with barbs about bad acting, 'Baywatch,' 'Knight Rider,' and alcoholism. And there were almost as many shots taken at roasters Lisa Lampanelli (about her weight), Pam Anderson (about her sex life), and Hulk Hogan (calling him gay) as there were at "The Hoff" himself.

That's not to say there weren't any funny lines. Ross once again proved why roasts are his domain, and everyone else is just passing through. He entered wearing nothing but a Speedo and a leather jacket lip synching Hasselhoff's "Looking for Freedom."

Just about every line hit, starting with his calling MacFarlane "a man of a thousand voices, all of them Stewie." Ross has a deft touch with the tasteless. He knows if he's shocking, there has to be something funny and/or clever about it, something some of his fellow roasters could learn from.

Some of Ross's best lines:

"Finally, a Jew gets to roast a German."

"How's that chain of all you can eat off the floor restaurants coming along?"

On the similarities between Hasselhoff and Anderson: "They both made embarrassing videos with meat stuffed in their mouths."

On the possible singing careers of Hasselhoff's daughters: "They say talent skips a generation, so you're probably awesome."

On 'Knight Rider': "What a lucky break. What are the odds an alcoholic gets cast in a show about a car that drives itself?"

The Roast of David Hasselhoff Sunday 10pm / 9c
Jeff Ross - On David Hasselhoff
Roast of David Hasselhoff It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Russell Simmons Presents Stand-Up Comedy

MacFarlane was an able host, and had a couple of good lines of his own, noting that Hasselhoff's career had "gone from 'Baywatch' to death watch," and that his role on 'Baywatch' was "to kill boners."

The dais was a particularly motley crew. There were the usual suspects from stand-up, including Ross, Lampanelli. Greg Giraldo, Gilbert Gottfried, and Whitney Cummings. Anderson, who endured her own roast a few years ago, was a fit, having co-starred on 'Baywatch.' And you can make an argument for Jerry Springer, with whom Hasselhoff worked on 'America's Got Talent.'

Harder to figure were Hogan and George Hamilton, who seemed to be there mainly because of a similar downward career trajectory. Hamilton's shtick was subtle, by roast standards. Addressing Whitney Cummings, he said he would make sweet love to her, "But alas, I'm just an old man with perfect vision. And I suspect you might be, too."

Of Hasselhoff, he said, "David, I've followed your career from the very beginning of tonight."

The Hoff and the Hulkster on Comedy Central's roastHogan immediately stepped into character at the podium, addressing Lampanelli as "brother" and recalling getting beat by her under her wrestling name, "Andre the Vagiant." He had the most honest moment of the night when he balked at reading a joke about Pam Anderson's genitals, making him more shy about them than she's ever been.

Lampanelli was her usual blunt self, hitting Hasselhoff's alcoholism - "David Hasselhoff's liver is so black it's f----d two of the Kardashian sisters."

Gottfried had what was probably the most unprintable set of the night. The holocaust was a recurring theme throughout the night, likened to Hasselhoff's music career. Gottfried spoke of Hasselhoff's record sales in Germany, saying, "Like a lot of stories out of Germany, those numbers are probably inflated, if not a complete hoax."

His best line was directed at MacFarlane - "It's got to be hard for him to do a roast, especially because 'The Simpsons' haven't done it yet."

Springer, Anderson, and Cummings got laughs but their sets were forgettable.

Giraldo was dependable, as always, but going on last at a roast, after everyone has hammered the biggest topics, is always tough. He did deliver the line, however, that sounded most like an old time roast zinger, "You're so drunk when alcohol does its taxes it lists you as a dependent."

When it was time for Hasselhoff to respond, he did so in his best cheesy thespian baritone. He actually displayed some nice timing, marveling at his assembled roasters and saying, "If a bomb were to hit the stage tonight the world would lose... a bomb."

He thanked MacFarlane for not singing (he actually has his own big band album coming out) and not telling jokes, and said that Gottfried could be his twin brother, if he'd had a twin brother and he died in the womb.

In the end, Hasselhoff's halo of cheese proved impenetrable, even by surprise guest roaster KITT, who took a last couple of easy shots before Hasselhoff burst into his "This Is the Moment."

If the Hoff came out unscathed, it wasn't much of a surprise, especially to him. "How did I prepare for this?" he said during an interstitial interview. "I just turned on YouTube and said, nothing can be worse than the crap I've been through already."

The uncensored 'Comedy Central Roast of David Hasseloff' will re-air tonight at midnight and Friday and Saturday at 10 PM. It's also available for download today on iTunes, xBox Live Marketplace, Zune, PlayStation, and Amazon.com.

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