The best news we've heard all week: David Hasselhoff returns to the big screen
In a turn that's, er, a bit of an Easter Egg, Hasselhoff appears as himself in the live- action/animated hybrid. The former "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider" (and, of course, YouTube) star plays a Simon Cowell-esque TV talent show host who judges the drumming of the cartoon bunny voiced by Brand. "I didn't like it," Hasselhoff says of the rabbit's Keith Moon turn, then pauses for dramatic effect. "I loved it."
The scene caps off with the rabbit and his human caretaker (James Marsden) wondering why the Hoff isn't more concerned that an animal talks and plays the drums. Hasselhoff's response: For a while his best friend was a talking car, so he's not really one to judge.
The bit was inspired by "Simpsons" writer Mike Reiss, who pitched in a little on the script for the film, due in theaters April 1. Reiss had the notion of including Hasselhoff in a different scene, and screenwriter Brian Lynch went on to write the scene that ended up in the movie.
It's a rare case of Hasselhoff playing himself on the big screen (he last did it in a breakdancing movie four years ago called "Kickin' It Old School") after taking a minor part (not as himself) in "Click" the year before.
"He was very sweet about it," director Tim Hill told 24 Frames of the actor's work on the "Hop" set. "He knew the idea was to make fun of him a little for being larger than life, and he went with it.'"
After his work was done on the movie, Hasselhoff apparently asked filmmakers if he could keep some of the billboards and other props created to advertise Hoff's fictitious talent show. They're apparently for a roadside homage to himself he's building in Germany, and his assistant wound up coming by the set and picking up the props. So if you're ever driving along somewhere near Cologne or Stuttgart, whistling and minding your own business, beware.
Hasselhoff hasn't been above a little self-mocking comedy now. He was the subject of a Comedy Central roast last year, and also signed on for the short-lived A&E reality show "The Hasselhoffs," though the humor there might not have been of the intentional sort.
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Photo: A scene from "The Hasselhoffs." Credit: Richard Knapp / A&E Network