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Quendrith Johnson

Quendrith Johnson is Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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(Taped Live Aug. 1, 2010, at Stage 27, SONY STUDIOS, Culver City, Calif.)


by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent


At Comedy Central's live taping of David Hasselhoff's Roast, there's a life-like, wildly outsized human replica of of the Hoff, complete with Baywatch red shorts and... uh, back hair.

The fake Hoff is grinning from ear-to-ear, popping electric blue eyes and that unmistakeable Hoff-coif. 

They even built a fake boardwalk, with a wooden railing to mimic the Santa Monica shores where his signature series was shot, and slap a beach-blue sky mural on the backdrop. 

There is no actual red carpet, the stars just have to walk the planks, smiling against a blue-sky step-and-repeat peppered with appropriate sponsors like Klondike Bars and Taco Bell. 

Taco Bell? 

Their slogan "Think Outside The Bun" takes on a whole new meaning in a Babewatch kind of way.

When the Hoff comes out in his black leatherette shiny suit, white shirt, and dapper tie, his 6'5" frame looks bigger than the fake plastic Hasselhoff. 

Bar none, The Hoff is a lifeguard-ing, car-driving, gentleman/scholar. A legend. A giant. A TV icon with a sense of humor. 

Whoever is here to "roast" him better watch it. Or not? 

Who could hurt the Hoff? 

Seriously, the man has Paul-Newman blue eyes and a face that screams gentleness, despite the rumors of his real-life dive into the drink, pharmaceuticals, and such. 

You love this guy; it defies logic and tabloids. 

He smiles for the clutch of photographers like a prom date; his eyes twinkle, they somehow tell you there is nothing wrong in this world that he can't fix. 

"Nothing hurts the Hoff," he jokes.

You can think of him as a Knight-in-Shining-Armorall. 

His red carpet manners impeccable. Gracious beyond what seems humanly possible. (Even the 'droid version of Hoff looks incredibly, well, friendly.)

He grins aloud, mouthes some German greetings to the foreign press who've been flown Stateside for this event. Grins more, mugs for the cameras; nearly bows, thespian-style, as if an imaginary curtain has opened the proceedings.

Behind him, Jerry Springer, Pamela Anderson, Hulk Hogan, George Hamilton, Roast-master Jeffrey Ross, Gilbert Gottfried, Lisa Lampanelli, Greg Giraldo, and Whitney Cummins are here today to take body shots at the big guy. 

They look up to the task. 

Hulk Hogan's son and daughter float by. 

Hulk Hogan is another huge pop icon in this business. 

But bigger than The Hoff?

Nick Hogan has to think about it: "you mean as far as legends? Who's the bigger legend? My Dad or David... hmm. Well. I have to say... I'd have to say... they are even."

A cast member from the new shot-but-set-to-debut-in-Feburary show "Workaholics" says: "I got my first boner watching Baywatch -- can I say 'boner'? Not watching David, you know, he would interrupt my time with, wow, she's HERE! HER -- " He scampers off after Pamela Anderson like Borat in a sequel.

Pam is sporting a five-alarm, see-through black dress that has the power to bring any male, even a dead guy back to life, never mind the CPR. "I remember when I was cast. David was there. I totally missed the audition," she giggles.

Besides the Roast Tag Team, which is anchored by Hulk Hogan, Baywatch stunners come to the taping to watch his back: Alexandra Paul, Nicole Eggert, and his TV wife Gena Lee Nolin. 

One interviewer drops his camera staring at Gena, whose hotness quotient has not diminished at all. "I heard you say that," she chortles, "'it still works!' Thanks. It's nice to know I've still got it. I was just a little farm girl from Minnesota when I first got on the show."

Alexandra Paul is also still hot. She's on the arm of her gorgeous triathlete husband. Then, ironically, Alex muses "Where's the reporter from 'Lesbian News' -- I love that magazine! Can you find them for me?"

Now-curvaceous Nicole Eggert takes no prisoners on weight issues: "SO WHAT!" 

"Anyway, everybody loves David -- I swear -- everybody who knows him," Nicole volunteers.

"Absolutely anyone who knows him, loves him," Alexandra Paul adds.

"On the set he was like a father to Jeremy Jackson. He created a real family environment; it was wonderful," she says.

"He's sooooo wonderful," Gena Lee Nolin squeaks, as only a smokin' hot Baywatch babe can. "Wonderful! We love him; I'll tell him (shouts) 'David, I love you!.'"

For a photo op, Gena smooches David on the cheek -- he blushes a shade of Baywatch red.

Lisa Lampanelli, who can be more caustic than battery acid, whispers "He's really, really, really wonderful -- " then snaps out of it with a but we gotta do what we gotta do

Someone mistakes her for Linda Tripp from the Clinton scandal, which sends Jeff Ross and Greg Giraldo into labor pains of laughter. 

"Guess we'll change up some jokes," Greg hisses. "Oh my gawd," Jeff wheezes, "she DOES look like Linda Tripp."

"Maybe we should trip Linda," a heckler throws in.

Gilbert Gottfried stops and does a Richard Nixon double peace sign wave.

Then the voice-impaired Gottfried cracks his comedian knuckles out loud, ready for the Hoff-ful smack down.

Ever-tan evergreen George Hamilton pauses, with his lady friend Barbara from Germany (a doctor who was part of the late Farrah Fawcett's medical team). 

"David?" He says Hasselhoff's name with a reverence reserved for heads of state and military leaders. 

"David is wonderful. I have to say it's like we grew up together. We've known each other so... long. Before I was tan," he jokes.

"Actually he called me up for this," Hamilton admits. "How could I not come? What will I say? David is one of THE most wonderful people in this business. But I guess I have to, you know, do what we're here for." 

His show-biz weary eyes seem misty, even in awe, as David breezes by with the billion-viewer smile that still brings most American and all German audiences to their knees.

"We're here to roast David the Musician," Lampanelli strategizes, "that we CAN do. Have you heard his music? Have you heard him s-i-n-g???" And so the roast begins to sizzle, hotter than Pam Anderson on an underwater episode from the 90's. 

Watch for The Hoff Roast to air Sunday, August 15, on Comedy Central, and there will be re-runs throughout 2011.


# # #



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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

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