Who moved my Hasselhoff?

Recently I wrote about Ice-T producing a new rap album with David Hasselhoff. Naturally I was a little derisive. I mean, I love David Hasselhoff as much as the next guy, but a rap album? Then I glanced again at the Hasselhoffian recursion. Well not so much glanced as stared. Stared for 16 hours straight actually.

And I'm glad I did, because it really clarified my thinking, and allowed me to figure out what's causing the problems our country has been having: 9/11, Iraq, Hurricanes, Bennifer.

It's all caused by a lack of David Hasselhoff.

I know this may be stunning to you – I didn't want to believe it at first either. But the evidence is overwhelming that when David Hasselhoff's million-watt smile isn't part of our cultural fabric, things turn to shit in a hurry.

Pre-Hasselhoff America
ironeyescody.jpgIn the seventies and early eighties, everything sucked. The energy crisis, stagflation, indians weeping incessantly from pollution, it was terrible. The office of President was in disarray, repeatedly rocked by scandal, incompetence, big teeth and even assassination attempts. Failures in Vietnam, Tehran and Beruit made our military look weak and incapable. Gas prices skyrocketed, as did inflation, unemployment, and crime. Disco flourished.

But there was hope, a brilliant young actor named David Hasselhoff was rising through the ranks.

Knight Rider's America
hasselhoff_coleman_small.jpgKnight Rider debuted in 1982 and starred one David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a man who owns an indestructible talking car. He took us on a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist, and along the way taught us how to love again. During this time the US experienced a broad resurgence, unemployment fell, as did inflation, gas prices and taxes. Even crime and murder rates dropped. America was alive, as it flirted with a new kind of music called "New Wave". It was a time when anything was possible.

Knight Rider Cancelled, Nation Plunged into Darkness
swaggert.jpgIn the '85-86 TV season, America's love affair with Hasselhoff was ending. People just stopped watching, hubris causing us to think we can live without Hasselhoff, we'll be just fine. But it was an illusion, and one that cost America dearly. The Challenger disaster happened, followed shortly by the crack epidemic, the AIDS crisis and Bill Buckner. Crime and murder rates began to climb faster than we'd ever seen. The "Black Monday" crash occurred, the stock market having suffered the largest one day loss in history.

Hasselhoff Throws Us a Life Preserver
Hasselhoff_baywatch_small.jpgKnowing the damage done in previous years had to be quickly repaired, Hasselhoff had to do something bold, his charisma and smile could only do so much to help America out of its jam. Then in a flash of inspiration while shaving, he gazed upon his tanned physique and knew it was the answer. So in 1989, a bare-chested Hasselhoff starred in Baywatch, and we once again became alive as a people. And our enthusiasm shot around the globe and knocked down the Berlin wall, and Germans began their own love affair with Hasselhoff. Within months, Baywatch mania spread around the world, and even the whole of the Soviet empire and the great evil of Communism was no match, the Hasselhoff gap too great for their totalitarian regime to counter. The empire crumbled before our very eyes, the communists knew they had been beaten. Beaten by Hasselhoff.

Cancelled After One Season?
millivanilli.jpgBut then, in stunning move, NBC cancelled the show after a single season, stating it was a fad that could no longer justify its production costs. America was once again rudderless, its hopes dashed. Some suspect that NBC's parent company G.E., a large military contractor, was protecting its Cold War profits. Others think the KGB planted mind control chips in NBC upper management in a last ditch effort to revive their empire. Whatever the reason, the effects were profound. Shortly after the cancellation, Iraq invaded Kuwait, gas prices skyrocketed, unemployment and inflation began to rise. Vanilla Ice released his first album. Murder rates reached an all time high.

Hasselhoff to Network Execs, "Bite me"
Hasselhoff_baywatch2_small.jpgThen, in 1991 on a mission to save humanity from itself, Hasselhoff took matters into his own hands and got Baywatch back onto the air, bypassing the networks and going straight to syndication. And shortly thereafter America entered a 10 year golden period, with unprecedented drops in crime, murder, unemployment, inflation, interest rates, even teen pregnancy. The World Wide Web took off, spurring an expansion in investment and commerce the likes of which we've never seen. Gas prices dropped, as did taxes, all while the government ran a surplus. The human genome was mapped and Viagra was invented. And not just America felt the effects; Baywatch was syndicated around the globe and became the most popular show on Earth, blazing a trail for democracy and implants to flourish worldwide.

And then like that, it was gone.

Hasselhoff, Why Have You Forsaken Us?
In May of 2001, the last episode of Baywatch aired. Hasselhoff, having given mankind his all for ten years, ended the show. Shortly thereafter, everything else turned to shit.

The worst attack on America occurred just months later, followed by another stock market crash. Unemployment rose and for the first time in 10 years murders did too. The space shuttle crashed again. We got entrenched in war in Iraq, again, but this time we have no end in sight. Two hurricanes caused unprecedented devastation. The national debt is at an all-time high, as is personal debt while personal savings are at an all-time low. Gas prices are rising again, so are interest rates and inflation.

david_hasselhoff.jpg

It looks bleak. Please David Hasselhoff, produce your rap album. Make it good. Make it Hasselhoff good. But don't take too long, we need you. You're our only hope.

Posted October 12, 2005 10:01 PM