The-HoffName: David Michael Hasselhoff

Birth: July 17, 1952, Baltimore, Maryland

Claim to Fame: 6′-4″ All-American TV action/soap hero who has made over $100 million as star/producer of the syndicated series Baywatch, after playing second fiddle to a late model sport-coupe on the series Knight Rider

Power Base: Viewers of TV “t&a” on every continent of the world except Antarctica; and, of course, “the Germans love him.”

Google Hits: 60,800 hits for “david hasselhoff antichrist” as of August 29, 2006

Merits: Earlier this month, David Hasselhoff stole a nanosecond’s-worth of celebrity headlines by musing aloud, “Maybe I am the Antichrist. Maybe that’s why all this weird shit that has started happening to me and women yell at me on the street.”

By “all this weird shit,” Hasselhoff is no doubt referring to a summer of crazy Hasselhoffery, including: (1) a comeback stint as a judge on the NBC hit show, America’s Got Talent; (2) a new European single, “Jump in My Car,” accompanied by a campy video, ; (3) a notorious episode of public tears, when Taylor Hicks won American Idol (“I find it incredulous in this country that if a heterosexual man cries, it’s like ‘Film at 11′”); (4) the spectacle of his nasty public divorce from Pamela Bach, who claims that Hasselhoff is a drunk who broke her nose in an episode of domestic violence (he claims the only person who has broken his estranged wife’s nose was her plastic surgeon — ouch!); (5) that shaving or tooth-brushing accident that resulted in four sliced tendons and one sliced artery in his right arm; (6) that time in July when he was banned from a British Airways flight leaving Heathrow for the States for appearing too intoxicated (he says it was bizarre pain-killing meds for his arm thing) …

Am I leaving anything out? Weird shit, indeed — but not half as weird as the strange coincidences found by Warren S. Apel, the investigative brains behind the now classic web exposé, David Hasselhoff is the AntiChrist. Among Apel’s finds, after reviewing the evidence:

  • “David Hasselhoff” is an anagram of the phrase “Fad of Devil’s Hash.” Explains Apel: “Baywatch is David’s fad. David is the devil. The Hash is what makes Knight Rider popular in Amsterdam. I was actually hoping to make the letters in his name spell out ‘he is of the devil,’ which would be possible if his middle name was ‘Ethesis,’ which it might be. I’m sure his publicist would hide such a middle name if it were true”;
  • Hasselhoff and his crew are mentioned throughout the book of Revelations, from 13:1 (“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea”) to 20:11 (“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away” — to which Apel asks “Doesn’t this sound like an exact description of what the lifeguards on Baywatch do? They sit on their big white wooden throne, and watch out over the sea — waiting for a dying person to get cast up”) to 13:15 (“And in those days men shall seek to find death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” — to which Apel observes, “One word: CPR”) to the references in 17:3-5 to the whore of babylon, identified by Apel as Pamela Anderson; and
  • Several expert numerological analyses of Hasselhoff’s name, all leading to the inevitable ‘666’ — including one march of logic and calculation through a childhood production of Rumplestiltskin in which Hasselhoff participated at age 7.

Not to mention that “Hasselhoff” apparently means something like “horny” in German (although, as the nouveau-80s Dutch band named for Hasselhoff has so eloquently put it, it “doesn’t mean shit in Dutch – or any other language for that matter.”).

Add to all that the circumstances of the falling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, and suddenly we start to build a real case for Hasselhoff as the Antichrist. In 1989, Hasselhoff released an English-language cover of a 1970s German pop hit, “Auf Der Strasse Nach Suden,” renaming it “Looking for Freedom” — and almost as if by some nefarious miracle, it raced up the pop charts while revolt was in the air throughout Communist Europe. According to the BBC:

By the time Berliners started hacking away at the concrete wall that had divided their city for a generation, the torch-bearing anthem had been number one for several weeks in West Germany.

With its lament, “I’ve been lookin’ for freedom; I’ve been lookin’ so long; I’ve been lookin’ for freedom; still the search goes on,” the song embodied the frustrations of Germany’s years of division. The album of the same name topped the charts for three months and, that December, Hasselhoff was invited to headline a New Year’s Eve concert in the recently reunited city. The gig was apparently rubber-stamped by the then German chancellor, Helmut Kohl.

The singer himself has powerful memories of the performance. “It was the first time Germany had been unified, and close to a million East and West German fans stood together in the freezing cold at midnight watching me perform. I was overcome with emotion,” he recalls.

Hasselhoff, who by now was appearing in Baywatch, scooped a clutch of top German music awards and went on to become one of the country’s biggest selling artists of the 90s.

His popularity even prompted a headline in one German newspaper, “Hasselhoff: not since the Beatles”.

Looking back on the episode prompted Hasselhoff to question, last year, why there were no pictures of him in the Berlin Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, commemorating his role in helping to end the Cold War.

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: Try as we might to dismiss the Hasselhoff theory as just another tin horn on the “so-and-so is the Antichrist” bandwagon (i.e. “Paris Hilton is the Antichrist,” “Britney Spears is the Antichrist,” “Wilford Brimley is the Antichrist”), that stuff about the Berlin Wall stops us in our tracks. It is the sheer improbability of the helmet-headed actor’s role in the fall of Communism that catches us off-guard — making us think it’s all nothing but a fluke, a trick of chronology and media hype. This, of course, is exactly what the Antichrist would have us think, while he quietly goes about consolidating his power over us.

Much of the answer here probably lies in a further analysis of another question that has been making its rounds through forums and the blogosphere of late: Does the Antichrist know he’s the Antichrist? It is a question that we must reserve for answering at another time — in fact, I’m planning to hold a symposium on this topic in Atlantic City in December — but I will say that if, in fact, it is a theological prerequisite that the Antichrist acts upon his own volition and is not simply some kind of Manchurian Candidate Satanic automaton, then it is possible (despite Hasselhoff’s own musings) that David Hasselhoff can be eliminated from consideration. It is rare, even in show business, to find someone whose apparent lack of self-knowledge is so … well, monolithic is really the only word I can come up with.

At any rate, even if we believe that the Antichrist doesn’t have to be quite so self-conscious about his role on Earth, then in Hasselhoff’s case I think we have a way to head ’em off at the pass. Keep him on those pain-killing meds until the Great Tribulation passes, and we should all be relatively safe.