I don’t know if they call him Das Hoff or Die Hoff in Germany. And I don’t really care. Sure, he prefers to eat his hamburgers commando style – down and dirty drunk on the floor like a Saigon whore. He drove a car with more brains than him on an 80s TV show and the teen girls ripped his clothes off and fainted at the mere sight of The Hoff’s sweaty shag carpet chest. He was the male bimbo lifeguard in a veritable sea o’beach babes in the ludicrously successful Bay Watch. I’ve glanced at TVs in Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovakia and Germany and they all played dubbed versions of Baywatch. You can turn on a TV set in a hotel anywhere in the world and you will see Bay Watch. The Hoff is everywhere you want to be, six hours before you get there.
My Hoff Awareness was marginal at best before I moved to Berlin. I didn’t think I would have to worry about various aspects of my sheisse culture following me here. I thought that Berliners would be urban sophisticates and cynical world citizens. Nope. Mostly white trash breeders and wearers of mullets and shitty jeans, Berliners are. Either that or a bunch of fucking techno-weenie faggots with bad fashion addictions. Now now, if you are a Berliner and you are reading this, don’t be offended, you are probably not from Berlin. Nobody is. Except maybe Kennedy. Everyone else in Berlin is but a tourist hoping to come to Berlin and be something, do something, get something, steal something—maybe a brief glance of The Hoff. Yes, The Hoff is a ridiculous parody of the worst pop culture has to offer us. But HE SANG AT THE BERLIN FUCKING WALL WHEN IT FELL (or shortly thereafter, there was no YouTube or facebook back then, mind you). A Hoff discussion started in an expat group on a train leaving Berlin into the countryside. “The Hoff is huge is Germany,” one of the group said. “Do you think those giggling German kids over there are listening to The Hoff on their Ipods right now?” I asked. We agreed that they probably were. You wouldn’t think spastic, giggly teens would listen to has-been Germo-American pop stars, but you would be surprised. Just look at the video for “Du” by The Hoff. Near the end of the song he is practically raped by barely pubescent girls. Apparently they like to lay their weary heads on a heaving chest full of sweaty man carpet. And what Berliner teen wouldn’t? Girl or boy?