6 reasons to watch Hoff the Record
James R | On 06, May 2016
Hoff the Record returns this evening on Dave for a second season, continuing the chronicle of David Hasselhoff’s attempts to stage a career comeback. With Season 1 still available to binge-watch on on UKTV Play, here are six reasons why the show is worth seeing.
1. It’s funny
“Which one of you is David Hasselhoff?” asks a casting director for a movie about David Hasselhoff in the middle of Season 1. There’s probably a whole section of HMV by now dedicated to films and TV shows in which famous people play ‘themselves’ – but if that formula sounds tired, not to mention the fly-on-the-wall mockumentary format, Hoff the Record is alarmingly funny, with laugh-out-loud moments crammed into each episode. And we don’t just mean the Knight Rider and Baywatch references.
2. It’s got a great cast
The Hoff might be the star, but the supporting cast make the show what it is, from the amusingly disapproving Ella Smith as David’s assistant, Harriet – the one sensible person in the room – to People Just Do Nothing’s excellent Asim Chaudhry as inappropriate taxi driver Terry. Even Mark Quartey, who plays The Hoff’s pathetic German son, Dieter, turns what could be a lazy one-joke role into a hilariously weird (and oddly sweet) sidekick. (Him pretending to save someone in his dad’s Baywatch outfit, before making out with a lifebuoy, is as sweet as it is disturbing.)
Guest stars such as Craig Roberts and Christopher Biggins are all up for a giggle too, although the show is stolen by Fergus Craig as The Hoff’s terrible agent, Max, who lies about his job, begs people for Softmints and spends half his time playing FIFA.
3. It’s mostly improvised
Each episode has a script with a structure and story, but a substantial amount of the series is improvised, which takes no small amount of skill from the performers – especially when they actually manage to make it funny. Vox pops and sharp editing cut out any dead air, with director Natalie Bailey carefully fostering the loose, relaxed atmosphere needed for things to be said out of the blue. (Watch out for Brett Goldstein as personal trainer Danny.)
4. It’s unpredictable
If the improvising for the cast impresses, the show’s expansive writing team are even more on the ball, making sure that each episode gradually builds in absurdity. Season 1 climaxes in a double-bill of an encounter with a war lord (an enjoyable deranged Simon Greenall) and a hostage situation – neither of which are scenarios that you would have expected at the start of the show. That unpredictable tone, from the characters to the plot, isn’t easy to create, let alone sustain, placing Hoff the Record alongside Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as one of the most entertainingly surprising shows on the telly at the moment.
5. It’s got David Hasselhoff
Did we mention The Hoff? David playing himself is the kind of thing that could be brilliant or terrible, but the actor proves adept at sending himself up, without any trace of awkward woodenness. One sequence in the first episode sees him audition to play himself in that biopic, against a rival actor who’s even better at it. “What happens when the music stops?” demands an over-the-top director. “The music never stopped,” The Hoff shouts back. “I hear music all the time!” Throughout, he doesn’t shy away from gags about The Hoff not being as young or attractive as he was – and even mocks his own ability as an actor. Most unexpected of all? He’s not just game; he’s genuinely funny.
6. It’s available to watch now
Season 1 of Hoff the Record is available to catch up with for free on UKTV Play until 31st May – and you don’t have to wait for Season 2 either, with the first episode of the new run already available to watch online here.