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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 12/18/2006

Comment Box: The Hoff -- Haute or Not?

By Liz Kelly

Dear Liz,
David Hasselhoff was "big in Germany" about 20 years ago! This is such an odd cliche just like all the other stereotypes about Germany: No, we are not all Nazis, not everybody in Germany looks or talks like Adolf Hitler and no, David Hasselhoff is not big in Germany anymore! But yes -- there is something called German humor but this is just not funny anymore.
-- Therese comments on Actors Who Think They Can Sing via e-mail

Therese, apologies if I implied that David Hasselhoff is still a bankable star in Germany. It's an oft-cited fact because he was never taken seriously as a musician, or anything else really, here in the States and we Yanks are amazed to learn that he was a smash hit there. See, he topped the charts in your country and even claims he played a part in the fall of the Berlin wall. But we'll take your word for it that Germans now view him with as much disdain as we Americans. This could be a cultural commonality that helps to bridge the gap between our two nations. Tell ya what -- I promise to take off my cowboy hat if you'll do something about the Leiderhosen lederhosen.

But you might want to clue in your fellow countryman and soccer (that's football to you) star Moritz Volz, who recently said:

"I love David Hasselhoff. It's the law in the Motherland. For me the Hoff is almost like some kind of higher spirit. Hoff-ness is everywhere. In times of trouble I often ask myself, 'How would the Hoff deal with this?' I'm thinking of having a Baywatch tower built so that I can sit there in my red shorts in true Hoff style."

He said nothing about Hitler, though, so looks like he's at least somewhat with the program.

So Rosie O'Donnell can make racist comments on national television, plead ignorance, and expect everything to be OK? ... Why aren't you screaming for Rosie O. to be fired? Maybe a little lenience for a fellow liberal is clouding your judgment and taking away the objectivity of the press that we readers deserve. -- Posted by anonymous to Morning Mix: Brangelina Plan to Adopt Again

Anonymous here is referring to a comment Rosie O'Donnell made last week when discussing a visit from a drunken Danny DeVito to "The View." O'Donnell used the words "ching chong" to imitate how Chinese people might be discussing DeVito. And it looks like O'Donnell isn't getting a pass on the comments. Leaders in the Asian-American community quickly called her on the language and, no doubt hoping to quell the outrage, O'Donnell later apologized saying she didn't realize the characterization was offensive and warned that she could make a similar slip in the future. According to a report on, at least one group -- Unity: Journalists of Color -- isn't satisfied with O'Donnell's apology and have asked "The View" to publicly condemn the remarks. So, stay tuned.

Have a question or comment you'd like me to address? Write me at

By Liz Kelly  | December 18, 2006; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box  
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Yes, too bad about Rosie. Poor taste.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Liz dahling, it's spelled lederhosen.
But seriously, on a recent visit to Germany, every time I turned on the TV, I saw David Hasselhoff. I watched an episode of "Knight Rider" in German!
Any German who tells you Germans are over the Hoff is lying. Therese sounds like a closeted Hoff fan.

Posted by: Liz's personal spell checker | December 18, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Get hip sister, it's pretty clear that Moritz Volz's comments were facetious. In the year me spent in Germany, I make the proclamation that there was no Hoffa-mania sweepin the nation in any kinda celebration. No one ever mentioned him. There were no ads, commercials or articles. How would we like if Neil Diamond was taken to be our ultimate symbol of studliness? We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Posted by: Mike | December 18, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Its funny that the Hoff is being brought up. I'm not sure how acurate this program is (becuase they are known to do reruns) but E is doing a program on Hoff and he talks about his fame and popularity in Germany. To me it seemed that it was still an ongoing thing. I may be wrong....

Posted by: bored... | December 18, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

You should also note that Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks hums Hasselhoff to himself when he goes to shoot free throws

Posted by: doodoobrown | December 18, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"You know it was never (my) intent to mock on Thursday's show and I'm sorry for those people who felt hurt or were teased on the playground." That is not an apology. For a smug, opinionated, self-enamored person like O'Donnell to go around ripping other people (she recently accused Kelly Ripa of a homophobic remark) for being insentive, she should be able cough up a better apology than that. Come on Rosie, stop forking down meatloaf for a minute and apologize properly.

Posted by: Mike | December 18, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Moritz Volz (nicknamed "The Hoff"), German born and Hasselhoff-afficiando he may be, but he doesn't appear to know much about Germany, which he refers to as the "Motherland". Russians and Brits refer to their respective countries as the "Motherland". Germans, however, refer to their country as the "Vaterland" in German, which translates in English to the "Fatherland" . The phrase "Deutches vaterland" (German fatherland) even appears in the German national anthem. Just a little food for thought...and the Germans I know don't like Hasselhoff any more than the Ami's (German nickname for Americans) do.

Posted by: Caehli | December 18, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Neil Diamond is out as our national cultural icon? Kentucky Woman, Sweet Caroline, the whole Johnatnan Livingston Seagull thing. Trash those? The shirts, the hair. No wonder we are stuck in Iraq.

Posted by: WAIT?!? | December 18, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I work with a 33 year old real estate attorney that, after we close on a deal, emails the baywatch theme song to everyone along with that nasty a** picture of Hoff in those red trunks, trying to suck in his gut. They may be soooo over him in Germany, but here in a small real estate firm in St. Louis, we have an ardent fan.
Please Help.

Posted by: jakeand millie | December 18, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

No, see it's OKAY to make fun of asians, because they're a majority. Their economies will shame us, their scholastic prowess will bring us to our knees. It's just a matter of time.

Seriously, would you claim that an Incan isn't allowed to make fun of a Spaniard? No. The weaker people are allowed to do whatever they need to do to come to terms with their inevitable conquest.

Please don't waste your time standing up for Asians. Worry about Samoans, Pygmies and natural blonds. The Asians will be JUST FINE.

Posted by: Liv | December 18, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

jake and millie: retaliate with lou bega's "mambo number 5," or go nuclear with the "brady bunch theme." eek. it just popped into my head. i am self destructive.

somebody remind me.... why is rosie o'donnell famous?

at least at one time, long ago, hasselhoff had abs.

Posted by: b | December 18, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

jake and millie, While b presents a very good counter attack, the damn theme song is in my head now as well. You may want to look at a past post about actors who want to sing. That'll give you loads more to choose from.

Posted by: caroldc | December 18, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

my apologies to all. sometimes i am too snarky for my own good. at least i didn't suggest the "theme from gilligan's island." yikes. i did it again.

Posted by: b | December 18, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

look, i like gilligan's island. what's wrong with you?

Posted by: not bluto | December 18, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

nothing. the theme song is just infectious. although it did bump the bon jovi tune that has plagued me since yesterday afternoon.

Posted by: b | December 18, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I can't stop listening to Is this Love by Whitesnake.

Posted by: not bluto | December 18, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

i wonder if the hoffster is merely a legend in his own mind? it seems like sooooo many people these days are becoming famous for just being famous rather than for actually doing anything. we need more audrey hepburns and fewer paris hiltons....

Posted by: b | December 18, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

too. many. words.

plz summarize in 10 words or less or get out.

Posted by: not bluto | December 18, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

a day w/out che is like.....

Posted by: b | December 18, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'm gonna start going to those websites Che keeps posting and post celebritology stories all over them.

Liz, when you delete Che's post, feel free to delete this one as well.

Posted by: BF | December 18, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Initially reading the headline I thought this might be about Susanna Hoffs.

And, Che? Dude stick to wild-a$$ conspiracy theories and such. Once it hits the legal system it's, well, booooring.

Posted by: Stick | December 18, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Che -- why me?

Posted by: Liz | December 18, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I want to congratulate Liv on a brilliant argument. As an Asian growing up in the U.S. I've dealt with overt and covert racism my entire life, but you're right: we're a majority. Granted, most of this "majority" is in another hemisphere. And yes, we're only a majority if you assume hundreds of ethnicities are identical, but then again, we DO all look alike. So you're right; don't cry for us.

Oh, and the Incan analogy is beautiful. Asians never enslaved, raped, infected, violently converted, or colonized America, nor did we commit genocide or repress American culture like as Pizarro did to the Incas. But make those tweaks and you'd be right back in that thing.

Posted by: ddwkim | December 18, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Che-do the initials TLNR mean anything to you?

Obviously not.

(Too Long No Read for those that don't speak "message board speak")

Posted by: Bored @ work | December 18, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

>>Che -- why me?

If it makes yuo feel any better, he also struck "The Checkout" blog. And who knows how many others that have already been deleted.

Posted by: BF | December 18, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

... a day off from work!

Posted by: crc | December 18, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Having just completed reading The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang, ddkwim's comment seemed strangely ironic to me. The Japanese carried out atrocities against the Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Malayans, Burmese, and many many British, American, Australian, and New Zealand POWs.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

a day w/out che is like........ a day off from work!

Posted by: crc | December 18, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Rosie O'Donnell started as a stand-up comedian. Years ago she hosted a stand-up show (on VH-1, I think). All big hair and big shoulder pads.

Posted by: answering b | December 18, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I need some clarification from Jake and Millie: does this man also do the double guns and wink a lot? I'm also picturing a vast collection of American flag ties. I'm just trying to complete the visual. PS If I give you my email address can you put me on the Baywatch listserv?

Mambo #5 = genius.

Posted by: KG | December 18, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard "ching chong" ever used in conversation, so I don't know how common a derogatory phrase it is, and I haven't heard O'Donnell's use. However, on paper, it sounds like traditional, satirical grammelot. I mean, Dario Fo received a Nobel Lit prize for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jonny536 | December 19, 2006 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget what the Cambots and Vietnamese did to their own people.

Posted by: Stick | December 19, 2006 7:08 AM | Report abuse

To Stick and " "--yes, the Japanese, Cambodians, and Vietnamese have violent episodes in their history; therefore, it's okay to do anything to them because that's clearly an inherent trait of all Asians. You're right, that's not racist at all. You sure showed me.

That's precisely the same logic that bigots use everywhere. "Somewhere, a black man once committed a crime; therefore, that's justification to deny THIS black man a job."

Posted by: ddwkim | December 19, 2006 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see one of my posts get so much attention, but it is a shame they left out the rest. Go to the link referenced in Liz's post (listed above) to see the rest.

As far as the press letting Rosie off, You stated:

"According to a report on, at least one group -- Unity: Journalists of Color -- isn't satisfied with O'Donnell's apology and have asked "The View" to publicly condemn the remarks. So, stay tuned."

I have stayed tuned and nothing has happened yet. Looks like this will get swept under the rug. Big surprise ...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 19, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

This is not the first time Rosie has used the offensive "ching chong" imitation. I'm surprised she didn't get called on it when she did it years ago when Mira Sorvino was a guest on the Rosie O'Donnell show. Rosie was imitating Chinese because Mira Sorvino was a Chinese major in college.

Posted by: K | December 19, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I used to have a friend who frequently used the "n" word. He thought it was OK because he didn't regard himself as a racist or a bigot. Of course, he was both, but that didn't keep him from getting perplexed when people would get offended.

It's all about the Golden Rule. That's central to just about everybody's religion.

Posted by: b | December 19, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Rosie will not need to appear on other talk shows to say it wasn't her, not the her her. She won't need to say it was the boose or drugs and then check into rehab.

You guys don't get it. If your professional persona is to be obnoxious and opinionated, and, if you are an out lesbian who knows about discrimination, you can at least make fun of the Chinese.

She couldn't take on Jews or Blacks - that's lose-your-job serious. But, the Chinese won't make much of a fuss.

Posted by: Rodrigo | December 19, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Rosie has become a liability for not only The View but her own GLBTQ people. Queers need to call her to repentance and shun her til she engages in some true dialogue about racism, instead of mouthing an apology that Ms. Walters' staff surely wrote. hehehe... let Rosie take a poke at Bah-bah Wah-wah's speech, then we'll see how sorry she is!

Posted by: bigolpoofter | December 19, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Not to make a fuss over my psychic abilities but since posting my Rosie note, would-be O.J. publisher Judith Regan was fired for anti-Semitic remarks and Miss USA checked into rehab.

Posted by: Rodrigo | December 19, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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