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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Hasseling the ‘Hoff’

Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Traci Smith, a freshman majoring in computer science and religion, gets her backpack signed by David Hasselhoff when he came to campus on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Smith recently returned from a one year deployment as part of the Army National Guard in Afghanistan and was excited to meet the celebrity.
Lisa Beth Earle
Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Traci Smith, a freshman majoring in computer science and religion, gets her backpack signed by David Hasselhoff when he came to campus on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Smith recently returned from a one year deployment as part of the Army National Guard in Afghanistan and was excited to meet the celebrity.

People ignored the cliché and “”hassled the Hoff,”” Wednesday morning. David Hasselhoff, the star of such shows as “”Baywatch”” and “”Knight Rider”” was on campus to speak to a UA class and film a new reality TV show.

Hasselhoff spoke to Adjunct Lecturer Dana Narter’s INDV 101 class — Structure of Mind and Behavior. He was also filming a show set to air on A&E in June, according to Hasselhoff. An airdate and a title for the show have not yet been released.

The reality program will focus on Hasselhoff’s life as a businessman and single dad. He has two daughters, one of whom attends the UA. Taylor-Ann, 19, is a communications major. His other daughter Hayler, 17, is a model and aspiring actress.

Taylor-Ann took Narter’s INDV 101 class in fall 2008, which led Narter to contact Hasselhoff.

She thought it would be fun to have Hasselhoff come to her class and sing a song or speak to students. It didn’t happen last semester as Narter had hoped, but she got a call saying he would be in town to shoot his new reality show and could come speak to the class.

He talked about both his personal and professional life — good and bad decisions that he’s made and how he’s learned from them.

“”It was really good, I am actually going to follow up on it in the following class to really link it back to the course,”” Narter said.

“”He did sing. He sang a little snippet from a Broadway show that he was in. He mentioned that he was in ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ on Broadway,”” Narter added.

She said she tried to keep the event quiet, but Narter did tell her class that someone big was going to come in this week. Narter said she had not met or had direct contact with Hasselhoff until Wednesday morning. About 400 students from Narter’s class gathered around Hasselhoff after class.

After speaking, Hasselhoff signed autographs and posed for pictures with students. Hasselhoff’s public relations team handed out photos for students to get autographed.

He signed autographs and posed for about half an hour before filming began.

Jose Leones, a math senior, said he wanted Hasselhoff to sign a picture of himself posing with two puppies.

“”My roommate texted me (saying Hasselhoff was on campus),”” Leones said after he got his autograph.

“”I can check that off my list of life goals.””

Traci Smith, a computer science and religious studies freshman, also got an autograph.

She said she just wanted to say “”hi”” to Hasselhoff, who she’s been a fan of for a long time. Smith said she’s liked him since his days as Snapper in “”Young and the Restless.””

She not only said “”hi,”” but also had Hasselhoff sign her backpack — which he offered to do, according to Smith. 

Someone asked Smith if she had served in the military, and she said she had in the National Guard in Afghanistan for a year as a chaplain assistant — a person provides religious and moral support for the troops. 

Smith said Hasselhoff wanted to know if people overseas knew who he was.

“”I said ‘we do,'”” Smith said.

Hasselhoff expressed his appreciation for her service. 

“”I told him that it was an honor to meet him, and he said, ‘No, it’s an honor to meet you,’ so I was really surprised by that,”” Smith said.

Cindy Cain, who teaches Sociology of Popular Culture, also met with Hasselhoff.

They discussed how Western popular culture has influenced other countries. Hasselhoff expressed interest in the ways in which popular culture could improve women’s rights and bring birth control and other types of progressive agendas to other countries.

“”I thought it was very interesting, but there have also been some studies that have been done that show that Westernized media brings a lot of negative effects to some of these regions as well, like increased body-image issues for women and a lot of Western ideals that are not appreciated by the indigenous cultures,”” Cain said.

“”There is more rights for women and better birth control and the economy is better,”” Hasselhoff said when talking to Cain about popular culture’s influence. “”If you go to Abu Dhabi or Dubai, all those women are in burkas. Man, if you go to a party, they take that stuff off. They’re all wearing lingerie.””

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