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David Hasselhoff / Facebook
David Hasselhoff / Facebook

6 Things We Learned from David Hasselhoff’s AMA

David Hasselhoff / Facebook
David Hasselhoff / Facebook

“If you wanna Hassle the Hoff, the time is now.”

That’s how David Hasselhoff, the star of Knight Rider and Baywatch and the big-in-Berlin pop singer, began his Reddit AMA on Friday. Here are six things we learned about The Hoff.

1. HE BLEW HIS AUDITION FOR KNIGHT RIDER.

Though the role of Michael Knight may have seemed tailor-made for Hasselhoff, the actor admitted that when it came time to audition, he tanked. “I was seen on an airplane by Brandon Tartikoff, who was the head of NBC programming, and he personally called me in,” he explained. “The first audition I blew because I was nervous. And the second audition I programmed myself to see it, believe it, live it, and I lived by those words, and programmed myself into I'm here for a reason, and I believe that luck is being prepared for opportunity when it presents itself, and I came in to rock and roll—and I got it.”

2. EVERY DAY ON KNIGHT RIDER WAS A GIFT.

When asked what his favorite part was about working on Knight Rider, Hasselhoff said that, “Waking up, going to work on Knight Rider was an absolute ... gift of rock and roll joy. It was just absolutely amazing to get paid to drive a car fast, to work with scripts that were about saving lives not taking lives, it was a show that really lived up to its motto—that one man can make a difference. And as corny as it sounds, that show and that saying have been kind of my motto and the way that I feel about life ... and about everything. That you can make a difference. And if you make a difference in your own life, you can make a difference in someone else’s.”

3. THERE’S A KITT CAR CLUB.

Hasselhoff says that he has “access to about 35 KITTS pretty much all over the world. There's a KITT car club, and I'm kind of the mentor of that. And I continually restore KITT cars for my own use. I just restored one and sold it for charity for a gentleman in Turkey.”

“The true story—and this is the true story—[is that] there was never one original KITT car,” Hasselhoff continued. “It was made up of many different pieces. And if anyone says it's an original KITT car, the sad part is it's not true. There have been cars that were driven by me, fantastic replicas, but most of the cars were stunt cars, and never actually one original. The original dash and the original nose of the car is in a secret place. And I can't tell you where.”

4. HE DOESN’T THINK HE PLAYED A PART IN BRINGING DOWN THE BERLIN WALL.

When one commenter noted that, “I saw a VH1 I Love the ‘80s show where it seemed like you felt you should get some credit for [bringing down the Berlin Wall],” Hasselhoff was quick to clarify: "No, I never said I felt I should get credit. I've always been misquoted, and I was only asked to sing above the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve because I asked if I could. I also went behind the Berlin Wall before the wall came down, and saw the horror of how people were living. I did a special for National Geographic that was quite accurate, quite moving, about people who escaped, who died, trying to escape—the last person died only 30 days before the Wall came down. And I did find that they were signing my song ‘Living for Freedom.’ I've talked to hundreds of East Berliners who said ‘It was a song about freedom, it was a song about hope—everybody else thought it was just a pop song in West Germany, but for us who lived in East Germany, it was a song that gave us hope…’ And that's my connection.”

5. BAYWATCH PLAYED A ROLE IN CANCER RESEARCH.

Hasselhoff shared that his favorite, and “the most emotional,” episode of Baywatch was one called “Charlie.” It was a true story about “a boy who had cancer who came to live with the Baywatch crew. He spent his last six months on the set of Baywatch while UCLA did research trying to find the gene that caused his cancer. And the great news is they did find the gene that caused his cancer, and were able to identify it. The bad news is that Charlie passed away, and we gave him a lifeguard burial. So we re-created that scene, which happened in real life, on the show, played by another boy named Michael Cuccione. And Michael and I became good friends … He fought his own cancer until he died a few years later. They were amazing, inspirational children. And their memories will always live on through Baywatch.”

6. HE MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE ANTICHRIST

When asked about pervasive web conspiracy theories that he is the Antichrist, Hasselhoff replied that, “When I first read that I was the Antichrist, that was the first time I realized there are some wacky, messed-up people on the Internet who have nothing better to do than to sit there and smoke something they probably shouldn't be smoking ... and come up with crazy stuff like that. I have to tell you that I did read the entire two pages of why I'm the Antichrist. And at the end, I was actually doubting myself. Because it was so good! I have been called ‘The Antichrist’ by several of my ex-wives though. But I just think it's funny that there are people in the world who have nothing better to do than to come up with that stuff. So my answer to that is: get a life! And then: LOL, because it did make me laugh."

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10 People Who Have Misplaced Their Oscars
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Winning an Oscar is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. Unless you’re Walt Disney, who won 22. Nevertheless, owning a little gold guy is such a rarity that you’d think their owners would be a little more careful with them. Now, not all of these losses are the winners' fault—but some of them certainly are, Colin Firth.

1. ANGELINA JOLIE

After Angelina Jolie planted a kiss on her brother and made the world wrinkle their noses, she went onstage and collected a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Lisa in Girl, Interrupted. She later presented the trophy to her mother, Marcheline Bertrand. The statuette may have been boxed up and put into storage with the rest of Marcheline’s belongings when she died in 2007, but it hasn’t yet surfaced. “I didn’t actually lose it,” Jolie said, “but nobody knows where it is at the moment.”

2. WHOOPI GOLDBERG

In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg sent her Ghost Best Supporting Actress Oscar back to the Academy to have it cleaned and detailed, because apparently you can do that. The Academy then sent the Oscar on to R.S. Owens Co. of Chicago, the company that manufactures the trophies. When it arrived in the Windy City, however, the package was empty. It appeared that someone had opened the UPS package, removed the Oscar, then neatly sealed it all back up and sent it on its way. It was later found in a trash can at an airport in Ontario, California. The Oscar was returned to the Academy, who returned it to Whoopi without cleaning it. “Oscar will never leave my house again,” Goldberg said.

3. OLYMPIA DUKAKIS

When Olympia Dukakis’s Moonstruck Oscar was stolen from her home in 1989, she called the Academy to see if it could be replaced. “For $78,” they said, and she agreed that it seemed like a fair price. It was the only thing taken from the house.

4. MARLON BRANDO

“I don’t know what happened to the Oscar they gave me for On the Waterfront,” Marlon Brando wrote in his autobiography. “Somewhere in the passage of time it disappeared.” He also didn't know what happened to the Oscar that he had Sacheen Littlefeather accept for him in 1973. “The Motion Picture Academy may have sent it to me, but if it did, I don’t know where it is now.”

5. JEFF BRIDGES

Jeff Bridges had just won his Oscar in 2010 for his portrayal of alcoholic country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, but it was already missing by the next year’s ceremony, where he was up for another one. He lost to Colin Firth for The King’s Speech. “It’s been in a few places since last year but I haven’t seen it for a while now,” the actor admitted. “I’m hoping it will turn up, especially now that I haven’t won a spare! But Colin deserves it. I just hope he looks after it better.” Which brings us to ...

6. COLIN FIRTH

Perhaps Jeff Bridges secretly cursed the British actor as he said those words, because Firth nearly left his new trophy on a toilet tank the very night he received it. After a night of cocktails at the Oscar after-parties in 2011, Firth allegedly had to be chased down by a bathroom attendant, who had found the eight-pound statuette in the bathroom stall. Notice we said allegedly: Shortly after those reports surfaced, Firth's rep issued a statement saying the "story is completely untrue. Though it did give us a good laugh."

7. MATT DAMON

When newbie writers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck took home Oscars for writing Good Will Hunting in 1998, it was one of those amazing Academy Award moments. Now, though, Damon isn’t sure where his award went. “I know it ended up at my apartment in New York, but unfortunately, we had a flood when one of the sprinklers went off when my wife and I were out of town and that was the last I saw of it,” Damon said in 2007.

8. MARGARET O'BRIEN

In 1945, seven-year-old Margaret O’Brien was presented with a Juvenile Academy Award for being the outstanding child actress of the year. About 10 years later, the O’Briens’ maid took the award home to polish, as she had done before, but never came back to work. The missing Oscar was forgotten about when O’Brien’s mother died shortly thereafter, and when Margaret finally remembered to call the maid, the number had been disconnected. She ended up receiving a replacement from the Academy.

There’s a happy ending to this story, though. In 1995, a couple of guys were picking their way through a flea market when they happened upon the Oscar. They put it up for auction, which is when word got back to the Academy that the missing trophy had resurfaced. The guys who found the Oscar pulled it from auction and presented it, in person, to Margaret O’Brien. “I’ll never give it to anyone to polish again,” she said.

9. BING CROSBY

For years, Bing Crosby's Oscar for 1944’s Going My Way had been on display at his alma mater, Gonzaga University. In 1972, students walked into the school’s library to find that the 13-inch statuette had been replaced with a three-inch Mickey Mouse figurine instead. A week later, the award was found, unharmed, in the university chapel. “I wanted to make people laugh,” the anonymous thief later told the school newspaper.

10. HATTIE MCDANIEL

Hattie McDaniel, famous for her Supporting Actress win as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, donated her Best Actress Oscar to Howard University. It was displayed in the fine arts complex for a time, but went missing sometime in the 1960s. No one seems to know exactly when or how, but there are rumors that the Oscar was unceremoniously dumped into the Potomac by students angered by racial stereotypes such as the one she portrayed in the film.

An earlier version of this post ran in 2013.

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15 Wonderfully Wise Quotes From Judy Blume
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Evan Agostini, Getty Images

Judy Blume was the queen of the YA novel before the concept even existed, inspiring generations of passionate fans—and a fair share of dissenters—in her nearly 50-year career. Here are just a few of our favorite thoughts about books, writing, and life from the iconic author, who turns 80 years old today.

1. ON BEING ONE OF THE MOST BANNED AUTHORS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

“I’ll tell you what I make of that—that censors, those who want to censor, they don’t come after books until they know that kids really like them, and once kids like a book, it’s like, ‘There must be something wrong with this book, because why do the kids like it.’ You look at the banned books and you’ll see that they’re popular books with kids.”

— From a 2012 interview with PBS

2. ON THE EFFECTS OF CENSORSHIP

“But it's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”

— From Blume's official website

3. WHY SHE WORRIES ABOUT KIDS THESE DAYS

“Yes, I was a great daydreamer. You know what I worry about? I worry that kids today don't have enough time to just sit and daydream. I was a great pretender, always making up stories inside my head. Stories and stories and stories, but I never told anyone.”

— From an interview with Scholastic

4. ON BEING A WRITER

"Everybody who writes fiction draws from their own life, but if it ended there, it would be very boring. When I talk to kids and they say, 'How do you become a writer?', well, I don't know that you become a writer: you just are. I always had stories, they were always there inside my head."

— From a 2014 Interview with The Guardian

5. ON WRITING

"Writing saved my life. It saved me, it gave me everything, it took away all my illnesses.”

— From a 2014 Interview with The Guardian

6. ON THE CREATIVE PROCESS

“I don't understand the creative process. For years I would say one thing when kids would ask where I got my ideas. Because I was forced to think up something even though I don't really know. And now I'm just saying to people, 'I don't know. I don't understand how it works. How do I know?'”

— From an interview with January Magazine

7. ON DEALING WITH REJECTION

"It's all about your determination, I think, as much as anything. There are a lot of people with talent, but it's that determination. I mean, you know, I would cry when the rejections came in—the first couple of times, anyway—and I would go to sleep feeling down, but I would wake up in the morning optimistic and saying, 'Well, maybe they didn't like that one, but wait till they see what I'm going to do next.' And I think you just have to keep going."

— From a 2011 interview with NPR

8. ON YA AUTHORS AND BOOKS

“[My husband] George and I listened … to the first Hunger Games and we loved it. And we couldn’t wait to get my car and come home. And when we came home, I’m not sure if we’d quite finished, and we sat in the car until we finished. I did not read any of the others. I had no interest in Twilight. But I did see the first movie.”

— From a 2014 interview with Lena Dunham through KCRW

9. ON THE PROS AND CONS OF TWITTER

“I like it. It’s a tremendous—I don’t want to say waste of time, but it also … what can I say? I enjoy reading the people I follow and discovering new people. It’s a lot of fun. I get a lot of laughs from it. And it connects you; it’s nice.”

— From a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair

10. ON GETTING KIDS TO READ

“Whatever gets them excited about reading is good! If you want them to read my books don't tell them so. Maybe just leave around a paperback with a new cover and say, 'I'm not sure you're ready for that.'"

— From a 2013 Reddit AMA

11. ON HER LITERARY INSPIRATIONS

“I was so inspired by Beverly Cleary's funny and wonderful books. And also, Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy. And E. L. Konigsberg's first book, Jennifer Hecate. And my favorite books from when I was young, the Betsy-Tacy books.”

— From an interview with Scholastic

12. ON "MARGARET" AND TEENAGED JUDY

“Margaret is fiction, but based on the kind of twelve year old I was. Growing up, we did have a club like The PTKs. And Margaret's interests and concerns were similar to mine. I was small and thin when thin wasn't in. I was a late developer and was anxious to grow like my friends. Margaret was right from my own sixth grade experience. I wanted to tell the truth as I knew it.”

— From an interview with Scholastic

13. ON HOW BOOKS HELP US COMMUNICATE

“I’ve never really thought in terms of taboos. I think that books can really help parents and kids talk together about difficult subjects. I’ve always felt that way. The parent reads the book. The kid reads the book and then they can talk about the characters instead of talking about themselves. You know there’s a connection even if you don’t talk about it when you read the same books.”

— From a 2014 interview with Lena Dunham through KCR

14. ON THREE THINGS THAT WOULD SURPRISE US ABOUT HER

“I’m phobic about thunderstorms. Writing is incredibly hard for me. I’m not the world’s best mother, though kids always assume I must be. And I love a good cupcake. (I know, that makes four things, but I’m hungry and wishing I had that cupcake.)”

— From a 2012 interview with Smithsonian Magazine

15. ON REVISITING OLD CHARACTERS

"I don't want to rewrite anything. My characters are who they are. For years, people have written and asked me to let Margaret go through menopause. And it's like, 'Hey guys! Margaret is 12 and she is going to stay 12. That's who she is.' No, I don't want to rewrite any of them."

— From a 2018 interview with NPR

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