David Hasselhoff Talks Mayorship, Social Media Manners and Living Life to the Fullest
Written By: Jordan Nishkian
Photography Provided By: Harrah’s Resort Southern California
His is a name that all generations know and love—it’s a name that has graced TV screens and silver screens alike. From iconic roles such as Mitch Buchannon on “Baywatch” and Michael Knight of “Knight Rider” to memorable movie cameos in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, David Hasselhoff has never held back from sharing his serious side or his sense of humor from his audience.
So when Funner, California, the San Diego home of Harrah’s Southern California Resort and Casino, needed a mayor, Hasselhoff was more than happy to step up to the plate. Funner, California is a place dedicated to, well, fun. With Harrah’s Southern California Resort and Casino as its crown jewel, the small city also boasts delicious eateries, a spa, an events center, a lazy river and even a swim-up bar. Oh, and a life-sized bust of Mayor Hoff made of cheese.
As you can probably tell, being Mayor of Funner is more than a typical mayorship—and Hasselhoff is enjoying every bit of it. “The feeling that I got [in Funner] was acceptance and a lot of people call me Mr. Mayor and I love that,” Hasselhoff says. “[The people at Funner] were all different ages, all different nationalities and they all accept me with a little grin every time I walk to the stage or walk through the studio or the casino.” Even the casino has its own tribute to its favorite mayor. “I have my own “Knight Rider,” Sharknado and TMZ slot machines ‘cause I’ve been around for a few years,” he laughs. “It’s really nice to see that.”
As a thank you for his warm welcome, he wanted to treat Harrah’s staff in true Hoff fashion—with a free show. “I did a concert for free for the staff because I really, really, really, really, really wanted to do it,” Hasselhoff says, “and I was blown away by the reaction. It was so wonderful.”
So what is Mayor Hoff’s most important task? To make sure that people are having a great time! “Sometimes you have to dress up, you know, to get away, and I see that a lot in the casinos where people come in and have fun and hopefully win some money—and if they don’t win some money at least have a great experience,” Hasselhoff says. “And that’s what being the Mayor of Funner, California is all about! It’s about saying, ‘Come on, man, you know life is tough; forget about it for five minutes and maybe we can all win some money and have fun. A good experience is priceless.”
But the responsibility of spreading positivity and joy reaches beyond the Funner’s gates and even beyond his role as mayor. Being David Hasselhoff has its own sense of duty, and he feels these responsibilities no matter where he goes or what he’s doing. So when interacting with the people around him, even when he’s being bombarded with selfies, he makes an effort to make their days better. “I’m putting a smile on [their] face,” he explains, “and it’s amazing how just knowing someone’s name and how it changes their day is better than any superpower.”
“Sometimes men in their forties or who have never or don’t even know how to take a selfie [come up to me and] say, ‘You were my hero as a kid. Can I please have a photo?’” Hasselhoff says. And just as promoting positivity stretches further than the city of Funner, it also goes beyond shaking hands and flashing smiles for cameras. “It’s really important that I try to stay that way on social media.”
If you were to take a look and scroll through Hasselhoff’s Twitter or Instagram posts from 2018, you’ll not only find that he’s had an incredibly busy year, but you’ll also find that he’s eager to share his sentiments on life, on gratitude and even on loss. Despite the fact that Hasselhoff’s year has been full of exciting events like his music tour through Germany and Austria and his nuptials to Hayley Roberts in Italy, he still finds the time to respond to fans and their art or share some kind words for colleagues who have passed away. “As far as being positive on social media—I hate the negativity in the world. I think it’s your moral obligation if you’re blessed enough to give that moral obligation to someone else and to give that blessing to someone else.” Needless to say, in a time of less-than-stellar social media etiquette, we could all take a page out of the Hoff’s book!
And speaking of books, there’s one included in the Hoff’s plans for next year. While the rest of us are taking notes on how to make 2019 our best year yet, the Hoff is already getting the ball rolling with the reveal of his new audiobook called Up Against the Wall, which is coming to Audible in February. “It’s about my experience with the Berlin Wall before it came down and when it came down,” he explains. “We took a little fact and took a little fiction, and we turn it into a very entertaining and fun, hysterical but dramatic novel.”
So besides staying busy and being a good role model, what else is Hasselhoff’s secret to a happy life? “It’s an absolute proof that laughter is healing,” he says, “[but] I think the secret to a happy life is also getting out.”
“My best story of all time is always [this one time] in the morning, I was going over to get a 7-Eleven in New York because I was waiting to get up to do a Good Morning America interview with my daughter, who was on a TV show at that time.” he begins. “I ran into some people that I didn’t want to see and I am kind of in a bad mood—I was really tired and grumpy and as I was heading to that little 7-Eleven, there was a bum on the street and he goes, ‘Hey, Knight Rider! Hope you’re having a good night.’ And I looked and I said, ‘You know what, man? Thank you. Thank you so much.’ He brought me right out of my head and into the world,” Hasselhoff says. “Here’s a guy who was freezing his butt off on the streets in New York and he had a smile for me. How cool is that?”
Staying busy, check. Spreading positivity, check. What else does the Hoff advise? “The most important thing is you gotta love yourself and that you’re going to respect yourself. And we all have problems with that. We even have people in the world who love us immensely,” he shares, “But you’ve got to find a place in your heart where you could look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m a good person and I’m doing the best I can.’”
From being Knight Rider to being Mayor of Funner, it’s clear that Hasselhoff has made an incredible impact on the world around him and continues to do so. And with everything that he has already accomplished, we can’t wait to see what he does next!
Harrah’s Resort Southern California
777 Harrah’s Rincon Way
Funner, CA 92082
Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.