‘Baywatch’ Star David Hasselhoff Says Drunk Hamburger Video Saved His Life

Baywatch was one of the biggest TV shows of the ’90s. It premiered in 1989, but lasted until 2001 and spun off numerous other shows. The show launched careers of Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, Jason Momoa and many more. Plus, David Hasselhoff was there the whole time. There was a dark side of Baywatch though. 

David Hasselhoff looks serious
David Hasselhoff | Henning Kaiser/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Vice TV series Dark Side of the ’90s explores the Baywatch phenomenon in one of its episodes. Narrator Mark McGrath spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone on July 15 about the episodes. When it came to Baywatch, McGrath revealed the Hasselhoff’s infamous drunk hamburger video stemmed from his Baywatch addictions. Dark Side of the ’90s airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Vice.

The David Hasselhoff hamburger video showed the ‘Baywatch’ star how bad it had gotten

In 2007 Hasselhoff’s daughter, Taylor Ann, filmed her father drunk and eating a hamburger. The video went viral, but it also prompted Hasselhoff to seek help.

David Hasselhoff leans on the lifeguard truck
David Hasselhof | Paul Harris/Getty Images

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“We’ve all seen the hamburger video of David Hasselhoff who asked his daughter, which I didn’t know,” McGrath said. “We all saw the video before, but he asked his daughter to please tape me next time you see me drunk because I don’t believe I’m doing what you’re telling me I’m doing. He believes that particular tape saved his life.”

Many ‘Baywatch’ cast members dealt with addiction 

Hasselhoff played Mitch Buchanon, the leader of the beach lifeguards. Audiences loved watching beautiful people run on the beach in slow motion, but it was not easy for the cast.

Baywatch cast poses on the beach
The cast of ‘Baywatch’ | Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

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“There was a body image issue of Baywatch which is discussed by some of the actresses on the episode itself,” McGrath said. “The need to stay thin or in shape, what constitutes beauty got a lot of backlash in that sense. Ironically a lot of the members involved in Baywatch, for whatever reason, went down a path of addiction.” 

Besides David Hasselhoff, other cast members opened up about addiction

It wasn’t only women struggling with Baywatch. McGrath shared some of the male cast members who spoke to Dark Side of the ’90s about their struggles.

“Jeremy Jackson in Baywatch went down a pretty dark path himself and so do some other members which it goes into,” McGrath said. “Trying to keep up with that body image led to some addiction problems with some members of the cast. It really affected them and still affects them to this day. When you think of Baywatch, you think of running down the beach and the girls and the idealistic life that really, when you peel back the layers was a pretty dark, dark series in production.”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.