The original post for this episode can now be found here.
Transcriptions by: Masha Latvinava
Episode #123 – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life - January 7, 2021
JESS: Hello, I'm Jesse McAnally.
ANDREW: And I am Andrew DeWolf.
BRIANNA: And I'm Brianna Jones.
JESS: And welcome to Musicals with Cheese, a podcast where I try to get Andrew and Bree to like musical theater. And today we've got an extra special returning guest.
ANDREW: The special-est returning guest.
JESS: Ah yes, very, very special. Please welcome this week's very special guest: the host of Movie Nights, a YouTuber, and the authority on David Hasselhoff - Allison Pregler. Applause, standing ovation, add it here now, Bree.
ALLISON: Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you.
JESS: So, what have you been up to for the last nearly two years?
ALLISON: I don't know - making videos, watching Baywatch. Nothing too terribly exciting. But keeping on keeping on.
JESS: Well, I'm going to assume it was your watching Baywatch that led you to this thing we're covering today.
ALLISON: Oh yeah. I was looking at David Hasselhoff’s IMDb and I saw that and I'm like, “What is DJ Saved My Life?” And Tubi provides.
ANDREW: Oh boy, is this a something show.
JESS: All right, Bree. Cue the music so we can dive into this.
(Even Now plays)
JESS: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life is a musical, a jukebox musical of sorts, with a book and direction by Jon Conway, and also “created by David Hasselhoff” as well, whatever “created by” means.
ALLISON: But if you watch it, you know this is specifically made for David Hasselhoff.
ALLISON: Because all of these Hasselhoff in-jokes. This is a show that was never put on before and never will be put on since.
ANDREW: No one else can play the role. No one else can fill the role.
JESS: That's the thing that's crazy about it. It premiered at the Blackpool Opera House in October of 2015 and then went on tour around the UK. So, it was a big event that everyone came out to see. And it's - I'm going to read you the plot synopsis written on Jon Conway's website, because it is just the wackiest thing ever. Alright, so, “The Hoff - ” They don't even use his character name, they call him The Hoff, “- is an out of touch DJ clinging to his misspent youth. His life is thrown into a hilarious tailspin when his estranged, free-spirited teenage daughter moves in. Now that cad must become a dad. Includes hit songs from the 80s and 90s. The hilarious hit fest is also a touching father-daughter drama set against a background of sun, sea, sex, drugs and rock and roll. And taking us back to the 80s and 90s, when we were wearing denim overalls, girls had hair scrunchies and guys played Nintendo Gameboy. Think Mama Mia on speed.”
ALLISON: None of that happens though.
ALLISON: He wasn’t even that much of a cad. He was just a guy who wore shiny shirts and did not like drugs. He didn't really seem like that much of a bad guy in this.
ANDREW: Wasn’t even a period piece at all either?
ALLISON: It took me a while, because watching it, it took me a while to realize it was a period piece. Because it's like, “Wait, he's like stuck in the 80s, but then they're singing Spice Girls songs. And then what is going on now?” She's talking about when she was a kid with her Care Bear doll. And then he has his cell phone, this big blocky cell phone. But by the time the Spice Girls were out, the cell phones wouldn't even be like that. And I don't even know where True Survivor fits in.
ANDREW: The cell phone joke is the most bizarre thing ever. He just pulls out the cell phone and the audience is laughing but I don't quite understand what's happening.
JESS: He had a cell phone. It's hilarious. Isn't it so much bigger than the ones that we have now?
ANDREW: Isn’t it funny that cell phones were big?
ALLISON: But it doesn’t even seem accurate to any sort of period. It's just a mishmash of things that they could get at Party City or whatever the UK equivalent is. And whatever costumes they had at home. They were terrible. They were from all sorts of different decades. You had hammer pants and then you had these weird pantsuits. And then you had Baywatch suits that were bought – they’re Halloween costumes. They're literally Baywatch Halloween costumes. You could buy one right now. Nothing made sense.
JESS: Okay, so let's talk a bit about Jon Conway for a second. The gentleman behind this, alongside David Hasselhoff. He is a “theatre maker.” But he's most known for making stunt shows for theme parks, including Spider Man. The Spider Man stunt show was created and developed by Jon Conway.
ANDREW: It makes sense.
JESS: So this is the perfect –
ANDREW: It’s all coming together now. This is a stunt show for David Hasselhoff.
ALLISON: Oh, full circle.
JESS: Allison, it is so serendipitous.
ALLISON: I didn't know that. That makes a whole lot of sense, knowing that.
ANDREW: This is like the Baywatch show at Universal Studios or something.
ALLISON: No, they had Baywatch at SeaWorld. That's where they did their stunt show.
ANDREW: SeaWorld? This is that but on tour.
ALLISON: It feels like a stunt show. Or - what I was thinking watching it was cruise ship-y. It feels like something where they’re like, “Yeah, get in on the dance.”
ANDREW: And the audience is so uncritical of it. They're just laughing –
JESS: No, they loved it.
ANDREW: There are shots of the of the audience in the version we watched, where they're singing along with the songs and stuff, and it's like, “How are they enjoying this so thoroughly?”
ALLISON: Were they, though? I felt like there was a lot of drinking and they must have given these tickets out for free or something. And you saw a lot of empty seats. I'm just gonna say.
ANDREW: There was people standing up. It was weird. I don’t even understand.
ALLISON: When they had like the beach balls at the end? They threw the beach balls into the audience. Audience participation.
ANDREW: Yeah, is this a Broadway show? Because they don't usually do that stuff.
JESS: It's not a Broadway show. Very specifically, this is a West End show. And -
ALLISON: See, we could have been talking about Jekyll and Hyde if we wanted a Hasselhoff Broadway show.
ANDREW: That's true. We've already done that, I don't want to do that again, please.
JESS: I will say - this is more suited to Hasselhoff’s acting and vocal abilities. Like, it's fun to kind of make fun of his goat vibrato, but it works for these songs.
ALLISON: I don't know. I gotta disagree on this one. I thought he did better in Jekyll and Hyde, but they weren't the best version of Jekyll and Hyde. I think he has a vocal range and Jekyll and Hyde is not in it. And this isn't either, but it doesn't fit very well. I thought it all sounded like really bad karaoke. And I've heard Hasselhoff do better.
ANDREW: I think Hasselhoff just isn't that great in general.
JESS: No, no. I’m gonna disagree there. There's something there. It is like charm and charisma that even if he's not the best singer in the world, that comes through enough where you're like, “I don't mind listening to this guy singing.”
ANDREW: Oh, there's definitely charisma. I just don't think he has a singing voice.
ALLISON: He has a very limited vocal range and he really wants to be the big Broadway, big moment singer. And that's just not his range.
ANDREW: I think this show is more fitted for him just because it's all music people know already, so it is like karaoke.
ALLISON: I didn't know all of it. But I knew it was a jukebox musical. So, whenever something happened I never heard of I was like, “Maybe this was something that was really big in the UK that didn't make its way over.” I didn't know the Ebeneezer Goode song and I'm like, “I guess this this must be something.” But it was stuck in my head afterwards.
JESS: Well, exactly. All these songs like are catchy enough and - I wanted a song list, because there's nowhere on Earth where I could find a song list of what was in it. I waited through the credits to get to wherever it's like, “Oh, this was written by whoever,” and I'm like - nothing. I have no idea what songs were chosen for this and why and I'm not –
ALLISON: Did they ever sing Last Night a DJ Saved My Life or it was just in between the used bits of the song? Because I don't remember them actually singing the song.
JESS: Now that you mention it, I don't think I heard it either.
ANDREW: No, I don’t think they did sing it.
JESS: It's like if you go to Mamma Mia and they never sang Mamma Mia, I'd want my money back.
ALLISON: Cus I'd never heard of the song Last Night a DJ Saved My Life until this and I looked it up and I'm like, “Okay, so it's a real song.” And it's weird to have it based off of this. At no point do they say it and I don't think – He's the DJ and he doesn't save anyone's life. I guess she has the drug overdose. But Hasselhoff- I don't know. I guess?
JESS: Okay, okay.
ANDREW: We gotta talk about the plot.
JESS: We gotta talk about the plot. Andrew, please tell us what happens in this show. Please. Let's just go through that real quick.
ANDREW: So, David Hasselhoff isn't in the beginning. Cus at the start of it, they're on a plane and it's his daughter and just two of her friends. I think that they’re friends, I can't even really tell. Honestly. They're flying to –
ALLISON: I can’t tell how old they're supposed to be. They keep talking about being underage and stuff, but I have no idea what –
ANDREW: Yeah, they look like they could be 30 so I honestly have no idea.
JESS: They're either 46 or 16. One of those two.
ANDREW: It’s somewhere in between those two ages. So, they're flying to wherever David Hasselhoff - Did they specify a city?
ALLISON: Ibiza is where they’re at. Ibiza? Ibiza? Is she's saying it stupid and I'm saying it stupid now?
ANDREW: Ibiza? We’re gonna say Ibiza the entire time and the audience just has to deal.
ALLISON: Cus she said things - They're kinda chavs, right? They're kind of chavs. So they're kind of douchey British kids who say things kind of silly. And Ibiza, I think, is a popular tourist place where there's lots of Spanish influence? Stuff like that? There's a big drug scene as well, but I'm not sure where exactly it is. It’s some island, I think.
JESS: There's a lot of cultural stuff you gotta go in, trying to unwrap as an American. David Hasselhoff’s got the American accent yet everyone else has these very lower-class British accents, and -
ANDREW: This feels very autobiographical, too, because right now, he is married to a British blonde woman who's significantly younger than him.
JESS: Sounds about right. That’s the “created by” credit. That's why he got that “created by” credit .
ANDREW: Created by because he lived it first and then they made it the show.
ALLISON: I think at the time, he had just declared that he was broke, because he had gotten divorced from his previous wife, Pamela Bach, who was not British, but a young blonde woman. And yeah, he was paying a lot of money. So, he said he had like $4,000 in the bank at the time, so that might explain a little bit about why this play happened.
ANDREW: He’s so desperate for cash, he's like, “I'll do anything.”
ALLISON: I feel like I'm doing a lot of dunking on here. I don't want to be really mean-spirited. I think Hasselhoff is great. He was having a good time doing this.
ANDREW: He's fun. You know, it's just he's always in embarrassing things. That's really the problem.
JESS: I think this show would be less than nothing without The Hoff is the way to say it. It is something because he's here.
ANDREW: We couldn't even be talking about this if Hasselhoff wasn't in it, so I mean -
ALLISON: No, everyone else is terrible. Can I just say – they’re terrible.
JESS: She said it.
ANDREW: Yeah, she said it first. Yeah, no, they are.
JESS: But they’re not nobodies is the thing. The main girl - her last name’s Tiddy, she was from The Voice.
ALLISON: Oh, was she?
JESS: Yeah, Hasselhoff was not the only celebrity. All these people were, like, people.
ALLISON: I think the guy that plays the DJ that she's in love with is the son of some famous actor or something? He's someone junior and I think maybe that's why he got it on this? These are people I am not familiar with. And you wouldn't know that they're singers that could actually sing. Because being on The Voice, you have to have some vocal talent, right? And I don't know. I don't know if they had some bad equipment where you couldn't hear yourself either because it seemed like Hasselhoff was off with the timing on the songs as well?
ANDREW: No monitors or something? Who knows?
JESS: It felt like they had one go at it. And I like whatever happens, happens.
ANDREW: So, they're flying to Ibiza? Did we agree it was Ibiza? They're going to Ibiza, where David Hasselhoff owns his own club. And his daughter is very upset with him because he's dating a woman that is much younger than him. And there are people working at his club that are just selling drugs to people.
JESS: And he's cool with it. Until it's his daughter.
ANDREW: Yeah, he's cool with it until it affects him personally.
ALLISON: This is a very corrupt thing going on -
ANDREW: I was gonna say - Corruption saves the day at the end.
ANDREW: The moral of this story is corruption = pretty sick.
ANDREW: Yeah, they sell drugs to his daughter. He tells them to get lost. And they're like, “No, we're not gonna get lost because we'll go to the police and your club’s gonna go under if that happens.” But he calls the police and sacrifices his own club and livelihood and everything. But the police are like, “Yo, we're friends. So like, you're not going to jail.” “Sick.” And that's the end. They bring the bad guys to jail and David Hasselhoff, who was complicit in the entire thing, just gets off because the police like him.
JESS: “We’re buds.”
ALLISON: I didn’t get the point of his sacrifice. Am I being dumb here? Like, he puts like a bag of acid or whatever in his jacket and then –
ANDREW: Why does it do that?
ALLISON: Why does he do that? It doesn't get anyone else off?
JESS: For trippy drug scene.
ANDREW: He calls the police to turn himself in. But he has no reason to directly implicate himself as well.
ALLISON: Yeah, I didn’t understand. Like, he made some big sacrifice and it’s like, “For what?” For the Ebeneezer guy? Like, who are you sacrificing yourself for?
ANDREW: He puts the drugs in his pocket and he’s just like, “Yep, it was me. I did it.”
ALLISON: I did have some trivia about the LSD tripping scene.
ALLISON: So there's a bit where David Hasselhoff takes some LSD, and they have this whole music medley where people are having an orgy like Eyes Wide Shut or some –
JESS: “Woa, so trippy”
ALLISON: There's people in bodysuits. And they apparently would - when they did the show - they would do it interactive with the audience. So he would always ask them, “Should I take it? Should I not?” His daughter's like, “Well, how do you know what it's like unless you take it?” And he’s like, “What do you think, audience?”
ANDREW: This is so ridiculous.
ALLISON: And then the audience will tell him yes or no. And I don't think it affects the outcome much except whether he purposefully takes it or whether he accidentally takes it like a dumbass.
JESS: Choose your own adventure, musical style.
ANDREW: Accidentally takes it like a dumbass.
ALLISON: And then the police when they show up, they're like, “Yeah, he did the acid but he was only doing it to see what it was like.” And that’s how they let him off.
JESS: I'm gonna try that one. I'm gonna try that one next time I get caught with drugs.
ALLISON: The tone of this movie/musical - I mean, it's just a filmed play - The tone of this is like, it's so all over the place because they have - You know, it's fairly kind of goofy jukebox musical stuff. And then they get to the parts where they get this skeezy drug dealer who's wearing a shirt that's like, “Acid is great,” so you know he's bad. And he's giving acid to everyone. They're like, “Yeaaah,” and then that's when Penny, the daughter, gets involved with this. And she's like, “I don't know, I guess I’ll take it,” and then she has an overdose. And she falls over. She passes out in the club. And then Hasselhoff like, “Oh, no, get my daughter out of here. Go to the hospital.” And then it's very serious. You get a flatline on the screen on the back.
JESS: Hold up, hold up. Then you go into the intermission. Where the intermission would be, you'd go out and be like, “Man, I wonder what's gonna happen in Act Two.” And what happens when you sit back down? Baywatch.
ANDREW: Yeah, Baywatch.
ALLISON: Baywatch happens. We go from flatlining, evil laughter, the drug dealer is laughing evil-y over it like, “Ahaha, my plan.”
ALLISON: And then a Baywatch musical number where Hasselhoff is dressed in the trunks, they're all in Halloween costumes, they're dancing. He is singing the Baywatch theme song. I believe he forgets the words at some point. I think he gets it wrong. They kind of do a remix. And I'm thinking like, “Sir, your daughter could be dead.” For all we know, his daughter is dead. We saw a flatline. And then she shows up in the Baywatch costume, like “Dad, it’s no big deal.”
JESS: Wait, wait, wait. I want to talk about that moment specifically because he's so wiped out from the barely-dancing he did that when she's like, “Dad, what are you doing?” And he's like, “When did you get into drugs?” Like, you could have said that right on the floor, eating your Wendy’s, David Hasselhoff, and I would have just as easily believed you.
ANDREW: When David Hasselhoff first shows up, the first thing he says is slurred. He's drunk.
JESS: I think he's tired.
ALLISON: I don't want to get into those jokes. Because he was recovering alcoholic.
JESS: Oh, I did not know that. I am so sorry.
ANDREW: Is that true? Okay.
ALLISON: But I mean, I did notice some slurring. He might have been tired. They did have some mistakes in the show. Like, for instance, there's a part where the guy - the DJ, the other DJ in training, whatever he is –
ANDREW: I don’t know that guy’s name.
ALLISON: Yeah, I think Rik was the name of the character?
JESS: Yeah, Rik.
ALLISON: Is that why he does the rickroll?
JESS: Oh, the show rickrolled us.
ANDREW: Yeah, you’re right. He’s definitely Rik.
JESS: I hate it.
ANDREW: He tries to put his foot on a box, kneel on it, and he misses at one point?
JESS: You could have cut around that, you know, you can just do a quick editing thing and not have that there, but it's just The Disco Saved My Life - or The DJ Saved My Life.
ALLISON: The whole - the props and the staging and all this on this show - It's almost like a version of Our Town or something. Like, it's a lot of boxes and very minimal products. Just a screen on the back.
ANDREW: They have a couch and they have a DJ stand. And that's the whole set.
ALLISON: The bar had digital drinks in the background. They couldn't afford to get any drinks, but the guy has a bar and then a single crate and a single red solo cup, which he uses as his stage business. Like, they go out and they're walking away and he's like, “Aha, single cup into this -” Done.
ANDREW: It's so cheap.
JESS: But some of that kind of is charming. Like, I don't mind the use and all that in something like this. Because it is a tongue-in – Like, this isn't asking us to take it seriously, is the thing.
JESS: Sometimes it tries. Like with the drug overdose scene.
ALLISON: Well, they talk to the audience a lot. They're very much breaking the fourth wall and like, “Whatever, we're here to have a good time.”
ANDREW: This is like an after school special level of take it seriously.
JESS: I wouldn't even call it that bad because it's trying to have fun. First and foremost it's fun before story, before message, before all that. I imagine every one of our parents would probably enjoy going to see this because, “Oh, these are the songs from my childhood.”
ALLISON: It is a very nostalgia-based thing.
ALLISON: And I guess that's why you go to something like “David Hasselhoff sings the greats”, you know? But it does end with him saying, “Horny, horny, horny, horny,” though, so I don't know if I can call it great.
JESS: No, it isn’t great. No, it is not.
ANDREW: I think the only song that kind of stands out as not being weird nostalgia is when they do the rickroll, which is just an internet meme.
ALLISON: Well, they threw in True Survivor too, even though it's an 80s throwback song, but it’s recent. But David Hasselhoff is in a bar fight in the middle of it just to recreate it? That was really weird. It felt very anachronistic.
JESS: It felt like it started as like, “Oh, you know, 80s, we'll stick with 80s. But, but we want to throw a little bit of Spice Girls and a couple others... Well, 80s, 90s, I guess.”
ALLISON: Yeah, it’s a mess.
ANDREW: “Who cares, whatever.”
JESS: “Whatever the Hoff sounds good singing, that we feel would kind of get the crowd jumping up. That’ll be it.”
ALLISON: I want to talk about the screens in the background just a little bit more. There is some choices for what they put on the screen. Like, at one point they're singing a song - I forget which one it was - but they start - It might have been during the LSD party scene. And then there's jack o' lanterns in the background for some reason? A DJ skeleton?
JESS: Well, there’s also devils on stage.
ALLISON: Yeah, well, no, no, I mean, like, during just the party scene, not LSD trip out scene. It was just when they're at the party and everyone's like, “Yeaaah,” and then a jack o' lantern. For some reason.
ANDREW: It's a Halloween show. It’s themed.
ALLISON: It would make sense if it was around Halloween, maybe that's what it was. But I was very confused by a lot of the choices. When they were first showing us the club, the band that is doing some of the live music for them, they do have a live band in the background of the screen. They have them there, but they wanted to be able to hear the dialogue, so they just have them silently playing in the background for a long time. But they don't play any soft music or anything. So it's just them silently pretending to drum, or pretending to do the guitar. It was really weird.
ANDREW: There's a lot of talking in this show.
JESS: There is. But we gotta take a small break and hear our opinions in comparison to those of the West End theatre critics. It's time for the best segment of the show. It's time for Breeviews - where Bree reads reviews of the theater critics.
ANDREW: Oh boy.
JESS: Oh, gosh.
ANDREW: What do they have to say about this? I can't imagine.
JESS: I mean, what do we think? Are we thinking they lean negative or positive?
ANDREW: It depends how seriously they take themselves. I mean, it'd be very easy to dumpster this show and just be like, “Yeah, that was garbage.” But maybe they understand what it's for. And, you know, go easy on it.
ALLISON: I don't know, I feel like this is kind of the UK equivalent of Vegas. Like, there's a lot of throwaway shows like this, but – we’ll see. I can’t wait to hear these.
BRIANNA: Alright. So the Telegraph's critic Veronica Lee said, “The Hoff - ” Andrew, stop laughing.
ANDREW: It’s so funny.
JESS: That’s just his name.
ANDREW: I love it. I think it’s hilarious.
BRIANNA: “The Hoff, whose movement is restricted by the noticeable effects of an old knee injury, doesn't dance but more than holds his own in the singing department, particularly with Barry Manilow's ‘Even Now’, where Ross sings about his love for Penny. It's a genuinely affecting moment.”
ALLISON: Come on, now.
ANDREW: That’s a very – I don’t think that you have to dumpster the show, but that's a little too nice.
JESS: Just you wait. There's two more paragraphs of that review.
ANDREW: Oh no.
ALLISON: Oh, man.
BRIANNA: “The 'jokes', which are of an even older vintage than the music, are best forgotten. ‘Take my ex-wife,’ Ross says at one point, ‘No, really. Take her.’ That line gives Conway's background in pantomime and isn't the only groaner in a clunky script.”
JESS: See? Even.
BRIANNA: “The second act opens with a recreation of a scene from Baywatch, complete with theme tune, which is unwittingly funny as it comes without any attempt at context.”
ANDREW: True, very true.
BRIANNA: “But that isn't the most bizarre element of this star vehicle, as The Hoff’s character accidentally drops an ecstasy tablet, and we see the mind-bending effect it has on him - I have to admit I wasn't expecting that.”
JESS: And that is the end of the review.
ALLISON: It feels like they're trying to be nice.
BRIANNA: They love him.
ALLISON: Like, about something that they didn't like. It's like, “Well, I wasn't expecting that.”
ANDREW: “I wasn't expecting it. I'm not gonna say it was any bad but -”
ALLISON: It was funny because there was no context. Which was absolutely true though. If I sound like I'm being negative, I'm not. I loved this. It was terrible, but I loved it.
JESS: Right. It is ironically enjoyable. Bree, I hope you don't mind - I'm gonna take the second one. Because this is a bad review in the fact that I think the reviewer is bad at his job.
BRIANNA: Okay, go ahead and take it away.
JESS: This is almost on tier of the rainbow cardigan review.
BRIANNA: Take it away.
JESS: All right, so this is Dale Roberts of The Guide Liverpool. This is how it starts: “Ok, so I will be honest here.. I went to see this show after a long hard day.. I rushed into the great Ma Edgerton’s for a signature Pizza for dinner and then I rushed in to the Empire to find my seat. The singing began and I started to think as a writer – I thought ‘what can I write about this? It doesn’t seem too good so far. The sound is slightly loud. The story line is weak.’ – These thoughts came to mind one after another. At which point, David Hasselhoff came out – even the fan boy inside myself was impressed at how such a man was there, playing an Ibiza DJ. He started talking and I was gripped! He was funny, his singing was entertaining to say the least and he knew how to play the audience and get a response from a line. The permanent shouting ‘We love you David’ – While off-putting, only added to an atmosphere of fun that was there while he was on stage. All in all, while it wasn’t the greatest show I have ever seen by a long shot – It was exactly what was needed after a long day to get myself into fun mode and leave with a smile on my face – Which let’s be honest, is the only reason we go to the theatre in the first place.”
ALLISON: You know what? I love this review. This is great.
ANDREW: This is amazing. Who let this guy write for their newspaper?
JESS: That’s mostly it. I think it’s a great review to read on one of these podcasts. But who will let him write that? What editor was like, “I guess we’re sticking with this.”
ANDREW: “Can we hire the guy that goes and gets a pizza and writes that into the review and then talks about how David Hasselhoff changed his life?”
JESS: That felt like someone described –
ALLISON: “Can we have the theater reviewer guy be the guy who hates theater apparently?”
ANDREW: “They were singing and there was a story and it was boring, but then David Hasselhoff came out and it was amazing.”
ALLISON: “I mean, we had fun. That's the only reason we go to the theater. I mean -”
ANDREW: “It's not like an art form or anything.”
JESS: He had no criticism, nothing of value to bring aside from like, “David Hasselhoff. Am I right?”
ANDREW: He was even like, “Everything before David Hasselhoff was boring and bad and then David Hasselhoff and the show was amazing.”
JESS: Take any bad show, add The Hoff, magic.
ANDREW: Add The Hoff, baby.
BRIANNA: Do you guys know he has a metal song that just came out this year?
ANDREW: I do, it was amazing. Jess, I sent it to you.
JESS: I don’t remember this.
ANDREW: Check my Twitter. It's pretty sick.
JESS: Bree, play a clip of it right now.
(Through the Night plays)
JESS: My god, that was insane.
ANDREW: Just pretend that you heard it, okay. I thought it was actually – I have heard it and I thought it was pretty good.
JESS: You take a metal song, add The Hoff, magic.
ANDREW: “Well, first there was these guitars and it was boring. But then The Hoff came out.”
JESS: I'm sorry. I imagine I would have a lot more passionate feelings about it if I had seen it live like this guy and felt like the magnetism of David Hasselhoff, which I have heard from Jekyll and Hyde reviews, you could still feel it even through that. He does have a stage presence to him, which is incomparable to anyone else.
ALLISON: Listen, if I saw flyers for Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, and they're like, “Party down with The Hoff,” I would be there yesterday. I would have a great time watching that. And, yeah, a lot of things like this too, because this is not a play that's really meant to be preserved, which I think is what is so fascinating about it. The fact that this was filmed and put out on Tubi and presumably on DVD and stuff like that for people to watch later. This is a throwaway show. This is the thing you go and see on a weekend and then it's forgotten by time. But I mean, that's why you go to a show like this. You want to hear like the jukebox songs. There's probably a lot of drinking going on in the audience, and just want to have a little karaoke sing along, and that's kind of what this was.
ANDREW: Yeah, I think it's honestly dragged down by all the parts where David Hasselhoff isn't in it. So maybe I do agree with Dale Roberts here. Everything without Hasselhoff is pretty bad. But David Hasselhoff being there - it's not like it makes it good, but it makes it, like, I don't mind watching this.
ALLISON: It's kind of weird and cheap. I'm sorry, before we go on, were there other reviews? I don't want to -
JESS: Nope, those are the only two.
ALLISON: Okay. There was the part where they're on the beach on the boxes that are supposed to be the beach, I guess? And then the girls are all in bathing suits. But they all have noticeable bras underneath the bathing suits because they didn't want to change all the way. And that was very distracting? The costumes were pretty cheap. And there's this jumper or jumpsuit that Penny is wearing that's satin or some material that’s all puckering and cheap-looking. And they keep her in that through much of the play. I don't know. It feels a little bit lazy to be honest.
JESS: This show, lazy? What do you mean? The only one not being lazy is David Hasselhoff, given it his all to be honest.
ALLISON: The audience loved the guy who kept getting words wrong, because he’s like, “English is a second language.” So he would say things funny, and they'd be like, “Hahaha, you said the wrong word.”
ANDREW: I think it's weird you can hear the audience in the recording, because you can tell which jokes actually landed and which ones were just awful.
ALLISON: Most of them didn't land. I didn't hear the audience laugh for most of this.
JESS: Yeah, they couldn’t possibly add laugh tracks somewhere later in editing.
ANDREW: Yeah, there was some where they laugh, but I'm remembering like that - Oh my god, that phone scene just goes on so long. They do three jokes with it. And I didn't hear a single person laugh the entire time. I was like, “is this is this funny? Is this a gag? This is a bit? Like, what's going on?”
ALLISON: At one point his young wife wants to talk to him about something serious. And she works herself up to it. And then when he comes in, she's like, “I gotta tell you something right now. And he's like, “Okay, what is it? You could tell me anything. What is it?” She goes like, “The toilets are blocked up.”
ANDREW: Oh my god. Yeah, you're right.
ALLISON: And the audience was meant to laugh, but no one did.
ANDREW: But they keep doing it too. Cus then they bring that joke over and he's like, “Oh, you need to go check the loo,” and the guy doesn't understand what he's saying.
JESS: Oh, yeah. Corey Vindaloo or something.
ANDREW: Just keeps going. And it's like, no one is laughing. It's not funny. And it doesn’t end.
ALLISON: He thought Chicken Vindaloo was in the toilet. That's so funny.
ANDREW: It's like, it's not funny. What’s the joke here? Oh my god.
JESS: All right. I think we need to go into a mid-show and shill some stuff. And then we'll come back and talk about the musical numbers.
ANDREW: Oh yes, the very not lazy musical numbers.
JESS: Of course. So, enjoy these commercials, kids, and buy all our merchandise, or else we'll get in trouble.
ANDREW: Buy our merchandise.
JESS: What was the opening number to this show? What song was that?
ALLISON: Did they start with the Spice Girls or was it something else?
JESS: And this is where not having a song list is really difficult. I tried to figure out who are the –because, this isn't nostalgia from my days. I don't know many of these songs is the problem.
ALLISON: I think they started with Spice Up Your Life at the airport. Right? I feel like they threw us in the deep end real early.
JESS: Threw us in the Spice World.
(Spice Up Your Life plays)
ALLISON: Yeah, we entered the spice world. Yeah, that was the first one I remember hearing. There were a few. There were a lot I recognized, there were a few that I didn't, and the time part of it might be because they were big over there but didn't make it over here or something.
ANDREW: The big ones I remember are when he sang Barry Manilow, when they did rickroll, the Baywatch theme song obviously.
JESS: The rickroll bothers me because it seemed like they were trying to play it off as sincere at first, because –
ALLISON: it was a romantic rickroll.
JESS: But the audience started laughing.
(Never Gonna Give You Up plays)
ANDREW: It was like a romantic tongue-in-cheek rickroll. It was like, “We know what we're doing. And you should laugh. But also this is serious.”
ANDREW: I don't know.
JESS: Because it felt like the second act breakup, storytelling wise, where it's really serious, depressing, and then just throw Rick Astley in there, and I guess we're good.
ALLISON: It was like what they were trying to do what Moulin Rouge did? You know, like, sometimes they would have songs that were ridiculous, but they would play them sincere and it would work out pretty well. But this is not competent enough to really pull it off.
ANDREW: It's also not the most surreal movie we have ever seen. You know, this is a stage show. It doesn't quite work the same.
ALLISON: When Hasselhoff first shows up, he's DJing at the club, and he does a medley of songs. So he starts singing – Relax? They do Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and then he says, “Don't hassle The Hoff” in the middle of it.
ALLISON: He has to throw that out there. And then goes into Don't Touch This. Yeah, I’m sure there was a few more.
(Don’t Hassle the Hoff Medley)
ANDREW: It's a mess.
JESS: I mean, it kind of works. In spite of itself, by the end of it, it kind of worked.
ANDREW: I think the best song is David Hasselhoff’s opening. Because it almost feels like he is DJing for a party that I'm at, you know? David Hasselhoff is at my party and he's DJing, he's running through all the hits.
JESS: Oh my god, just envisioning that. I want to be there. I want to be at a party DJ’d by David Hasselhoff.
ANDREW: The best moment was he gets rolled out and he's just yelling, and he starts singing, and it's like, “Oh man, let's go.”
ALLISON: This is the bookend of the entire show - is DJing and then DJing at the end and getting everyone into it. It's like the ending of Shrek, right? Everything's over, you just want to have the music numbers, and you're singing with your favorite characters, and Hasselhoff’s there. “I'm a believer, he's horny, horny, horny.” It's good.
ANDREW: It really just makes me think, would this just be better if David Hasselhoff was just doing a DJ show?
JESS: You know what? If you would take out the story and just David Hasselhoff sings the hits of the 80s and 90s -
ALLISON: Well, that would be his concerts.
JESS: Yeah, what's wrong with that?
ALLISON: That’s fine, but like, it wouldn’t be a play then. It would just be a concert by David Hasselhoff, which is what he does. He does covers and stuff like that.
ANDREW: Are we just saying that you should seek out a David Hasselhoff show instead of watching this?
ALLISON: Oh man, if you guys ever get a chance to find it - David Hasselhoff and the Night Rockers, the tape - where he went on tour in Austria that is worth seeking out.
ANDREW: I believe it. I think David Hasselhoff has some fun, and some charisma and he's, you know, he's fun to watch.
JESS: He is. He's endlessly watchable. He is one of the most watchable performers who's been in a lot of not-so-great things, but we have an expert here and I want to know – Allison - How does this rank among some of the other stuff David Hasselhoff has been in?
ALLISON: I mean, I've seen some Hasselhoff projects that weren't fun revisiting, but this is - I wouldn't call this a good production, but it's so bad, it's good. And it's fascinating that it exists in and of itself, just the entire production, not just that Hasselhoff was involved. So I don't know. I mean, I don't think I would rank it high, but I'm glad that they put it up for people to see.
JESS: I mean, I agree. I'm amazed they put it out for people to see. Like, why is this one the one that gets filmed is the question among all the other stage shows that have ever existed?
ALLISON: I did see that Hasselhoff was an executive producer on it, so maybe he was like, “We need the merch.”
JESS: That's his “created by” credit. What does that mean, David?
ALLISON: I wonder if he worked with the guy that wrote it, because it feels like a lot of very specific to Hasselhoff stuff in there. I mean, at the very least, the guy was familiar with a lot of things about him.
JESS: I mean, the guy is known in the UK for doing a lot of big broad theater. Looking at his work, it looks like he does stunt shows, cruise ships, and all the things we expected based on the aesthetics shown here. He isn't doing big Les Mis-style theater that is meant to be taken seriously.
ALLISON: No, the most creativity he put into it. He's like, “We got to make sure that these people have names that songs relate to. That guy's got to be named Ebeneezer so we can do the Ebeneezer Goode song.”
ANDREW: “And Rik, so we can do the rickroll.”
ALLISON: And a Mandy out there, but - Because they called one of the characters Mandy, but yeah. They do seem to connect all these things.
ANDREW: That might have been planned. Maybe they had to cut it out.
ALLISON: That’s true.
JESS: The only thing that this writer/producer/collaborator did that is close to a musical in the same way this is, is Elf the musical, which he produced.
ALLISON: I want to see Elf the musical.
JESS: It’s pretty good is the thing. It is not bad, apparently.
ALLISON: That would be great. I would love to see Elf the musical.
JESS: This year, I believe, they just did a recording of it with Ben Forster as Buddy the Elf, and they adapted the musical into the Jim Parsons’ stop motion animated thing that they put on NBC about three years ago.
ALLISON: Oh, so that musical was that?
JESS: No, that musical started on stage, got adapted into that stop motion and then was filmed on stage this year. So it's always been a stage thing but they've been picking from it. And it's written by the same guys that did The Prom, if I remember correctly Matthew Sklar and all that. So, that is the closest thing to legit he's been, Jon Conway.
ALLISON: Okay. I mean, I can't say anything about his songwriting skills or if he was involved with any songwriting cus he didn't write anything for this. As far as like the dialogue and the jokes go, I don't know - they weren't great. But if you're doing it for a cruise ship or a stunt show or that kind of thing, I mean it's serviceable.
JESS: I mean, I'd actually really enjoy this on a cruise ship. Like, on a booze cruise, you've been roasting all day and then you go into the deck and there's David Hasselhoff.
ANDREW: David Hasselhoff’s on my cruise ship and he's doing a show for me? I'd be impressed.
ALLISON: And he loves doing the theater, too. That's one of the things consistent with David Hasselhoff, he always brings up in interviews, like, “I want to do the theatre.” And he's done a lot of stuff in the UK, too because I think that's where he lives now. And he's done a lot of stuff that's with more legitimacy. I know he was in a production of Peter Pan playing Hook for a long time.
ANDREW: That's fun.
ALLISON: Which I think got better reviews than this.
JESS: Well, the thing is - this didn’t get bad reviews, as we've discovered.
ALLISON: Well, all right. I mean, I think they're being a little nice to be honest, even though I do enjoy it.
ALLISON: They're very, very nice.
JESS: I mean, I don't want to piss off David Hasselhoff either.
ALLISON: Maybe I'm being too cynical, I just need to give in, but I just feel it was really lazy. It wasn't done very well.
JESS: It felt like cheesy sitcoms from the 80s that lasted maybe a half season.
ALLISON: There was a Bill Clinton joke in there. He says like, “I didn't have sexual relations with that woman.” It’s so old.
ANDREW: What year is it?
JESS: It’s a reference to before -
ANDREW: Is this supposed to take place in the 80s or the 90s? Did the Bill Clinton thing already happen?
ALLISON: It has to be 90s at least because they say that he's stuck in the past being in the 80s, but the 80s is only like a decade ago in their universe. So it's not even that sad to be like, “Okay, I feel some nostalgia for 10 years ago.” They're not clear what the decade is, you just have to kind of glean from what you see, but none of it seems very specific to any sort of thing. But it's not like The Goldbergs where it's like, “Let's just take all of our nostalgia and everything happened that one year.” It's just like, “I don't know, this is what we had two minutes before the show we can buy or bring or like we had in our wardrobes already.”
JESS: I do want to bring up that this did springboard Hoff into a legitimate theater role right after this. He jumped into Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 as one of the lead actors on the West End.
ALLISON: Heck yeah.
JESS: Which - I think that is a perfect musical for David Hasselhoff. It's tongue-in-cheek and the vocals are Dolly Parton-range, which I think would suit David Hasselhoff’s voice very, very well.
ALLISON: I saw him as the boss in Click. I bet he could do this.
JESS: I forgot he was in that.
ALLISON: That sounds great, honestly. I think I did see a little trailer promo for that and that's fairly recent, too, because DJ Saved My Life was only four years ago, so -
JESS: That was in February of 2020 is when he put his last performance, right before COVID, so he was working in the theater right up to the moment theater stopped existing.
ALLISON: Oh man. Good for him.
JESS: I would pay money to see him in that. But now we've reached the end of the show - Allison, what is your overall thoughts on Last Night a DJ Saved My Life and your cheese rating?
ALLISON: Please check it out. What cheese rating? What are the ratings again? Just a specific kind of cheese?
JESS: Any cheese that you feel like you can justify relating to this show in any way.
ALLISON: Oh this is Cheez Whiz, it's cheap. You're not doing it because you're like, “I want something fancy,” you just want to have a good time. It's debatably called “cheese.” I think that's what that what I would call it.
JESS: I think that’s brilliant. Andrew, you're up next, what is your overall thoughts on this and your cheese rating?
ANDREW: I think, if you're a big David Hasselhoff fan, I don't even know if it's worth seeking out, but maybe. I don't think I could recommend this to anybody else, though. It's a little too cheap and lazy to be enjoyable for the average audience. But you know, that being said, we've watched things that are more unwatchable than this, I mean this is at least ironically enjoyable in some fashion. So I'm gonna give it a cheeseburger, for, you know, David Hasselhoff reasons, I guess.
JESS: Goddammit, Andrew. Stop, stop. That's bad.
ANDREW: It's mean, it's mean. I'm sorry.
JESS: That's bad. I made my joke and I've been feeling like crap ever since I made that joke.
ANDREW: It's fine. David Hasselhoff’s cool, okay? But nobody's gonna forget about that. I'm sorry.
JESS: I enjoyed this, the more I think about it. In the process of watching it, I was like, “This is bad,” but now I think about it like, “No, that was fun. That was goofy.” And thinking about it as a live performance and not a recording of a live performance, I soften a bit to it if that makes sense. I feel like, “Yeah, that would be a lot of fun,” or “I'd love to throw beach balls at this,” and bright flashing lights and shiny keys, like, yeah, let's go.
ALLISON: Yeah, I wouldn't be mad seeing this live.
JESS: No. So, what my cheese rating is going to be is coastal cheese because this feels like it would float around on a coastal type cruise ship, and it's made in England because this is an English show. It's coastal cheddar specifically. Bree, you’re up. What did you think of our discussion and your cheese rating of that?
BRIANNA: I thought your discussion was fantastic. It makes me want to go watch this. It sounds like something –