hasselhoff-then-now-universal-tv-ec-jj

Universal TV/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Jill Johnson/JPI

First of all, is that suit velour? Second of all, OMG!

It happened 44 years ago today, on February 2, 1977. David Hasselhoff, aka daytime’s biggest deal at the time, appeared as a guest on The Merv Griffin Show — with no less than Shelley freakin’ Winters! And he wasn’t just there to promote The Young and the Restless, the sizzling sudser on which he was playing Dr. Snapper Foster.

As if!

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, clockwise from top left: Brenda Dickson, David Hasselhoff, Jaime Lyn Bauer, Victoria Mallory, TV GUIDE cover, July 8-14, 1978. TV Guide/courtesy Everett Collection

This was how famous the Hoff was at the time. TV Guide famous!

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No, Hasselhoff — the Hoff to his friends in the decades to come — was there to discuss the new direction of his showbiz life. “I’m trying to work on a singing career and working on my own songs,” he explained. Unfortunately, he’d run into a bigger roadblock than the fact that he wasn’t Michael Damian (who’d eventually play Danny Romalotti and hit No. 1 with his cover of David Essex’s “Rock On”). “It’s very hard to live in an apartment building and sing at 3:30 in the morning.”

So Hasselhoff had moved into a house and begun toiling away on his own compositions. “It’s a good way to get to know yourself and to what not to do and to do,” he said.

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Mind you, he wasn’t going to “wing it” — his words — on one of his originals. For Merv, he was going to perform the Young & Restless theme. And by God, was he committed.

Seriously, you have to see — and hear — it to believe it.

It’s not bad, honestly. Cheesy, as so much ’70s music was, but no worse than, say, Robert Goulet’s version of “MacArthur Park.” Lend an ear below, why don’t ya? You know you want to!

And while you’re here, take a stroll down Memory Lane by reviewing the below photo gallery of The Young and the Restless through the years.

Video: YouTube/ReelingintheYears.com