David Hasselhoff didn't want to come back to America's Got Talent. His gig doing The Producers in Vegas was his dream job, but he was under contract with Simon Cowell. Grudgingly, he came back to judge the talent show.
Interview: David Hasselhoff Returns to America's Got Talent
"It really is a difficult time for me right now because I'm hating leaving the show because it is so much fun," said Hasselhoff. "When someone as brilliant as Mel Brooks calls and that kind of validates you of all your hard work, that's kind of one of the things we got back to with America's Got Talent, telling these kids it takes a lot of hard work. It took a lot of hard work for me to get where I've gotten. I'm 54 years old and finally doing what I really wanted to do since I was eight and that's Broadway theater. So it's very difficult to leave but I'll go back. We might do three shows in Vegas. I wanted to bring the kids, some of the talent from America's Got Talent to come and see what a real show is because it's really good, this show. I mean, it's cut down to an hour and a half. The sad part was they wanted to resign me for another year and paid a hell of a lot more than this show, and it was a lot more fun being on stage than judging."
When forced to honor his lower paying commitment, Hasselhoff accepted his duty with a smile. "It's called show BUSINESS. Yes, I am leaving <B>The Producers</b> and I'm back on America's Got Talent because of a contract. So the show's gone and now I get the business but I'm enjoying it. I'm actually having a lot of fun on America's Got Talent right now because I get to see them fight a lot. The [other judges] fight a lot and they leave me on stage by myself to take over the show so we've changed the name to America's Got Hasselhoff. It's a lot of fun."
The iconic actor never intended to judge other people's talents, but he owed Cowell a favor. "Back in 1993, he actually believed in me and brought me over to the U.K. and tried to help me. When he called me up and said, 'Look, I'm going pretty good right now. I'm making this show. I'd like you to be in it,' I said, 'I don't do judges.' But he did me a favor a long time ago, and I did not want to do it. And I ended up coming on and enjoying it. When he called me up and said, 'Would you be a judge?' [I said,] 'No, no, I don't want to be a judge. I would be a terrible judge. I would set prisoners free because I can't say no.' It's tough being in this business and a lot of people have said no to me many, many times. It's very difficult especially to a child. It's easy for Piers. Sharon does it with class. It's very difficult for me. But I love The Gong Show."
So far, Hasselhoff has gotten to essentially gong some good ones in Season Two. "My favorite was Elvis. The guy came on. We buzzed him before he opened his mouth. He was a big fat Elvis. Then he sang, 'Please unleash me, let me go,' and I buzzed him and said, 'You got it. Go.' You see a lot of Elvises in Vegas. They're everywhere."
America's Got Talent returns June 5th on NBC.
Stay tuned for updates.