"Don't Hassel The Hoff": Joel Stein Drove The Hoff To Drink!

It's time for another excerpt from Don't Hassel the Hoff (St. Martin's Press, May 15), the autobiography of one of the world's most loved entertainers. In this installment, a career setback (News To Me, a sitcom co-starring the Hoff about the life of Joel Fucking Stein, was cancelled before it got out of the gate) sends David spiraling back into the arms of sweet, sweet alcohol, with results that seem eerily resonant given recent developments in the author's life.

I started drinking again and it caught up with me. One of my cardinal rules was never to drink and drive. Then late one Saturday evening in June 2004, I wanted a hamburger. It was past midnight, it was raining, and I thought, "I can make it to McDonald's." I was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The LAPD gave me a field sobriety test in the McDonald's parking lot on Ventura Boulevard. I was kept in the cells overnight and released in the morning after posting bail. At first, I was angry with the guy who arrested me but now I realize he was an angel. I was lucky that night - I could have hurt myself or, more importantly, I could have hurt someone else.

By the time I arrived back home from the police station, the story had gone all over the world. I got a call from Germany, "Is the tour still on?" and one from Australia, "G'day, mate - I've just been reading about you." I was embarrassed, devastated and ashamed.

How bad did things have to get? When you look into the eyes of your children and they say they got abused in school because of bad publicity about their father, it breaks your heart. Yet the problem was as perplexing to me as it was to them.

Previously: Hoff Calls 'Baywatch' Sexist!