Steve Hofstetter is a former columnist for Sports Illustrated and the NHL, and has written about sports for ESPN Magazine, Maxim and the New York Times.
He is currently the host and executive producer of “Laughs”, a stand-up comedy show that airs in Los Angeles on Fox 11 Saturdays at Midnight and My13 Sundays at 11 p.m. Hofstetter, who has a whopping 21 million views on YouTube, recently answered the following questions from LAKings.com:
Q: Can you talk about your experiences as a hockey fan?
A: Hockey was the last of the four major sports that I got into. I was raised with baseball as the be-all, end-all. Probably because a bat, glove, and ball were a whole lot cheaper than various sets of padding and renting ice time. My parents’ income dictated what I played - which is why I’m thankful that race cars are expensive, or I might be wearing a Tony Stewart hat right now.
I was in junior high school before I met hockey fans - which is when I went to my first game. I immediately loved it. Watching hockey in person is so much better than on television. There isn’t a moment of downtime the whole game (except between periods, when I'm just waiting in line for the bathroom). There is no sport that has a bigger gap between in-person and on-TV excitement. So I can forgive FOX for the FOX Puck (and not just because I work for them now).
As a New Yorker, I was a Ranger fan. I didn’t get into the Kings until 2001 when my buddy Dave was watching the playoffs obsessively and the Kings won in OT 4 freaking times. The Rangers and I had a lot in common that year, because they were also watching the playoffs from home.
I am supposed to hate LA sports teams. I was raised to know that the Dodgers ripped my father’s heart out. But the Kings were the underdog, and I love the underdog. I’ve been rooting for them ever since. In 2006-2007, I wrote a season-long blog for NHL.com - the premise was that each team would have a famous fan. I was definitely the least well known of all the bloggers. Elisha Cuthbert was blogging for the Kings at the time, and I spent most of my blog trying to get her to notice me. It didn’t work.
Q: You went to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at STAPLES Center against the Rangers. How do you describe that experience?
A: Going to Game One was my way of celebrating “Laughs” being green lit. How many times will my two favorite teams ever play each other in the Stanley Cup? As it turns out, only five. But at least there was some of that overtime stuff.
I know one human shouldn’t like a New York and an LA team simultaneously, but they’ve never had a rivalry (or reason to) before, so it was always safe. Game One was NOT safe. And not just because I took the train there. My loyalty to both teams was tested - I have never been so conflicted at a sporting event before.
If you’ve never gone to a Kings game, go. Even more so if it’s a playoff game. The atmosphere was incredible - all of LA Live turned into a mini hockey fan city. And I did get to see some amazingly funny things, like one adult insisting on playing in the pickup game with 9 children. Come on, buddy - you’re not getting called up. Give the stick back to the eight-year-old.
I also got to go with Dave - the guy who brought me into Kings fandom. While he taunted me that the Rangers sucked, of course.
Q: As a comic, is there anything you see in particular when it comes to hockey that makes for good material / makes you laugh?
A: Hockey fights are amazing. You have two enormous, full grown men beating the hell out of each other for 30 seconds, and then they shake hands and keep playing. That doesn’t happen in any other sport. Baseball players go months planning on beaning the opposing batter. Football players put bounties on each other’s heads. Basketball players bring each other’s mothers into it. But hockey players fight and move on. Perhaps that’s a lesson in anger management. Or hockey players are just nicer, because so many are Canadian.
Q: When you watch a game, live or on TV, and something pops in your brain that you think is funny, do you shift write into writing mode or do you wait until the game is over?
A: I am so annoying to watch a game with. If I think of a tweet, I have to send it right then and there. Baseball is an easy sport to do that with, because you’ve got 18 minutes while the pitcher is winding up. But hockey, it’s pretty tough to find time to write anything without having to ask your friend what you missed. Or former friend, depending how impatient they are.
Q: What fellow comic or TV host that you know would make the best hockey player and who would make the worst hockey player and why?
A: Jimmy Fallon wouldn’t make a good hockey player. He’s too polite, too goofy. I feel like he wouldn’t be able to get his game face on without laughing. But Craig Ferguson would be awesome - he’s both enormous and European.
Follow Steve on Twitter -- @ SteveHofstetter
Follow the Kings Communications Department on Twitter -- @LAKingsPR