Germans Love David Hasselhoff / People


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    Historical 
  • Before and during the Cold War, Americans and their leaders were in love with the first lady of China, then Taiwan, American-educated Soong May-Ling, better known as Madame Chiang Kai-Shek (she and her husband were Time's "Man and Wife of the Year"). She was never quite as popular at home, being the wife of a brutal dictator seen by many Taiwanese as foreign (the Chiang regime favored people who came from the Mainland over native Taiwanese).
  • US president Rutherford B. Hayes is rather obscure and unremarkable in American history, best known for his Badass Beard and the probability that he stole the election that brought him to office (hence the nickname "Rutherfraud")note . However, he is a national hero in Paraguay, having served as an arbitrator after the War of the Triple Alliance in South America that had pitted Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay against them. Hayes' ruling in favor of Paraguay, allowing it to keep a large swath of disputed territory in the center of the country, forever immortalized him in the country's history as their savior. He has a city (Villa Hayes) and a department (Presidente Hayes) named after him, as well as many schools, roads, and even a soccer team.
  • Most Frenchmen have never heard of Frédéric Bastiat; his works are most popular with American libertarians and anarcho-capitalists.
    • The same may apply to his friend and contemporary, the Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari. (They were in the same philosophy club).
  • Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph is incredibly popular in Israel due to his attempts to squash ethnic nationalism in his empire and Austria-Hungary being one of the friendliest nations in Europe for Jews, especially for poorer ones in Central Europe who needed to get out of the antisemitic Russian Empire but couldn't afford to go to America or live in Western Europe. There's a reason you can still find parents in Israel that name their son "Franz Joseph".
  • Saladin is one of the most celebrated military leaders of all time, as a chivalrous Muslim warrior, and a Magnificent Bastard by the Crusaders. Coincidentally, this lionization did not originate in the Middle East, but in Europe. Of course, his fellow Kurds also think highly of him, as he's a very well-known Kurd (who many probably didn't even know was Kurdish at all), and Arabs lionize him as well (since the lands he ruled are/were predominantly Arabic-speaking and his armies were composed in large part of Arab troops), which gets them into occasional tiffs with Kurds (particularly over Arab nationalists' use of the Eagle of Saladin as a symbol of their movement).
  • The friendship between Filipino national hero Jose Rizal and Austro-Hungarian writer Ferdinand Blumentritt is the stuff of legend here in the Philippines. In turn, Rizal is popular in Austria and Hungary. William Howard Taft's stint as Philippine Governor-General is also memorable, while Americans mostly know him for his weight and (by extension) the urban legend that he once got stuck in a bathtub.
  • Voltaire the philosopher was very popular among the Russian aristocracy during the reign of Catherine the Great.
  • Dr. Norman Bethune, a war doctor virtually unknown in his home country of Canada during his lifetime, is considered an icon in China for his medical service during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He gained international attention when Chairman Mao Zedong published his essay In Memory Of Norman Bethune which had been a part of the required reading in Chinese elementary schools since the '60's. Dr. Bethune is also one of the few Westerners to have statues erected in his honour.
    • Canada only noticed Bethune after befuddled travel agents started wondering why all those Chinese tourists want to go to the no-name town of Gravenhurst, Ontario.
  • No matter how spotted his career, Filipinos will always think fondly of Douglas MacArthur as the man who liberated them from the Japanese in World War II.
    • The Japanese themselves seem to think fondly of MacArthur over his Shogun-esque rule of their land. Over in the west, he's remembered more as the guy who refused to acknowledge Emperor Hirohito when the latter tried to apologize for his actions and is widely derided in China for pushing to nuke China when the latter intervened in the Korean War.
  • Woodrow Wilson is extremely popular in the country of Albania, because he prevented the division of the country after World War I. It is one the reasons Albanians remain one of the most pro-American Muslim nations in the world.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte is disliked in parts of Germany,note  Spain and especially Russia, but he is very popular among Jews and in Israel, mainly because of his Jewish emancipation policies.
    • He is also big in Poland for briefly allowing them to run the Duchy of Warsaw and expressing support for reviving the vanished Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. To the point that he is explicitly mentioned by name in their national anthem - the only non-Pole so honored
    • The less said about him in Haiti, Guadaloupe and other parts of the Caribbean the better however. His only real fanboy in that region is, fittingly, Fidel Castro.
    • The English tend to have a Love to Hate attitude towards Napoleon, mixed between Worthy Opponent, Draco in Leather Pants and Tragic Villain.
  • Cyrus The Great is also popular in Israel, for allowing Jews to return to their ancestral homeland.
  • Karl Marx was a German Jewish expatriate writing in the UK. Being that Germans during his lifetime weren't big fan of Jews or socialists, (nor were most of the Western World in the 19th Century), he was not very popular in Germany for his lifetime. He only became liked in the early twentieth century, thanks to German Social Democrats, German Communists and artists and philosophers who considered him one of the three founders of modernism (alongside Freud and Einstein).
    • It's one of the great historical ironies that, the most antisemitic and reactionary European country in the 19th Century, Russia, ended up becoming the crucible for his ideas to take effect in the early 20th Century. Marx like many Western Europeans saw Russia as an autocratic and obsolete feudal society (which was referred to as Asiatic despotism in both England and Germany) and was bemused to learn that his ideas, obscure in England and Germany for most of his life, found a strong reception in Russia towards the end of his life.note  Related to that is the fact despite generally writing quite favorably about America, supporting the Union during The American Civil War, and even praising Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest politicians ever lived (opinions that are pretty much consensus among Republicans and Democrats today), Marx is quite unpopular and polarizing in America on account of the rise of Communism and the spread of Leftist revolutions in the 20th Century, which the USA reflexively opposed.
    • Karl Marx was born in Trier (incidentally the oldest German city), yet the only city ever named after him is Chemnitz - a place he never set foot in and that is as far away from Trier as you can probably get without leaving Germany. They even still have a giant head of him (locally known as the "Nüschel") in a central town square - twenty five years after the city's name was changed to Chemnitz again.
    • Marx's ideas are still widely popular in parts of Asia, Africa, South America and Australia, places he had never been and barely knew or wrote anything about. In India, Marx is admired and respected for being the only Western authority to call out Victorian England's Hypocrisy and imperialism and support the 1857 Mutiny (which the English press demonized out of all proportion).
  • W. Edwards Deming was largely an obscure figure in his native United States. In Japan, however, he was the man who revolutionized management. His ideas began to be recognized in United States only by late 1980s, when it looked as if Japanese firms were going to drive US companies out of business.
  • William Ewart Gladstone, a 19th century British prime minister, is considerably more popular and better known in Bulgaria than in his native country for condemning Ottoman rule over Bulgaria and the "Bulgarian horrors" (the massacre of between 15 and 20 thousand Bulgarians after the unsuccessful April uprising).
  • While an obscure figure in his native United States, Adolf A. Berle is beloved in Latin America as a major architect of the "Good Neighbor policy".
  • Christopher Columbus still is viewed favorably among Italian Americans and in Italy note  Most Americans, on the other hand, view Columbus Day as "just another day off" and not care much about the person himself, while Native Americans and African Americans consider him to be the man who started the mass genocide and exploitation of their people and laid the foundation of the slave trade, respectively, and call for Columbus Day to be abolished outright.
  • Genghis Khan is revered in Mongolia and deemed worse than Hitler in the rest of the former Mongol Empire. However, outside of the Empire, he's thought of as a major-league badass and an excellent statesman.
  • Speaking of Adolf Hitler, he is not always considered a villain in some circles in the Arab world.
    • In the Middle East and South-East Asia, the Nazis are often seen as just another branch of Western imperialists, and their atrocities an extension or evolution of Western Imperialism, rather than the ultimate evil they are in the West. That's if they are not seen sympathetically as the ones that brought down the other Western imperialists that were colonizing Asia, namely the British, French, and Dutch. Plus, those Hugo Boss-designed uniformsnote  of theirs were really cool...
    • John Oliver had a blast in seeing Thailand loves to employ Hitler's image in ways it's hard to take seriously.
  • Tsars Alexander I and Alexander II are fondly remembered in Finland. The first created the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, and the second gave Finland her Constitution.
  • Maximilien Robespierre is considered to be a polarizing figure in French history by the French and widely derided in England and the United States as the forerunner to Stalin and Pol Pot due to his conduct in the reign of terror, which is seen as the forebearer of modern totalitarianism. However, in Haiti he is more revered due to his anti-slavery stance, having passed laws making slavery illegal in France and its colonies before England and America.
    • Robespierre and the Jacobins are generally regarded more positively and neutrally in France's former colonies such as in Indo-China (General Vo Nguyen Giap cited him as his hero), Algeria and in the islands of the Francophone. This is mostly because Robespierre's memory was rejected by the same French establishment that colonized their lands in the name of benevolent "mission civilatrice". Robespierre, among others, provided them a means to appreciate French values without the baggage of resentment and bitterness of the colonial experience, especially given Robespierre's anti-war and anti-expansionist views.note 
    • To some extent, his reputation in America wasn't as negative during the days of the revolution itself, with Thomas Jefferson and the American Republicans supporting the reign of terror, though both of them opposed and denounced Robespierre after Thermidor. In England, Robespierre would later be cited during the Chartist Revolts, and receive a positive biography by George Henry Lewes.
  • West German Chancellor Willy Brandt is fondly remembered in China, despite having no impact on their policies. This is due to him paying respect to the victims of Nazi Germany, in particular the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which is seen in stark contrast to the War Crimes denial expressed towards China by Japan.
    • During his period in office (1969-1974) he was a highly controversial figure (the 1972 snap election was caused by defections of SPD members over his policies vis-a-vis the Warsaw pact and the GDR) in West Germany. But if the "Willy Willy" cries are any indication he was the most popular West German in the East. Most likely for the same reason Conservatives in the West hated him - his change through rapprochement was bringing real benefits to ordinary East Germans (and Berlinersnote ) - chief among them easier visits from the West.
    • His most famous act as chancellor, kneeling before a monument to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, was immensely controversial in West Germany at the time (a Spiegel poll had a slight majority for "kneeling was excessive"), but it brought him a lot of respect in Israel, Poland and many other places - so much so that he received the Nobel Peace price while still in office.
  • Ernesto "Che" Guevara is an iconic hero among leftists far from Latin America, especially, ironically (fittingly) in the United States. Mostly it's because he was too darn handsome.
  • Radhabinod Pal is hugely popular among Japanese nationalists due to the fact that he's the only judge to submit a statement that the Japanese war criminals were not guilty. This also led him to be enshrined in the highly controversial Yasukuni Shrine and historians often cited his defense for the Japanese as the main reason why India and Japan are close allies.
    • It should be noted that both Japanese and Indian nationalists are strongly fond with each other for several reasons. The Indians admire the Japanese for defending themselves from Western occupation by modernizing their society while maintaining their cultural identity. note . The Japanese respect the Indians due to cultural similarities such as Buddhism note  and the similarities between Hinduism and Shintoism note . Not to mention, unlike most of Japanese neighbors during World War II, India was never attacked or conquered by the Japanese. The fact that they share a common enemy, China, also helps as well.

    Political 
  • US diplomat Henry Kissinger is often maligned by many in America and around the world (especially in Third World countries with leftist governments today) due to his support of brutal third world anti-Communist (more like anti-leftist) dictatorships in Pakistan, Indonesia and South America (more specifically Chile under Pinochet and Jorge Videla's junta in Argentina) with severe human rights violations along with his role in the secret bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, all of which have left many, noticeably Christopher Hitchens, to consider him a potential War Criminal or tie him to many conspiracy theories. However, he is much more liked in China due to his role in helping open up relations between the US and China during the Nixon years.
  • Richard Nixon himself, thanks to 'Gate and 'Nam, is arguably the most hated former President in US history... except among American Indians, who revere him as a hero who did more to improve their plight in his six years in office than every other President before him put together. He appointed a Mohawk as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and signed laws saving Indian resources and returning many Indian lands to their original owners. Most of all, he put a stop to the horrific policy of Termination, which forced Indian people to "assimilate" by relocating them into unfamiliar cities. There's a reason the Paiutes of Pyramid Lake, Nevada named their capital city Nixon.
    • He is also well-respected in China, for opening contacts with the country in 1972.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev is thought of in Western nations as a well respected statesman who ended the Soviet Union. In particular, he is practically a national hero in Germany for bringing down the Iron Curtain that went straight through the country. The Russian population has quite a different opinion of the man, seeing him as a weak leader who kept giving the West concessions and ended Russia as a superpower, and those who are nostalgic for Communism — or even, in many cases, just democratic socialists — positively HATE him. When he ran for president of The New Russia in 1996, Gorbachev won a grand total of 0.51% of votes. An Urban Legend has it that, during a meeting with voters, he was punched in the face.
    • Lampshaded in a Pizza Hut advert in Russia, where he and his grand-daughter walk into a namesake outlet. The patrons vividly debate his legacy, eventually concluding they're all eating at Pizza Hut because of him.
  • Similarly, Tony Blair seems to be more popular in the US than he is in his native UK, where his decision to work closely with George W. Bush in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq was met with wide condemnation by the British people, ultimately all but forcing him from office. In 2010, he had to cancel public appearances in the UK to publicise his autobiography due to the "hassle" caused by protesters, and his successors in the Labour Party are now trying to distance themselves from the Blair era as quickly as possible.
    • He's also very popular to this day in Sierra Leone due to his having (not enthusiastically initially) stopped a civil war there by sending the army in (the army were sent in on a limited mission but decided to intervene aggressively, Blair's role amounted to backing them once he found out about it). Seriously, they build statues to him, you won't find that in the UK.
  • Winston Churchill is "liked" by the English who, on the whole tend to see him Warts and All, but he's practically deified by America's political class, both on the right and the left. In America, his writings on history are actually taken seriously whereas the English see them as very well written self-aggrandizements of interest only to Churchill-buffs, and good for nice rhetorical aphorisms rather than genuine information. This has serious political consequences when Churchill's racist imperial-era opinions are cited by American politicians with a straight face. The American Left praise him for being a war hero and for his stance against appeasement but they ignore his support for Franco, his early enthusiasm for Mussolini, his betrayal of the Greek resistance and reinstallation of Greek fascists, his negligence of the Bengal Famine, the support of torture in Kenya (which ironically became an issue in American politics, thanks to far-right conspiracy nuts). Likewise, the right cite Churchill's anti-socialist anti-Health Care views, and his tough stance on the Cold War but neglect that Churchill was a "true" conservative, i.e. Know When to Fold 'Em and as such in his third ministry he accepted and supported the NHS since it had become an institution and he didn't want to reverse it, and likewise on Josef Stalin's death, he encouraged Americans to agree to peace talks with the USSR.
  • Margaret Thatcher is universally respected as an important stateswoman in most countries and an icon of feminism. In the U.K. her legacy is more polarizing. To the upper class and big companies she is revered as a visionary politician. To the middle and lower classes, Scotland, and all Oop North, who suffered under her economic policy, she is hated to this day. When her death was announced in early 2013, people literally danced in the streets and threw Maggie Thatcher Death Parties. The song "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead" was requested (and played) constantly on radio stations.
    • She's hated in Ireland and Argentina as well. The Argentines hate her over the Falklands War and the Irish hate her for the South Africa-esque oppression of Catholics in Stroke Country.
    • Many Germans also tend to remember her as the most prominent opponent of German Reunification after the Wall fell.
    • Thatcher is much beloved by the American right-wing, who praise her for being a strong Cold War ally and love to reverently quote her criticisms of socialism.note  And it certainly helps that she was good friends with Reagan, whom the right also loves. The American left-wing doesn't have much of an opinion on her, being torn between praising her for feminist reasons or adopting the criticisms of the British left.
    • Thatcher was not liked all that much either in Belgium. Back in the 80's haters of Guy Verhofstadt accused him of being like her. That being said, most people there found the idea that someone would throw parties for the death of an everyday politician to be disgusting and horrifying.
  • George W. Bush is considerably more popular in Georgia (the country) than in the U.S., due to his pro-Georgian foreign policy and having danced to Georgian music once; it helped that a crazed man once tried to assassinate both him and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili with a single grenade in Tblisi (nothing quite says "we're in this together" like being targeted by the same guy). Reportedly, he's even sometimes considered a bit of a Mr. Fanservice in Georgia. Figure that one out.
    • He's also really popular in some parts of Africa for the understandable reason that he sent a ton of AIDS relief there.
    • While his approval rating in America was around 30% during the last few years of his tenure, his approval rating in India stayed around 60%.
    • Bush is very popular in the Kurdish territories of Iraq. Since the invasion, the Kurds have been able to form their own semi-self governing state in the north of Iraq. He's popular enough that they sell T-shirts with his picture on them.
    • Also in Kosovo and neighboring Albania for supporting Kosovar independence, despite the fact that he couldn't even get their names right (he called them "Kosovoans"). The Albania example also extends to other American presidents in general (for example, "Bill" and "Hillary" are still very popular baby names there).
  • In a truly bizarre example, former Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. Often considered bland (or, to his opponents, "Premier Dad", due to his "nanny state" policies) in his home province of Ontario, he is considered "handsome and charismatic" in China. FTA:
    "Who else is as good at working a Chinese room?" a Canadian businessman was asked during a luncheon in Nanjing. "Exactly," he replied, mistaking it for a rhetorical question.
  • Congressman Ron Paul has a rather divisive public image in the US. Around the world however, he is much more liked. This is probably due to his foreign policy views of isolationism and non-interventionism, as the US foreign policy has drawn criticism from many around the world.
  • President Barack Obama is generally more popular in Canada, Australia and the European countries than in the United States. Globally, his popularity is highest in France and Australia specifically.
  • Muammar Gaddafi. He was hated in the Western world (especially in Italynote ) and in Libya, where his own people eventually killed him. In sub-Saharan Africa, he is still seen as a hero by many people (including Nelson Mandela), mostly because they remember him as a prominent figure of the Non-Aligned Movement.
  • Woodrow Wilson's popularity typically wavers in his home country, though he generally maintains a good reputation despite the heavy Values Dissonance associated with him. Most Eastern Europeans, meanwhile, adore him, since he was integral in breaking up the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Tell a Serb about the controversy with which Wilson's racial policy is viewed, and he'll punch you. Likewise, Poles remember him for explicitly calling for an independent Poland. In Prague, the main station is named for him.
  • Although he failed to get re-elected for a second term as U.S. President, George H.W. Bush is so beloved in Kuwait (the country that the United States and its allies liberated from Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War) that many people have even named their children after him.
  • Natalia Poklonskaya is appointed as a prosecutor in the newly established nation of Republic of Crimea. While easily well-known among the native Crimean Russians and other Russians, she became an internet sensation in Japan due to her "attractiveness".
  • Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, is derided in America for his socialist policies and perceived heavy-handed rule. He is much more liked, however, in the Middle East, due to his support of Palestine and opposition to Israel in the Arab-Israeli Conflict along with his criticism of US foreign policy in general. He was also pretty popular among left-leaning people in the U.S. for these reasons as well.
  • President Ronald Reagan is viewed rather divisively in the USA, revered by the right and despised by the left, and in South America he's generally linked with American Gunboat Diplomacy and backing of some nasty regimes. In Poland, he's considered a hero who stood up at last to the Soviet Union, in large part responsible for the fall of Communism.
  • Given that the country already has many progressive policies, Bernie Sanders in unsurprisingly popular among left-leaning circles in Canada.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in turn very popular with left-leaning people in the U.S. for the same reason as Bernie Sanders is popular in Canada.
  • Despite being written off as a fringe third party candidate in the US with accusations of anti-vaccine hysteria thrown at her(through as Snopes reported, ties between Stein and anti-vaccine hysteria are exaggerated, and that's all we'll say about that), 2012 and 2016 US Green Party candidate Jill Stein is also quite popular in progressive and leftist circles in Canada for similar reasons as Sanders, especially in the 2016 election coming off of the Sanders' campaign. It helps that she herself positioned her party as both the ideological successor of Bernie Sanders' campaign and claims to be even more unabashedly democratically socialist and left-leaning than Sanders himself. She has also gotten publicity in Canada as Canadian media(Both CBC and Macleans) has reported on her Third Party run when the US media did not. Even some Canadians who want Clinton to win due to the fear of Donald Trump's presidency view her with a certain degree of respect, and feel that she could have been a serious contender if the US was more accepting of third parties.
  • Given the way the U.S. was formed, The British Royal Family is surprisingly popular in America. Royal weddings and births are covered extensively on cable news and official visits draw crowds similar to other celebrities in the U.S. Of course, the British Royal Weddings are also popular in France of all places, though there it's the royalist nostalgia more than anything.
  • Fidel Castro is beloved in many Belgian political communities for making Cuba independent despite opposition from the United States. It should be noted that many Belgians in general tend to oppose the United States interference because the United States is one of the prime suspects when it is about the murder of Patrice Lumumba, which was the only decent prime minister that the Congolese had. Even Belgian major Bart De Wever noted that he is very beloved on Belgian soil despite the fact that many of his rulings should make him unpopular in the country. Castro is also admired in many post-colonial African nations for Cuba's intervention in the Angolan War, his dispatching of Cuban doctors across Africa and for his support of Nelson Mandela. Mandela always considered Castro's help to the ANC as invaluable and the two were friends.
  • While understandably most of the world either downright hate or mock Donald Trump, he is relatively popular among far-right nationalist parties and groups in Europe, mainly due to his anti-immigration stance and hostility towards Muslims.
    • He's also popular among Russians, mainly because Trump complimented President Vladimir Putin as being a "strong leader." Not to mention, his "America First" self-interest foreign policy is also praised in Russia, seeing that Russia's self-interest foreign policy is almost similar to Trump's. It's also possible that the Russians want Trump to be president so that it will allow Russia to gain a political, economic, and militaristic upperhand and influence in Europe, as Trump also openly stated that he will only defend America's allies if they "fulfilled their obligations."
    • Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, is very popular in China, for as-of-yet unclear reasons, and more popular than anyone else in her family. As of 2017, China's trademark offices are busy securing business names and products with "Ivanka" in it left and right.
  • Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (de jure 1984-1990 & 2006-, de facto 1979-1990 & 2006-) was a lot more popular in some leftist circles in Europe than he was in his own country. While Ronald Reagan illegally armed a rebel army against him (they were mostly Nicaraguans, though) against express orders of Congress, social democratic leaders in Scandinavia sent aid to Nicaragua and thousands of Western Europeans went to Nicaragua as volunteers to help his revolution. However, in his term in office since 2006 many former admirers have turned away in disgust as he has alienated many of his former comrades (Gioconda Belli, Sergio Ramirez, Ernesto Cardenal and others) and is now quite willing to cut deals with the church and the opposition, which he used to denounce in the 1980s. Some even talk of a Full-Circle Revolution.
  • Belgian major Bart De Wever is a very polarizing and controversial figure in Belgium for his long debates that prevented Belgium from being reformed and his nationalist stance, which the king of Belgium equated with fascism. In Germany he is beloved because his party is a successful alternative for the racist and far-right policies of Het Vlaams Belang that managed to make the latter irrelevant. It should be noted that Het Vlaams Belang has many policies that would be very unpopular with Germans (such as Flemish separation and the passing of anti-immigration laws) and that one of the former MP's of Het Vlaams Belang (Roeland Raas) was a famous holocaust denier.
  • Leader of the U.K. Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn is popular among segments of the American left for his unapologetic socialist stance leading the party to its best showing in years in the 2017 election, even though it resulted in a hung Parliament.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron is popular in the U.S. mainly for not being Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen.

    Contemporary 
  • Trope namer David Hasselhoff, who's extremely popular in Germany.
    • David Hasselhoff did well with Knight Rider in Germany and Austria, enough so he did a musical tour of Germany. But what made him an Icon was his tour ended up being at the same time the wall fell, and he did an impromptu concert on the Berlin Wall of his song 'Looking For Freedom'. As a result his work is symbolic of German Reunification and made his other works like Baywatch sure fire hits in Germany.
  • James Corden, on the back of his late night television show, is far more well-liked in the US than in his native UK, where his humour is something of a base breaker.
  • Jeff Dunham was more popular in Europe than in the US during his earlier shows.
    • One of his biggest base breaking characters in the United States is Achmed the Dead Terrorist, which is a skeleton puppet with a turban who is still trying to kill the infidels... some love him, some find him annoying, and some find him an offensive stereotype. However, the character is beloved in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world. In fact, the character is largely the reason why Jeff Dunham is the most popular stand-up comics in Saudi Arabia and most of the nation's emergent stand-up scene largely because of the act. Dunham even reflected on the unusual-ness of the popularity and told of one country where the censors vetoed the entire Achmed act, Jeff had to point out that the act is why he was doing sold out shows in the country in the first place. The censors let him get away by saying Achmed was a French man and swapping the Turban for the Beret... and that's it. Everything else was. Even with that fix, the audience nearly revolted when he started to explain the legal situation to the audience, as he had explained why the government wouldn't let him do the act before revealing the fix. According to him, the audience even got extra humor out of the fact that Achmed was clearly not at all French.
  • Anthony "Sulley" Sullivan is a British infomercial artist from Devon who moved to the US a few decades ago. His main sales pitch was that Americans assumed all Brits were intelligent so would buy anything (regardless of quality) from them. It seems to have been successful because he never expected to become known outside of the US, and his commercials were never aired outside there. However, he was first exposed to the British public through Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends, and then many began checking out his commercials on Youtube. Many Brits were amused by his bizarre transatlantic accent which he cultivated so Americans could understand him better (he's famous for the way he says 'potatoes'). Many were surprised about how he's gone under the radar for so long. His show, PitchMen , with Billy Mays has also earned a worldwide following.
  • Lior Suchard, the Israeli psychic who recently became immensely famous in the States, was pretty much forgotten in Israel after he won the original version of The Successor (people jokingly remarked back then that Uri Geller’s next trick was to make Suchard disappear).
  • Muhammad Ali was one of the most respected boxers of all time in the United States, but he was huge in Zaire (now known today as The Democratic Republic of the Congo) after his "Rumble in the Jungle" match against George Foreman held there c. 1974. Google "Ali Bomaye".
  • Miranda Cosgrove has a big following in Brazil.
  • As does Hilary Duff, apparently.
    • You can add Italy to the list of countries that still love Hilary. In fact, there is one exclusive compilation album not available outside of Italy.
      • One wonders if her popularity in Italy came before or after The Lizzie McGuire Movie was set in Rome.
  • Bella Thorne has lots of Japanese fans. Some of her tweets are replied by Japanese fans. She even retweets her Japanese fans who did the tweets in English.
  • Alain Robert, the "French Spiderman" known for solo climbing tall buildings and getting arrested in the process is a borderline folk hero in Brazil
  • Porn star Maria Ozawa is incredibly popular in Indonesia. During the 2011 tsunami, Indonesian fans logged onto chat rooms and asked if she was alright. She also has quite a following in the neighboring Philippines, to the point where she stars in a local film.
    • In a similar note, Sora Aoi was so popular in China that she seriously started a non-porn career recently.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme is apparently this among Arabs. It helps that he starred in a Legionnaire, which actually had a positive portrayal of Arabs for a change.
  • Blurring the line between celebrity and political, the movie John Rambo led to Sylvester Stallone's growing popularity in Burma. Specifically, with the Karen rebel group, since the reigning military junta had their own ideas.
  • Taylor Kitsch is considered an unmarketable actor in the United States and his native Canada after having led two high-profile flops (John Carter and Battleship). But in Europe and Asia, both films were very successful and he's averted career troubles by getting more offers in projects with broad foreign appeal.
  • The late actress Deborah Raffin became a huge star in China when her TV-movie Nightmare in Badham County was a big hit there.
  • Soap actress Thalia is a superstar in the Philippines thanks to its exposure to her shows like Maria Mercedes, María la del Barrio, and Marimar. Marimar and Maria la del Barrio were popular enough to get their own Foreign Remake.
    • Inexplicably, the actress who played the villain of Marimar, Chantal Andere, had her own fans in the Philippines via Memetic Mutation.
    • Also from soap operas, the Brazilian protagonist of Escrava Isaura, Lucélia Santos, is idolized in China.
  • American illusionist, Val Valentino better known as The Masked Magician became very popular in Brazil (where he's known as "Mister M") following his television specials of revealing the secrets to several magic acts. He apparently was also very well liked in Japan.
  • Jan-Ove Waldner: Swedish table tennis player. Well-known and loved in his homeland for being a steady source of international championship medals and and showing that a small country like Sweden could beat giants like the U.S. and China. In China, he is even more famous and loved.
  • Masi Oka, a Japanese-American, enjoys moderate popularity in America thanks to Heroes (and being One of Us). His popularity in Japan is somewhat lower, and is mostly based around the fact that America likes him and this makes the Japanese as a whole look good in foreign eyes.
  • The Japanese adore Richard Gere, to the point where internationally renowned director Akira Kurosawa gave him a prominent role in his penultimate film Rhapsody in August; he shared an impromptu dance with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi; and he appeared in successful Foreign Remakes of the Japanese films Shall We Dance? and Hachiko.
    • In fact, an oft-told political joke during Koizumi's premiership was that he managed to stay in power for so long (5 years is a pretty long term for a Prime Minister in Japan) because the Japanese housewives were constantly voting for him as a Gere lookalike.
  • As legendary as she continues to be in the country of her birth, Marilyn Monroe is viewed as practically a goddess in some Latin American countries. Perhaps it's the (to them) exotic blonde hair...
  • Brad Pitt is another celebrity that's big among young adult women in Japan for some reason unknown to the rest of the world. Readers Digest has had records of Japanese women naming their Tamagotchi after him.
  • Many American comics have found greater success and popularity in the United Kingdom, in particular Bill Hicks and Rich Hall.
  • Edward Snowden is one of the most sought after and most hated people in the United States for leaking very valuable documents about US spy agencies on Wikileaks. In Europe he is considered to be a hero that proved to everyone that the US was spying on them.
  • In the mid-1980s, actress Diane Lane did quite a bit of modeling for magazines in Japan, and even had a modeling photobook published, as well as appearing in various automotive, soda and jewelry commercials. This is namely due to the widespread popularity of her film Streets of Fire, a film which was incredibly disliked by critics and performed poorly at the American box office, but whose style and aesthetic were a major inspiration for popular Japanese arcade games like Street Fighter, Final Fight and Streets of Rage
  • Within American subcultures, white comedian/actor Gary Owen is practically a household name among African-American audiences (specifically black women), and his shows frequently sell out with all-black audiences. However he is virtually unknown outside of the black community and has in fact has struggled to gain mainstream popularity. While he is American, it is still extremely unusual for a white comedian to be popular in the black community without also being mainstream.
  • Dancing with the Stars made Bindi Irwin as big a superstar in North America as her wildlife work made her back in Australia.
  • The Philippines holds a special place in its heart for Korean singer-actress Sandara Park of Kpop group 2NE1, because she got her start there.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff/People