Michael Knight and KITT are an ’80s duo that most South Africans know and love. Picture: YouTube.com
Michael Knight and KITT are an ’80s duo that most South Africans know and love. Picture: YouTube.com

WATCH: Michael Knight struggles to Google translate his way back into KITT’s life - all thanks to Chicken Licken

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jun 7, 2021

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Last month, Chicken Licken South Africa unveiled its new Nyathi Rider ad which is a recreation of the television classic Knight Rider, and South Africans are impressed.

Michael Knight and KITT are an ’80s duo that most South Africans know and love. But what if KITT was no longer in America? What if he had a new owner and a new best friend?

The fast-food company together with its brand and communications agency, Joe Public United, reimagined the classic in a South African context to create a new off-the-wall film – Nyathi Rider. The seamless connection with Knight Rider introduces South Africans to not just the new Super Slider but a new rider, Michael Nyathi.

In a follow-up clip, posted on Twitter by the restaurant, Michael Knight whose real name is David Hasselhoff is seen calling KITT but reaches its voicemail. Remember, KITT is in South Africa.

“Hello, this is KITT. I am a little preoccupied at the moment, leave a message after this,” says KITT.

Hasselhoff then leaves a voice message, saying he knows that KITT has not been returning his calls but he hopes that KITT will be free to talk soon. What makes his voicemail message even more interesting is that he used some isiZulu words to create humour.

“Hey KITT (laughing), it’s Michael. Look, I know you haven’t been returning my calls and I hope you’re mahala (free) to talk soon. I know things have gone a little Mzansi (South) between us but I miss you, man. Look I know you’re probably still staying shosholoza (strong) and that you’re Amandla (powerful) okay? But uhm, call me man. I mean things have been a little nkalakatha (tough) without you. Call me back buddy. It’s Michael. Shap shap.”

In response, @V3ry_Offensiv3 wrote: “This ad is not for ama-2000…You'll have to have had a TV in the 90's (or have a neighbour with a TV) to understand this.”

@askgeraldcfp wrote: “Your advert is excellent. You got a whole Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT) to come to SA. NOW I'M CRAVING THE CHICKEN.”

@n_sitholen said: “They brought back Knight Rider memories. Insane creativity.”

@SoulScripture said the fast-food company needed to make a movie.

“Lol! Can the director or Chicken Licken please make a movie please. The director is very talented. All the Chicken Licken adverts are the boom. They only have one advert that was boring but the rest. Aii jealous down. Next advert please call me for auditions please,” he wrote.

Joe Public United chief creative officer at Joe Public United Xolisa Dyeshana said the company was thrilled to have a great partnership with Chicken Licken. It allowed them to explore and experiment within the creative space.

“The film delivers a humorous and well-crafted reboot of the much-loved Knight Rider and the sleek talking car that helped Michael Knight solve crimes. This brand connection was a no-brainer. Just like how everybody revered Michael’s car, we believe everybody will love the new Chicken Licken Super Slider,” said Dyeshana.

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