Friday, January 11, 2013


Here's a preview of our TV Crossover Hall of Fame entry for March....


["Buddy Hackett"]

2013 TVXOHOF inductee

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Buddy Hackett (born Leonard Hacker, August 31, 1924 – June 30, 2003) was an American comedian and actor.

Hackett was born in Brooklyn, New York, New York, the son of a Jewish upholsterer. He grew up on 54th and 14th Ave in Borough Park, Brooklyn, across from Public School 103 (now a yeshiva). Living next door was an aspiring baseball player named Sandy Koufax. He graduated from New Utrecht High School in 1942. While still a student, he began performing in nightclubs in the Catskills Borscht Belt resorts. He appeared first at the Golden Hotel in Hurleyville, New York, and he claimed he did not get one single laugh.

Hackett became known to a wider audience when he appeared on television in the 1950s and 1960s as a frequent guest on such talk shows as those of Jack Paar and Arthur Godfrey, telling brash, often off-color jokes, and mugging at the camera. Hackett was also a guest on Jack Paar's last 'Tonight' show in 1962. He was on the Johnny Carson show as a frequent guest.

According to Trivial Pursuit, Hackett has the most appearances of any guest in the history of 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson'. A collection of these appearances are available on YouTube. During this time, he also appeared as a panelist on 'What's My Line?'.

Hackett also guest-starred in two episodes of 'The Rifleman', one as a hillbilly, the other as a mop boy.

Hackett starred as the title character in 'Stanley', a situation comedy that also featured Carol Burnett and the voice of Paul Lynde. Produced by Max Liebman, the series aired live on NBC before a studio audience and was one of the last live sitcoms. Stanley revolved around the adventures of the titular character (Hackett) as the operator of a newsstand in a posh New York City hotel.

In 1960, he appeared as himself in an episode of NBC's short-lived crime drama 'Dan Raven', starring Skip Homeier, set on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood. Hackett also appeared many times on the game show 'Hollywood Squares', in the late 1960s. In one particularly notable episode, Hackett was asked which was the country with the highest ratio of doctors to populace; he answered Israel, or in his words, "the country with the most Jews". Despite the audience roaring with laughter (and Hackett's own belief that the actual answer was Sweden), the answer turned out to be correct.

He appeared as Art Carney's replacement on 'The Jackie Gleason Show'. His later career was mostly as a guest on variety shows and prime time sitcoms, such as 'Boy Meets World' in its 4th season.

In 1978, Hackett surprised many with his dramatic performance as Lou Costello in the television movie "Bud and Lou" opposite Harvey Korman as Bud Abbott. The film told the story of Abbott and Costello, and Hackett's portrayal was widely praised. He and Korman did a memorable rendition of the team's famous "Who's on First?" routine.

Throughout the 1970s Hackett appeared regularly doing TV ads for Tuscan Dairy popsicles and yogurt. But his most famous television campaign was for Lay's potato chips ("Nobody can eat just one!") which ran for 3 years, 1968-1971.

Hackett guest-starred in the 'Space Rangers' episode, "To Be Or Not To Be", as has-been comedian Lenny Hacker, a parody of his stage persona. The character's name was Hackett's own real name.

Hackett also appeared in the short term comedy series 'Action' which starred Jay Mohr as movie producer Peter Dragon. He played Dragon's uncle Lonnie. He appeared again with Mohr as a judge in the reality show 'Last Comic Standing'.

He also played a cameo in an episode of 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch' in 1998, "My Nightmare, the Car".

In April 1998, Hackett guest starred in an episode of 'LateLine' called "Buddy Hackett." The episode focuses on a news broadcast paying tribute to Hackett following his death, only to discover that the report of his death was a mistake. Robert Reich and Dick Gephardt also appeared in the episode, paying tribute to Hackett.

He also appeared in episodes of 'The Big Valley', 'Get Smart', and 'L.A. Law'.

His 'Space Rangers' character of Lenny Hacker - as far as Toobworld is concerned - will be a descendant of Buddy Hackett in 2104.

If you can, watch this episode of 'LateLine'. You get to see Buddy in a clip from 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson' and singing "Shapoopie" in "The Music Man".


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