Really sad to hear this news this morning. Thought it was appropriate here since Buddy was one of the guest judges for Last Comic Standing.
Really love Buddy Hackett. Lots of good memories for great jokes and stand up.
Mods feel free to move to Current Events as appropriate.
Buddy Hackett • 1924-2003
Comedian, actor instrumental in rise of stand-up comedy
By Paul Brownfield
LOS ANGELES TIMES
Tuesday, July 1, 2003
MALIBU, Calif. -- Buddy Hackett, who broke into comedy as a young waiter-performer in New York's Catskill Mountains and went on to achieve iconic status as a raunchy nightclub performer and rubber-faced clown in movies including "The Music Man" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," died Monday at his home in Malibu. He was 78.
The cause of death was not immediately clear. Hackett had been suffering from a chest cold, although he had been in "robust good health" until a few days ago, according to a family spokesperson.
Hackett hadn't worked professionally since 1996, when he stopped performing after experiencing dizziness and shortness of breath onstage.
Like Milton Berle or Henny Youngman or Red Buttons, Hackett is among the pantheon of Jewish comedians forever associated with the rise of the stand-up comic on stage, radio and, eventually, television.
Over the decades, to be sure, Hackett's look helped make him inimitable: the rotund body with the cross-eyed gaze and the delivery in which he seemed to be talking out of the side of his mouth. His 1950s TV credits include his own sitcom, "Stanley," in which Hackett ran a newsstand in a swanky New York Hotel. The series, which co-starred Carol Burnett as Hackett's girlfriend, was broadcast live by NBC during its brief run in 1956-57. The pilot was co-written by Neil Simon.
A year later Hackett replaced Art Carney as a regular cast member on CBS's "Jackie Gleason Show," and he began showing up on Jack Paar's "Tonight Show," something he would continue to do when Johnny Carson took over the reins from Paar.