Arts and Culture | Local

Sandy Hackett celebrates father’s life, comedy in ‘My Buddy’

Buddy Hackett with his son, Sandy
Buddy Hackett with his son, Sandy

The Invisible Theatre will present “My Buddy,” a tribute to comedian Buddy Hackett — starring his son, Sandy Hackett — on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9 at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd.

This musical production will reveal stories about Hackett’s relationships with myriad comedians, including George Burns, Jerry Lewis, Phyllis Diller and Milton Berle.

“The production promises to make the audience laugh and cry, and put you in the mood for a kosher hot dog and a beer, in the story that has never been told until now — the life and times, the joy and pain of comic genius Buddy Hackett,” says Susan Claassen, IT’s artistic director.

Sandy Hackett is the recipient of IT’s 2014 Goldie Klein Guest Artist Award, established in 1988 to honor Klein, Claassen’s mother. Past recipients include Lynn Redgrave, Steve Ross and Rain Pryor. Hackett’s wife, Lisa Dawn Miller, will direct “My Buddy.”

Buddy Hackett’s comedic career spanned over 60 years. He appeared on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show more than any other comedian. His career also included starring roles in movies such as “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” Disney classics and on television.

At age 11, Sandy Hackett accompanied his father for a scheduled appearance on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” where he made his professional television debut. He hosted and produced “The Sahara Showcase of Talent” (later renamed “Sandy Hackett’s Talent Showcase”) at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel and Casino and other venues, where he presented more than 10,000 acts. Throughout the 1990s he ran his own comedy club in Laughlin, Nev. Together with Miller, Hackett created and produced “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show,” which tours nationwide.

The show is for mature audiences. Tickets are $35 for the March 8 show at 8 p.m. and March 9 at 3 p.m. A happy hour nosh with Sandy Hackett on March 9 at 5:30 p.m. at Shlomo & Vito’s New York Delicatessen & Pizza Kitchen, 2870 E. Skyline Drive, is $50 ($30 tax deductible; reservations are limited). For more information, call 882-9721 or visit or