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LEGACY OF LAUGHTER
"Like father, like son." How many times have we heard that one? Often uttered with a sigh of resignation, the phrase is usually used to connote certain qualities or behavior of less than noble character.
In the case of one particular father and son, however, the only implications are unbridled laughter and hilarity. And there's certainly nothing ignoble about that - unless, of course, it becomes a vocal accompaniment to the solemn delivery of a eulogy or something.
In the wild, wonderful, wacky world of show business, the surname "Hackett" is mainly associated with only one thing - one very noble thing - laughter. And in this case, the father can only be comedy legend Buddy Hackett, and the son Buddy's progeny, Sandy. "My dad's retired now," says Sandy, "but he's doing well."
While the world of stand-up comedy is poorer with Buddy's retirement, Sandy continues the profession with alacrity and a vast wealth of experience. His mission is pure: the cover of his press material simply asks "Looking For a Guy That'll Put a Smile on Your Face and Laughter in Your Heart?"
Possessing a degree in Hotel Management form UNLV and having Buddy as his father, it was only a natural progression that Sandy eventually took to the stage to tickle the funny bones of America. "I'm a stand-up comic, a singer, an actor and I've done all of the comedy clubs you can name," he says. "In fact, I can't think of much in the business I haven't done. There are some great comedy clubs in the hotels here, and they're all flourishing," he asserts.
Corporate work - and we're talking IBM, AT&T, Sony, McDonald's, GM, 7-11 and a host of others, here - has also been a major part of Sandy's experience, along with performance dates in almost every hotel/casino, club, charity and cruise line out there. He has also worked with some of the biggest and best names in entertainment ... including Buddy Hackett ... and recently recorded his first live comedy album during an engagement of "Sandy Hackett's Comedy Night" in Sun City, Summerlin.
Sandy also performed in "'Twas," a special theater project that played here during the holiday season. "I was so impressed to be a part of this event ... everyone involved was terrific. This show brought performers together from all over the country; it was really a workshop for a new 6,500-seat theater facility in Dallas that is seeking to mount an annual Holiday show."
Sandy's latest venture is unfolding, however, in the form of his live radio talk show called "Las Vegas Tonight with Sandy Hackett." Presented by the Talk America Radio Networks and the Imperial Palace Hotel, the project is produced by Billy Karl, who also produces "Backstage Live with Gary and Connie" in the same studio. "We're on the air [KNEWS 970 AM] on Sunday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and we also invite a studio audience to join us." Sandy says that the guest is most important and he'll bring his guests on individually to engage in a one-on-one, more in-depth conversation. "We are planning to go to live TV, as well, with the ultimate hope of a daily TV talk show emanating from Las Vegas."
Sandy stresses that the focus is on a wholesome, clean family show that will put "laughter in the hearts and smiles on the faces" of his audience worldwide. "Everything changes," he says, "but I think the most noticeable change in comedy has been the falling of the language 'barrier' ... it seems you can say anything now."
Oh yes, and lest he have some spare time lying around, Sandy will also be acting in a new film called "Dirty Little Tricks," directed by Kelly Schwarze, that is now in pre-production and casting and will begin shooting here in a couple of months.
So, with standup comedy, a radio/TV show, a role in a new film, and a multitude of other projects on the go, what really excites Sandy Hackett about Las Vegas show business today? "When I'm working," he quips, "... that always excites me."
Sounds like something his father might have said, doesn't it?
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