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Hackett Comedy Club in Gold River Showroom
For seven, years, give or take a few months here and there, Sandy Hackett has been presiding over his own corner of comedy within Gold River Resort and Casino (for the first couple of years, it was called Sam Town's Gold River).
With his Sandy Hackett's Comedy Club, the Las Vegas based comedian has been bringing in contemporary comics on a rotating basis three and four days a week, introducing Laughlin audiences to an entertainment form that is usually reserved for more urban areas of the country.
Coinciding with the construction currently under way at Gold River (they are transforming the resort from its mining theme to a tropical theme), Hackett's show has undergone some changes of its own. The comedy club is no longer held in Cody's Saloon but is now the main attraction of the Showroom within Gold River.
"I've always liked Laughlin. It's been good to me. And now with the new Showroom to fill, I'll be putting even more energy into the comedy club," states Hackett. "The stage will have more of a presentation...be more theatrical...and I'll book only the cream of the crop of comics to help carry the room. I'll stick to the format of presenting three comics each night...usually two others and myself...but sometimes I'll just present two comics and let them work for longer sets. That way, they can get into a groove that can really move an audience."
Hackett knows full well about getting into a "groove." The son of Buddy Hackett, Sandy Hackett began his own career in comedy when he started a showcase at the Dunes and later Sahara hotel/casinos in Las Vegas. He quickly showed he not only could deliver a good joke but could also deliver a good comedian. He booked top rated acts into his show and learned the "business" side of comedy.
When his showcase closed in Las Vegas, he moved things to Laughlin in 1991 and began his first run at Gold River. He closed the club a few years ago and pursued his career as a stand up in the clubs of Las Vegas and Los Angeles as well as landing bits on national television (A&E Channel's Comedy Central and regular appearances on the sitcom Nanny).
He returned to Gold River last year.
"You know, Laughlin is a good audience," he states. "The people who come out to laugh are appreciative of the comics' work...and the comics relax in the Gold River setting. It makes for a good place for a comedian to show off his best stuff. I'm excited about getting the Showroom...but then again, this has been a good year for me."
It has been good due to an ever increasing number of television and film appearances for Hackett... and, ironically, a lot of them are in dramatic roles.
He is currently working on his continuing role as DA in an educational series on the American legal system for PBS called "On Common Ground" (scheduled for next year's season).
"It's easy to switch over to drama," states Hackett. "Life, after all, is drama with a definite serious side to it. I just pull from some personal experiences and get into the role. Besides, if you want to reach out to larger audiences than just those found in the comedy clubs, you have to take chances...you have to get into film or television"
One of those "chances" saw Hackett cast as a really bad guy being pursued by not so bad guys in a film called Jack of Hearts.
"This one is going straight to the supermarket," states Hackett of the release date on the film. "We shot the scenes at Hoover Dam. We went to places I never even knew existed out there...down in the catacombs. In one scene we were supposed to run past these generators from these guys pursuing us...run until the director yelled 'Cut!' Well, we couldn't hear the director because of the generators so we kept running 200 yard wind sprints until we hit the back wall."
Ah, the glamour of making a picture. When asked if he's ever landed a role where he "gets the girl," Hackett responded, "Got the girl? I haven't even seen the girl."
There is actually truth to this comeback.
"In a recent film I was shooting (Lovers and Liars), I play a guy whose girlfriend is having an affair with another man," states Hackett. "I'm supposed to come in and catch them in bed. Well, in all the previous scenes of the movie, I'm never shown with the girl...so I not only never get to shoot with her, I never even get to meet her. Even during the bed scene, she isn't there. I'm shouting at an empty bed. That was tough...to get mad at someone who isn't there and you haven't even had your own affair with. But that's the...er beauty...of film making."
But the PBS series could lead to more substantial things for Sandy Hackett the actor.
"The show will be a 15 part series and my character takes over the lead in a two parter," he states. "I still don't get the girl but at least I'm on camera long enough for her to know who the hell I am."
Hackett's recent activity included a most unusual booking. He was the stand up comic on a "nude cruise" in the Caribbean.
"I always wanted to know what it was like to get on a boat with a 1,000 naked people," states Hackett.
"It would have been nicer if they were a lot younger and lot more attractive.
"One day, I'm sitting in the bar and there was this rather opulent naked woman sitting next to me.," he continued. "It was kind of like coming upon a car accident...you don't want to look but somehow you can't stop yourself. So after a while she says to me, 'You keep staring at me. Haven't you seen a naked woman before?' 'Yes, I have,' 1 replied,' but I was merely dressing you with my eyes."
"Hey, I got ten minutes of material for my act out of that cruise," states Hackett.
And so it goes. Sandy Hackett continues to build his stand up routine while increasing his national television and film exposure. And he keeps his comedy club rolling in Laughlin.
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