Thursday, July 25, 2013

Buddy Hackett: Not Only Funny, But Smart and Caring


Buddy Hackett (1924-2003) was one of the funniest comedians ever to perform on hotel stages in the Catskills. Most people remember him for his jokes and stories that usually crossed the line into family-unfriendly territory.

We've been able to post a few of Buddy's jokes and interviews, but it wasn't easy to find clean ones. He wasn't a foul-mouth comic like many of today's stand-up performers, but part of the fun in watching him go through his act was anticipating the off-color references that crept into his stories and his delivery of the punch lines with a cherubic smile.

But behind his funny lines, Buddy was a smart and caring person. Not too many examples of his wisdom and caring nature made it through the generations of media conversion to find a place on the internet, but we found two that we'd like to share with you.

When appearing on the 1970s TV game show The Hollywood Squares, Buddy was asked "What country has the highest ratio of doctors to population?" Without hesitation, he blurted out his answer: "The country with the most Jews. I would say Israel." And then he went on to elaborate the reasons why, reasons that we instantly recognize and find intuitive. An easy score for the master comic.

In 1983, Buddy got involved with Jerry Lewis' telethon to provide financial and emotional assistance to children with neuromuscular disease. He delivered an emotional pitch for people to donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association while delivering a special message to children with neuromuscular disease.

Hackett's Message: "Nobody is perfect. Everybody is different." We waited for a funny punchline at the end of the message, but there was none. This time Buddy was just being a mensch.

Enjoy both videos!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)'