Buddy Hackett was appearing at The Mill Run Theater, near Chicago. I heard that was going to do a ‘Meet and greet’ in Rockford IL. to kick off a new business called The Globe Glass Company. This was obviously a favor to a friend. I arrived early at the location and sure enough there was Buddy Hackett getting out of big black limousine.
He came inside and began to work the room shaking hands and making small talk with his fans. I waited for some time gathering the courage to approach him. When I did I said: “Hello, Mr. Hackett, my name is Kip and some day I want to be a comedian and I wonder if you can give me some advice. He said: “listen kid I don’t have time right now, but, if you come to The Mill Run Theater, this Saturday, your name will be at the door and you can come back stage, after the show, and we will talk.
I couldn’t believe how approachable he was and on Saturday afternoon I drove the eighty mils to The Mill Run Theater. Sure enough my name was at the door. I took my seat and before too much time Buddy Hackett came on stage with no introduction. He did an hour and a half and he was brilliant. The audience was rolling in the isles and gave him several standing ovations.
After the show I went to the back stage area and told the guard my name. The guard went back and returned to say that, in only a few minutes, I would be ushered into Mr. Hackett’s dressing room. There was Buddy Hackett, on the couch wearing the most beautiful, white, terry cloth robe I had seen. He sat with me for over an hour and answered every stupid question I asked with patients and grace. I was in love!
He talked to me about his life and (Even though he was the highest paid entertainer, in the world, he didn’t how he had the nerve to go on stage, even, a few month earlier. He meant that he was still learning and that he would never know it all. He was humble and gave me information that I would have taken years to learn by myself.
I met Mr. Hackett a few more times, over the years, and he was always a wonderful gentleman to me and seemed to be a bit proud of my success.