An Irritated Buddy Hackett Once Told Joe Rogan to Shut the F*** Up

Did the two almost come to blows over a recycled joke?
An Irritated Buddy Hackett Once Told Joe Rogan to Shut the F*** Up

If we were having a contest for All-Time Comics Who Can Rub People the Wrong Way, Buddy Hackett and Joe Rogan just might represent their respective eras. And when the two outsized personalities were on the judging panel for 2000s comedy reality show Last Comic Standing, it was clear the two annoyed the (bleep) out of each other.

A refresher course on Last Comic Standing: “This is a reality show where everyone deserves their 15 minutes of fame,” host Jay Mohr explained to Jimmy Kimmel way back in 2003. “They’re comics. There are guys that have been doing stand-up for 20 years that are on this show. And what we did was we searched the country, we looked at over a thousand comedians, and we narrowed it down to 10. We put 10 comics, we made them live in a house together for nine weeks under constant surveillance.”

So reality shows have always been weird. But Mohr was intent on selling America on his new show, setting up a clip for Kimmel by introducing the judges as Mo’Nique, Buddy Hackett and “the host of Fear Factor.” Little did Mohr know that Joe Rogan was about to eclipse his fame by a thousand-fold.

The clip in question features Hackett offering a critique to an up-and-coming comic: “I’d like to say one thing. Number one, I never heard the joke before about Manhattan and…”

At this point, an exasperated Rogan tries to shout over Hackett. What Rogan is griping about is hard to understand (sounds like he’s the one who told the comic to stop rehashing punchlines from the movie The Boiler Room), but Hackett unloads on Rogan before he can get going. 

“Hey, I heard you talk, you (bleep)hole,” threatens Hackett, poking his finger over caught-in-the-crossfire Mo’Nique. “Just shut the (bleep) up!”

Cut to an open-mouthed comedian contestant who can’t believe Hackett just dropped an F-bomb on national television.

“A part of me was like, ‘This has to stop immediately’ because there’s a comic on stage just standing there,” Mohr told Kimmel. “But as the executive producer, I’m like, (whispering) ‘Keep rolling.’”

No actual blows were exchanged that night, but it remains one of comedy’s greatest What Ifs. “I wonder who would win that fight because Joe Rogan’s like a fifth-degree black belt and Buddy Hackett has a .38 on him,” pondered Mohr. 

That probably wasn’t a joke — Hackett was serious about his guns. He had an entire room in his house dedicated to his Colt collection and often carried one, according to comedian Jack Carter. So the question was: “Could Joe Rogan punch before Buddy Hackett could pull the gun out?”

“I think I’d go with the .38,” reasoned Kimmel.

Mohr agreed. “You never bet against Hackett, man.”


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