Hackel grew up in Delaware, Ohio. He later moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1970s, where he had started working as a game show staffer. He started writing with Steve Hattman as a writing partner for television shows and for projects such as the 1980 television movie The Great American Traffic Jam. Aside from all his work on Becker, Hackel has also worked on episodes of Frasier, The Love Boat, Wings, Dear John, Out of This World, Webster, 9 to 5, Fish, LateLine, Harper Valley PTA, Gridlock, Shirley and The Pursuit of Happiness.
- "EP246: Meet comedy writer Dave Hackel". Player FM. Hollywood & Levine. October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
- Brownfield, Paul (December 14, 1998). "He Who Laughs Last". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
(There's a discernible bit of Becker in Dave Hackel, the 49-year-old show creator and executive producer)
- "Dave Hackel - HuffPost". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 28, 2018.