Appreciating all that makes America special

Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman,

On Saturday Night Live, Phil Hartman was known as "The Glue." Uploaded by

For eight seasons, Phil Hartman was Mr. Versatility on Saturday Night Live. Just think of some of the parts he played – Eugene, the Anal Retentive Chef, The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, Frankenstein. And the memorable impressions – Frank Sinatra, Ed McMahon, Phil Donahue. And probably his most memorable impression, Bill Clinton. The skit in which Clinton goes into McDonald’s and eats everyone’s food is one of his most memorable.

Phil Hartman,

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Of course, Hartman’s versatility wasn’t limited to SNL. He built his reputation as a writer and performer by helping to create the Pee-wee Herman character. He appeared on Pee-wee’s Playhouse often as Captain Carl, and co-wrote the movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. He did several memorable voices on The Simpsons, including lawyer Lionel Hutz and actor Troy McClure. And he appeared for four seasons on the sitcom News Radio.

Tragically, he wasn’t part of the show’s fifth season. His wife Brynn struggled with cocaine and booze, and used both the night that she and Phil had a serious argument, in which Phil threatened to leave if she didn’t end her addiction. Brynn took a .38 and shot Phil three times in his sleep. Losing John Belushi and Chris Farley was awful, but at least they were victims of their own excesses. Phil Hartman deserved more. He deserved the recognition that he only received posthumously.


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