This Newly Unearthed Phil Hartman Recording for a Fan Is Incredibly Bittersweet

Tomorrow marks 18 years since the tragic death of legendary SNL alum and actor Phil Hartman, and to honor his memory, a fan named Dave Nelson has shared a very special, never-before-heard recording that’s just another example of what made Hartman a wonderful guy. Here’s what Mike Scott, who uploaded Nelson’s recording, told us:

In 1993 a Phil Hartman fan by the name of Dave Nelson sent Phil a letter and a request to record an outgoing message for his answering machine. Phil not only obliged, but gave him three additional versions that he came up with. For me, it’s a wonderfully bittersweet nearly 3 minutes and almost like it’s hearing him from ‘the great beyond.’ Of course, it’s largely funny but heartbreaking towards the end as well.

To send a fan an autograph or even a quick recording is one thing, but Hartman certainly went above and beyond the fan’s request, giving him answering machine message options as himself, Bill Clinton, Ed McMahon, and Frank Sinatra. And the end, for any Hartman fan, is extremely bittersweet: “Thank you very much for your kind letter. I just hope you know it really feels good to know that people out there think I’m funny. It’s always special to have a fan like you. Thanks.”

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