As much as Phil Hartman's work and influence lives on, the Ontario native has so far escaped the kind of mainstream legacy re-appraisal that so many other late standups and sketch players have enjoyed.
You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman, which takes its name from the catchphrase of The Simpsons mainstay Troy McClure (voiced by Hartman), aims to right that. The long-overdue appreciation of Hartman's genius, which will be published tomorrow by St. Martin's Press, looks at the arc of his career — from his little-known stints as a rock 'n' roll roadie and album-cover designer to his comedy work with the Groundlings and beyond — as well as [...]
Jay Kogen was one of the OG Simpsons writers. He, with his writing partner Wallace Wolodarsky, wrote such classic episodes as "Bart the Daredevil" and "Last Exit to Springfield." He did an AMA yesterday to quench our undying desire for more Simpsons info. Here are the best parts:
On Phil Hartman:
Phil was a pal of mine from the Groundlings improv group in L.A. I saw him the night before he died. It was a tragedy. Horrible. Phil's voice is pretty distinctive. Hard to replace. Easy to make new characters so, we just let it go. (I created Lionel Hutz)
On what he thinks of Family Guy:
Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 35 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member each week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.
To any 90s kid who liked watching TV, Phil Hartman was Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz, or any other of his characters on The Simpsons, but on SNL he was the older, warmer, and wiser cast member who helped pull the show out of its flailing 11th season and lead it into one of its best heydays. Whether he played a smooth-talking Hollywood [...]