"Phil Hartman is my hero."
Jan Hooks sits next to me on a couch, nibbling a ham sandwich. We're at Michael O'Donoghue's Christmas party, listening to a live, Celtic band.
"Phil can do anything. He made me better."
I usually refrain from asking SNL vets about their on-air work, but I couldn't resist in Jan's case. When I mention how beautifully she and Phil worked together, Jan gave him all of the credit.
"Well, you're pretty great yourself," I reply, meaning every word.
Michael drifts by, touches Jan's shoulder. She smiles and squeezes Michael's hand.
"Ain't he sweet?" Jan says in that Southern sing-song voice she's done a [...]
"Here's why it’s difficult to properly appreciate Phil Hartman. Because his characters were 20 percent droid. Because he reminded you more of your dad than your best pal. Because Hartman’s biggest gift was a kind of comedic graciousness, which he used to hide the show's seams and to make other funny people look good. As the writer Steve Lookner put it, 'How many people can you say that about on Saturday Night Live?'"
- Grantland examines the life, talent, and career of SNL legend Phil Hartman in a new feature out today called "The Glue."
This is beautiful and sad and tough and a bit fun. Franken spends a good bit of the speech talking about the process of writing and making comedy with Tom, focusing on SNL and the famous Julia Child sketch. It's a really great watch. While you're spending time with Franken, read this crazy story by a BoingBoing writer about the time he met with Franken for a job interview, minutes after Phil Hartman was killed. Then maybe watch the Julia Child sketch below, for something a bit more upbeat and Friday friendly.
Here's a letter that Phil Hartman wrote to an aspiring comedian who had sent him a tape of his work in 1997. In case you were ever wondering if Phil Hartman was a good guy, well, try to think of who else would not only respond to a letter/tape like this, but would listen to it and sent back a multi-page hand-written note with specific feedback and well wishes. This was when Phil was at the peak of his career, doing Newsradio, The Simpsons and a slew of other projects, so it's not like he wasn't busy. One of the all-time greatest, and gone far, far too soon.