Yesterday was the anniversary of Phil Hartman’s death who was killed by his wife on May 28, 1998 before she committed suicide a few hours later. Talking to a friend we realized that unfortunately at the time there was very little conversation around mental illness (Brynn Hartman suffered from symptoms of depression and was taking Zoloft at the time of the murder) and the story was unfortunately spun mostly with the “crazy jealous wife” angle.
No matter the reasons behind this tragedy, it was a very sad day for the entertainment industry and fans alike. I think my appreciation for his talent has only grown over time and I was reminded of it today while I browsed for pictures and videos for this post. For those who may not be aware, aside from his roles on Saturday Night Live and NewsRadio, he appeared regularly on The Simpsons, most often as the voices of Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz (both characters were retired after Hartman’s death). He was also slated to be do the voice of Zapp Brannigan on Futurama, which, if you are a fan of the show, you know would have been amazing!
There are so many amazing clips I would love to post that highlight his hilarity but I will refrain from a bombardment of them and limit myself to two.
You may remember me from…
Also this, from one of my all time favorite movies.