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'''Phil Hartman''' (September 24, 1948 -- May 28, 1998) was a Canadian-born comedian and actor famous for starring on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' from 1986 to 1994, [[note]]considered by many to be the show's second GoldenAge after fumbling around blindly in utter mediocrity from 1980 with Jean Doumanian's cast to nearly getting canceled in 1985 with LorneMichaels' return featuring a disjointed cast of semi-famous people and bizarre writing from writers who didn't know how to work with the cast on making them funny as a unit[[/note]] for his guest appearances on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' as incompetent attorney Lionel Hutz (who has a law office at the local mall called "I Can't Believe It's a Law Firm") and washed-up B-movie actor Troy [=McClure=], and for starring as Bill [=McNeal=] on the sitcom ''NewsRadio''.

Hartman has been consistently praised as one of SNL's best performers. His memorable celebrity impressions included FrankSinatra, Creator/CharltonHeston, RonaldReagan, Ed [=McMahon=], Creator/KirkDouglas, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Barbara Bush, and BillClinton (years before Darrell Hammond would also be famous for the impression[[note]]in fact, a lot of Darrell Hammond's memorable impressions were made famous by Phil Hartman, like Donald Trump, Dick Cheney, and Music/JohnnyCash[[/note]]). His original characters included Eugene the Anal-Retentive Chef (who also appeared as an anal-retentive carpenter and an anal-rententive sportsman) and TheUnfrozenCavemanLawyer. His ability to adapt to any performance earned him the nickname "Glue" from co-star Creator/AdamSandler.

On May 28, 1998, while he was still sleeping, Hartman was shot to death by his wife Brynn, who was under the influence of drugs and killed herself shortly afterward.

The outpouring of sympathy was immense. ''Simpsons'' creator Creator/MattGroening had Hartman's characters Hutz and [=McClure=] retired from the show (though those two characters did appear in some of the comic book stories), and named ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' protagonist Phillip J. Fry in honor of Hartman, while BillyWest took over as the voice of Zapp Brannigan (who was supposed to be voiced by Hartman). ''Series/NewsRadio'' pressed on one more season, this time with his friend Jon Lovitz, before being cancelled, because as his castmates put it, "Phil would've wanted us to."
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!!You may remember him from such films as...:
* ''PeeWeesBigAdventure'' (1985)
* ''Film/ThreeAmigos'' (1986)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'' (1987)
* ''Film/{{Coneheads}}'' (1993)
* ''Film/SoIMarriedAnAxeMurderer'' (1993)
* ''{{Film/Houseguest}}'' (1995)
* ''[[Series/ThePhilSilversShow Sgt. Bilko]]'' (1996)
* ''Film/JingleAllTheWay'' (1996)
* ''Film/SmallSoldiers'' (1998) - Posthumously released, dedicated to Hartman.
* ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService'' (1998) - Also dedicated to Hartman.

!!Tropes applying to Phil Hartman:
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: Has gained greater esteem due to the horrific nature of his death.
* EarlyBirdCameo: On the season 11 episode of ''SNL'' hosted by Paul Reubens (as his manchild character Pee-Wee Herman), Hartman played one of the Pilgrims in the "Pee-Wee Herman Thanksgiving Special" sketch. A year later, when Lorne was trying to fix ''SNL'' after the network threatened to cancel the show due to low ratings and bad reviews, Hartman became one of the new cast members hired.
* HeAlsoDid: Hartman was also an artist who worked with rock groups. He designed the logo for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, as well as album covers for Music/{{America}} and Poco.
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: He played many JerkAss characters (often for laughs), but was one of the gentlest souls around, which makes his sudden murder even more tragic.
* TheUnfrozenCavemanLawyer: TropeNamer.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: He was going to play Zapp Brannigan on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', but died before working on it. As mentioned above, Groening gave Fry the first name "Phillip" in honor of Hartman, and Creator/BillyWest based his portrayal of Brannigan on Hartman's mannerisms.
** He was supposed to provide the voice of [[DiscoDan Disco Stu]] in the Simpsons episode "Two Bad Neighbors", but when the animators needed to do a model change, Hartman wasn't available, so Creator/HankAzaria took the part.
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