Phil Hartman (September 24, 1948 — May 28, 1998) was a Canadian-born comedian and actor famous for starring on Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1994, note for his guest appearances on The Simpsons 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 Frank Sinatra, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan, Ed McMahon, Kirk Douglas, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Barbara Bush, and Bill Clinton (years before Darrell Hammond would also be famous for the impressionnote ). His original characters included Eugene the Anal-Retentive Chef (who also appeared as an anal-retentive carpenter and an anal-rententive sportsman) and The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. His ability to adapt to any performance earned him the nickname "Glue" from co-star Adam Sandler.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 Matt Groening 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 Futurama protagonist Phillip J. Fry in honor of Hartman, while Billy West took over as the voice of Zapp Brannigan (who was supposed to be voiced by Hartman). 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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