Phil Hartman

Date of Death: May 28, 1998
Age: 49
Cause of Death: Murder

I was a moderate fan of Hartman while he was on SNL. I was an avid fan of his role on The Simpsons as Troy McClure (and others). I was an enormous fan once he hit NewsRadio. I didn’t realize how much he made that show until he died. I pretty much stopped watching it afterwards, especially since it meant more screen time for Andy Dick. In fact, I don’t think I’ve regularly watched a situational comedy week in and week out since NewsRadio. Granted, I’m older now, and there is also Netflix, but I really looked forward to seeing Bill McNeil. And I’m still pissed that he’s gone.

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5 thoughts on “Phil Hartman

  1. Was wondering if he made your list, as he’s one of the few celebrity deaths I can think of that I cared about when it happened. Especially since it wasn’t by his own doing.

    I share your sentiments on him making the show (though Foley and Root just as integral) and I also stopped watching it afterwards. Even worse than Andy Dick (ahole) was that Luvitz came on as a regular and I CANNOT STAND that man.

    • Lovitz was added because he was one of Hartman’s best friends. I see why they used this to make their decision, but Lovitz really never had any range. He’s okay at the one schtick he’s got, I guess, but was a poor choice. Anyway, the writing was a much bigger problem than Dick or Lovitz after Hartman died.

  2. NewsRadio was pretty good all around…it wasn’t just him. The writers did seem less enthused after his death, and I think in that way it had a domino effect on the show. Also, I didn’t notice Dick’s role expanding after Hartman’s death. It was too large both before and after his death.

    Getting more to the point, I was hit rather hard by this. I was an enormous fan starting with SNL and continuing all the way up to his death. I still get pissed when I think about it, particularly his murderer killed herself immediately after killing him. Just do yourself if you have to and be done with it, damn it (yes, I realize she had mental issues).

    This is probably the death that hit me the hardest outside of Chris Benoit’s. A lot of wrestling deaths have affected me, but that one…well, if you read up on the situation, you’ll know why.

      • They kind of have. Concussed wrestlers are given extended time off whether they want it or not, and many moves that target the head and pose legitimate dangers have disappeared, like the flying headbutt and the piledriver. There’s also an early morning show targeted specifically for kids where the wrestlers cannot target the neck or above, no matter if the move is legitimately dangerous or only dangerous-looking.

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