sad anniversaries

Revisiting Phil Hartman, 15 Years After His Death

Photo: Getty

Phil Hartman has been dead for fifteen years. It seems like a weirdly long time, given how often Phil Hartman–isms seem to percolate up into regular conversation. Troy McClure? Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer? I can’t hear Bill Clinton’s voice without hearing Hartman (and Daryl Hammond), too. But this week marks fifteen years since Hartman was killed, and while his death was a tragic, bizarre story, his legacy is one of boisterous, rich comedy. We don’t have Phil Hartman, but we still have his genius. Take a moment to enjoy four of his most memorable characters, any one of which could send you into a YouTube wormhole looking for variations on the theme.

Eugene, the Anal-Retentive Chef
It’s unlikely that a sketch that’s basically about mental illness would make it to air today. And yet it’s hard not to still like Eugene.

Bill Clinton at McDonald’s
Hartman obviously was a master of comic voices. But eating while doing someone’s accent? That’s incredibly difficult.

The Simpsons’ “Monorail”
What’s it called?

The Cane on NewsRadio
And the dance.

Phil Hartman, 15 Years After His Death