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.