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Philip Edward "Phil" Hartman (September 24, 1948 - May 28, 1998) was a Canadian-American comedian and actor.

Phil had started his comedy career with the famous improv group The Groundlings, where he worked with Paul Rubens. Rubens had continued working with Hartman on his famous show Pee Wee's Playhouse where Hartman played Captain Carl, a grizzled sea captain who was a friend of Pee Wee Herman's. Hartman also had a bit part in Rubens' best known film Pee Wee's Big Adventure, where he played a reporter. Hartman had also been known for voice acting; his best known voice role on The Simpsons where he did several characters (such as Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure). Hartman had also done voice acting for Dennis the Menace, Eek! the Cat, & Gravedale High. Due to his experience with voice acting, Hartman had likely been chosen to narrate the intro to sketches as well as the famous "fake commercials" shown after the monologue.

As a Saturday Night Live cast member, he is often believed to be one of the best, if not the best that SNL has. He was on the show for 8 seasons and played a total of 20 different recurring characters. Hartman retired from the cast of SNL in 1994, focusing his attention full time on the film industry.

His departure from SNL at the end of the 1993 season was spoofed by him wearing a cowboy hat saying he is "going west", detailing his move from New York City to Los Angeles. However, like many retired cast members from SNL, Hartman was invited to host the show, which he did twice.

In 1998, Hartman was murdered by his wife Brynn (who then took her own life). The following year, Hartman was honored by having a SNL episode dedicated entirely to him showing clips of his most memorable work, as was done for deceased cast members Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Chris Farley. The memoriam episode was later made into a "Best of" video.

Matt Groening elected to retire all of the characters on The Simpsons instead of recasting them out of respect for Hartman. Groening also had shown interest in Hartman working on Futurama prior to his death; the protagonist Fry's forename of Philip was in honor of Hartman, and Billy West's voiceover of Zapp Brannigan was an homage to the late actor, for whom the character was originally written.

In Beck Bennett's audition in 2013, Bennett also impersonated Hartman's character Troy McClure.



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