One of the most tragic celebrity deaths of my lifetime has been the senseless murder of Phil Hartman. Of the Saturday Night Live alums to die far, far before their time, I believe Hartman was actually the most talented. He wasn’t as explosive as Belushi, but his talent for mimicry and his comedic timing were peerless. After he left SNL, he was the anchor for the most underrated sitcom of the 1990’s: Newsradio. The cast has nearly all gone on to star in other shows (and also Joe Rogan and Andy Dick were there).
My favorite episode is in the second season when for no reason whatsoever, Bill McNeil (Phil Hartman’s egotistical anchorman) decides to adopt a cane as an affectation, slowly driving the station manager (Dave Foley) completely insane. It always makes me laugh and makes me remember what a comedic gift Hartman was to us for the time we had him.