I didn't know Phil Hartman. But I was lucky enough to see him perform.
It was at a NewsRadio taping earlier this year. This has long been one of my favorite shows, and I've never understood why it wasn't a bigger hit.
Phil's performance as Bill McNeal was up to his usual standards -- that is to say, excellent.
The entire cast was very friendly toward the studio audience. Phil took the time to come up from the stage and answer a few questions. I don't know if my memory is playing tricks on me, but I swear he told someone that his wife's family ran a small bed and breakfast inn, and the next time that person was there, he should look it up.
I applauded long and hard at the end of that night's taping. It's one of the things I like to do at a performance, the only way I know how to send my sincere appreciation for the work done by the actors. It's a way of saying "Thank you."
Let me say it again here, now. Thanks, Phil. Thanks for the literally thousands of laughs your work has provided over the years. Thanks for proving that it's never too late to get in to "show biz." Thanks for always giving your audience your very best performance.
I didn't know Phil Hartman, the man. By most accounts, a great guy.
I loved Phil Hartman, the performer. And I'll truly miss him.