It was 12 years ago today that Phil Hartman was killed. Even when I was only 11, I recognized the comic genius of Phil Hartman. I remember Hartman as the voice of several of my favorite Simpsons characters, the star of one of my favorite shows growing up in Newsradio, one of the first actors I loved on Saturday Night Live, and of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s neighborly nemesis (the non-Sinbad one) in Jingle All the Way.
Hartman possessed one of the finest voices I’ve ever heard–one that was simultaneously distinct and versatile. Sometimes, unfunny things became funny simply because Phil Hartman knew how to say them.
In memory of Hartman, here’s some of his best clips: