“Fly on the wall”Dana Carvey and David Spade’s podcast on Saturday Night Live, filmed a few episodes in honor of the late SNL cast member Phil Hartman, whose birthday was September 24th. He would have been 75 years old.
One of the things that is revealed about the great comedic actor is that before he ventured into comedy, he had a successful career as a graphic designer. Among other things, he designed album covers for the bands Poco and America.
If you search for other albums designed by Phil Hartman, you’ll come across many, many references to his work on Steely Dan Ah yes Album, but that is inaccurate.
Here’s a photo of Phil Hartman (left) in his late 20s with the band Poco in the mid-70s, about ten years before his debut on SNL.
The “Fly on the Wall” tributes are very touching because his castmates absolutely adored him and the multifaceted aspect of his talent.
Incidentally, Hartman’s talent for impersonation apparently led him to be commissioned to do loops for Jack Nicholson, essentially dubbing Nicholson’s voice in Nicholson’s own film. From that Podcast:
JIM DOWNEY: I was always told… by people who claimed that Phil made loops for Jack Nicholson. Because Nicholson had apparently gotten so lazy, he didn’t even want to go in and re-record a simple voice-over. And Phil would come in and do it.
DANA CARVEY: For the film The border, I believe. Can I tell a short story about it? … So, I’m on par three in Studio City with Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman. So we wait and then we wave to the next golfer and it’s Nicholson and he goes out of bounds and hits a car. Anyway, then he comes up to us, and Phil was very… just a gentleman who says, “You know, Mr. Nicholson, I just want to say that I actually dubbed your voice for the film. “ The border.” And Jack Nicholson said, “No wonder it was my only stinker.”
Just for fun, here’s an SNL sketch with Hartman that Kevin Nealon cried/laughed while describing.