Saturday, August 24, 2002


Is taping NewsRadio episodes. I was a huge Phil Hartman fan on Saturday Night Live--I have a real weakness for "utility player" performers, who just fill in and support and do great work almost invisibly sometime--though both Hartman's Frankenstein and Anal Retentive Chef were just beautiful, beautiful comedy. But NBC whipped News Radio from time slot to time slot, and my life was just too up and down to catch up. Now, working at home, cable-ready (thank you, A&E) I have time to catch up. This was the week where Paul Simms, the writer/creator, did just a genius job of dealing with Hartman's death by giving Hartman's character, the bombastic Bill McNeil, an offscreen heart attack. Sad, funny, cynical--just the way I like my death comedy. Jon Lovitz stepped in to replace Hartman, and you can feel the strain...but also the good will.


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