It’s been a quarter of a century since legendary funnyman Phil Hartman tragically passed away, and his presence is still badly missed by fans across the world. Revered for his work in comedy, from his voiceover work on The Simpsons to his many memorable sketches from Saturday Night Live, Hartman was just 49 years old when he died on May 28, 1998. The actor was murdered by his wife, Brynn Omdahl, who shot Hartman in his sleep before turning the gun on herself. The incident was just as shocking as it was saddening when the news was broken on that day 25 years ago, and the fans are still mourning the senseless loss.
“I vividly remember the day Phil Hartman was murdered,” one fan recalls. “I was in school and a lot of kids were sad because we watched him on SNL and he was in some of our favorite comedies, and I remember one kid said, ‘It felt like my dad died.’ Such a shame. Such a talent.”
“RIP Phil Hartman,” says another fan on Twitter, including an SNL sketch featuring the actor. “25 years ago today he was taken away from us far too soon. Even in the most unhinged SNL sketch of all time Hartman was able to steal the show.”
Posting a collage of Hartman in his various roles, another fan said, “Today marks 25 years to the day that the world sadly lost the greatest SNL cast member that ever lived, the hilarious Phil Hartman. Timeless comedy. Great in everything he ever did.”
“I love people sharing their memories of Phil Hartman today,” writes another fan who shared a clip from NewsRadio that greatly inspired her. “The sheer number of *different* characters and clips being shared is a testament to his comic genius. I think about this NewsRadio ‘when life gives you lemons’ line often.”
If you didn’t watch the clip, Hartman hilariously says, “Have you ever heard the expression, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then toss it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you asked for in the first place?'”
Phil Hartman Was One of a Kind
Many fans of The Simpsons have also been sharing some of their favorite clips of Hartman’s characters, attorney Lionel Hutz and washed-up actor Troy McClure. Both are widely considered to be among the funniest characters there have ever been on The Simpsons, having some of the most memorable quotes from the golden years of the animated show. The characters were retired following Hartman’s passing as there was just no replacing the one-of-a-kind actor.
Hartman will clearly never be forgotten. You can revisit some of his classic comedy by streaming old episodes of SNL on Peacock, and you can view some more of the tribute posts for Hartman from Twitter below.