Thursday 23 November 2017

Book ~ "You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman" (2014) Mike Thomas

From Goodreads ~ Beloved comedic actor Phil Hartman is best known for his eight brilliant seasons on "Saturday Night Live", where his versatility and comedic timing resulted in some of the funniest and most famous sketches in the show’s history, including his hilarious impersonations of Frank Sinatra, Bill Clinton, and Charlton Heston and outrageous portrayals of the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer and Anal Retentive Chef. He also starred as pompous radio broadcaster Bill McNeal in the NBC sitcom "NewsRadio" and voiced numerous classic roles on Fox’s long-running animated hit, "The Simpsons".

But Hartman's life was cut tragically short when he was shot to death while he slept by his jealous and intoxicated third wife, Brynn, who turned the gun on herself a few hours later. It was a Hollywood tragedy that captured the nation's attention.

Now, for the first time ever, the years and moments leading up to Phil’s stunning death are revealed in detail with insight gleaned from exclusive interviews with numerous famous cast mates, close friends, family members, letters, audio/video recordings, police records and more.

"You Might Remember Me" is both a celebration of Phil Hartman’s multi-faceted career and an exhaustively reported, warts-and-all examination of his often intriguing and sometimes troubled life - a powerful and at times harrowing portrait of a man who was loved and admired by millions and taken from them far too early. 

Phil Hartman (1948 - 1998) was an actor.  He was born and lived in Brantford, Ontario, until his family moved to the States when he was about ten.  He graduated from university with a graphic arts degree and designed album covers for bands like Poco and America. 

Hartman joined the comedy group The Groundlings in 1975, where he met Paul Reubens and helped him develop his Pee-wee Herman character (he co-wrote the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure and was Captain Carl on Pee-wee's Playhouse).  In 1986, he joined Saturday Night Live and was on the show for eight years.  In 1995, he starred as Bill McNeal in NewsRadio.  He also had voice roles on The Simpsons, from seasons two to ten, in addition to being in movies.

Hartman was married three times (and divorced twice) and had two children with his third wife, Britt, who he married in 1987.  In May 1998, while drunk and on drugs, Britt shot Phil while he was asleep and a couple hours later killed herself.  Their two young children were raised by Britt's sister.

This book covers Hartman's life from the time his family was living in Brantford to his death, and includes the aftermath of his death with the investigation, tributes from his friends and family, and his memorials.

I liked Phil Hartman and thought his death was tragic.  I liked the writing style of this book and found his story interesting.  There was a lot of information and I found it was at a good level (detailed but not too detailed).  At the end of the book, there are lots of pictures of Hartman throughout the years and a bibliography. 

If you are a Phil Hartman fan, I think you will enjoy this book.

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