Monday, August 18, 2008

Blue Eyes and Brown Noses: A Phil Hartman Quote

Blue Eyes and Brown Noses: A Phil Hartman Quote

Lucy's quotes:

As some of you may know, I love Saturday Night Live. I Always have. Even back in the days when Walter Winchell did Weekend Update and Danny Thomas was the only weekly host. Lorne Michaels was still there. . . Anyway, I enjoyed watching the hours-long E! channel special entitled, 101 Most Unforgettable SNL Moments. On their list, they featured two impersonations of ol' blue eyes, himself-Frank Sinatra. One by Joe Piscopo and one by the late Phil Hartman, respectively. While Joe Piscopo played Frank as an old singer who wasn't quite with the times and too blunt to be politically correct, he also played him as having an affable side. Phil Hartman took the hilariously exaggerated route and played a Sinatra with a zero-tolerance policy who just couldn't wait to burn you.

Robert Smigel is a longtime SNL writer responsible for SNL's TV Funhouse segment and the puppeteer and voice of Late Night With Conan O'Brien's Triumph, the insult comic dog. During his long stay with SNL while Phil Hartman was still a cast member, Smigel decided to write a version of 'The McLaughlin Group' with Frank Sinatra as the host. The idea came to fruition on January 19, 1991 and saw Sting playing a super-sneering Billy Idol on Frank's panel of celebrity pundits. I know, Billy Idol does not sound like a likely pundit on anything . . .it's part of the humorous scenario, people. Get with it. Anyway, Billy really rubs Frank the wrong way-like everyone did to Phil Hartman's Frank. Phil looks like he might break character a little bit with a smile when he tells Sting ''You don't scare me. I got chunks of guys like you in my stool'' Funny as that is, no it's not the quote of the day. It's just part of the back story. Also on the celebrity panel are Sinead O'Connor (Played by Jan Hooks), and Frank's, uh-pals, Steve and Eydie (played by Mike Meyers and Victoria Jackson). The real quote comes from a Phil Hartman interview in 1996 when Phil recounts:

''I met his-his daughter. She told him ''There's this guy who's impersonating you on Saturday Night Live'' and-and he said ''Yeah, what are they-what are they saying, now?'' She said, ''Well, they did a thing called 'The Sinatra Group' and in it, you say that Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme are a couple of brown-nosers and the audience laughs.'' and he goes ''...Well, that part's true.''

Ah, celebrity reactions. Can't get enough of 'em. By the way, I take back my mini-slam on Lorne Michaels. I wouldn't want to ruin my dreams of some day being the Weekend Update the proud tradition of Winchell.