Album Cover Art Wednesday: Phil Hartman

There’s a Phil Hartman revival going on right now. There’s a recent, well reviewed biography, which I haven’t read yet but the excerpts have been swell. Grantland did one of their popular culture tournament things about who was the best SNL cast member and Hartman finished a surprising second to Will Farrell. The unacademy done good on that one.

That brings me to a little known fact: Phil Hartman also designed album covers before becoming a world class funnyman. He worked mostly for L.A. bands and used a selfless client driven style much like his work as the greatest character actor in the annals of SNL.

There’s some confusion and controversy online as to what covers the Phil Man worked on. I’ve seen Steely Dan’s Aja and CSN’s  After The Storm attributed to him, but I’m sticking to the All Music Guide credits. They’re usually more accurate than somebody spitballing on the intewebs.

Anyway, here is a sampling of the Hartmanic covers:


America Hartman

Phil’s most interesting LP cover work was for the great comedy team, Firesign Theatre. No surprise there:

Firesign Hartman

In lieu of posting audio clips of any of these albums-that’s right, I won’t be inflicting America on you-here’s Phil Hartman’s SNL audition:



One thought on “Album Cover Art Wednesday: Phil Hartman

  1. I don’t know if you’re interested if you know anybody who is I have a signed Phil Hartman print,1 of 100 and the certificate of authenticity from his brother John Hartmann who managed America poco and several other major rock acts… the print is signed in pencil and his last name only with two nn’s he dropped one and when he began his acting career, if you know anyone notify me I’ll send pictures and my information thank you it is very very rare….

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