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