|Born||24 September, 1948|
|Died||28 May, 1998|
|Wikipedia has information unrelated to Futurama|
Philip Edward "Phil" Hartman was a Canadian-American actor and comedian who was originally intended to be the voice of Zapp Brannigan. He was most notable for his work on Saturday Night Live, and during the 1990s he became a semi-regular performer on The Simpsons.
Because of his extremely positive reputation among Simpsons cast and crew, when Matt Groening developed the characters for Futurama, Zapp was created specifically for Hartman. But Matt Groening says that Hartman insisted on auditioning for Zapp’s voice anyway and “he came in, and of course he nailed the part”.
Tragically, Phil Hartman was murdered on 28 May, 1998 by his wife Brynn at age 49, just a few weeks after the audition. No dialogue had been recorded, and so the part was given to Billy West. In tribute, Zapp’s voice was modeled in the same style that Phil Hartman had intended for the character, and Philip J. Fry gained his first name in honor of Hartman.
- ^ a b "The part of Zapp Brannigan was originally meant for Phil Hartman and we knew how great he was, we said "you don't have to come and audition", but he said no, he wanted to, and he came in and of course he nailed the part and he was ready to go and then, you know, he was killed just a couple of weeks later. And you know, it was incredibly sad to see this guy, when he came in, so full of life, so much fun. And I don't think I've ever seen an actor enjoy himself as much as Phil Hartman did, not only his own work, but obviously the people who he was playing with." — Groening, Matt (Transcript)
Groening, Matt. Commentary for "Love's Labours Lost in Space" on Volume One, disc 1.
- ^ Keller, Joel (15 June 2006). "Billy West: The TV Squad Interview". TVSquad.com. Retrieved on 03 March 2011.