Former Saturday Night Live star and multi-character voiceover actor for The Simpsons, Jon Lovitz, is engaged in a real-life feud with bizarre comedian Andy Dick. The feud is more intense than merely exchanging Shakespearean insults: Lovitz and Dick reportedly came to blows inside a comedy club in Los Angeles. The two were briefly fellow cast members on the NBC comedy NewsRadio after Lovitz was cast when Phil Hartman was brutally murdered by his wife. But more on that later.
What caused Jon Lovitz to launch an attack on Andy Dick, a comedian know at least as much if not more for his frequent drug-related arrests and behavior that verges from the outrageous to the mentally unbalanced? Well, Jon Lovitz has put forth the claim that Andy Dick threatened his life when the two ran into each other in a restaurant last year. This meeting was purely accidental, apparently, because Lovitz and Dick had ended their friendship almost a decade before. It is the reason for that falling out between the two men who had formerly been quite close that is far more interesting and likely the cause of Lovitz’s violent actions than the death threat itself: “I put the Phil Hartman hex on you. You’re the next to die.”
It must be remembered that Lovitz was part of that same Saturday Night Live renaissance that produced everyone from Jan Hooks to Chris Rock. It also produced Phil Hartman and Hartman and Lovitz were known to be quite close, something along the lines of the Belushi/Aykroyd friendship from the golden age of Saturday Night Live. Phil Hartman, of course, was one of the most versatile men in Hollywood, famous not only for his many wacky SNL characters, but also for providing the voices of Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz-among others-on The Simpsons, for writing Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and even for designing the covers of two classic albums from the 70s: Steely Dan’s Aja and Poco’s Legend.
And how did the life of this insanely talented man end? With three bullets into his sleeping body courtesy of his own cocaine-addled wife on May 28, 1998. I can still remember hearing the news over my car radio.
Andy Dick’s enigmatic threat to Lovitz’s life involving a “Phil Hartman hex” may at first seem merely another cocaine-addled human being’s misguided attempt at humor based on personal knowledge of another. But it goes far deeper and, potentially, much more tragically than that. For you see, the reason that Jon Lovitz and Andy Dick had not been in each other’s company before the night that threat was issued has everything to do with she-who-shall-not-be-named. The falling out between these two friends allegedly took place because Jon Lovitz accused none other than Andy Dick himself of being the person who convinced Phil Hartman’s wife to jump off the wagon and return to the wonderful, wacky world of psychotic behavior helped along by illegal substance abuse.
Admittedly, she-who-must-not-be-named had a string of problems that contributed to her eventually killing a man whose talent and success she envied, but doubtlessly the mix of cocaine, Zoloft and alcohol in her system at 6:00 in the morning was the real engine here. If what Jon Lovitz thinks about Andy Dick is true-and a ten year feud would convince most people it must be-the real question becomes why did Lovitz stop with a mere beating?