Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Dick And The Jon

Me and Andy Dick at the infamous Christmas party
Brynn and Phil at that 1997 party

I loved Brynn and Phil as much as you can love any two friends. I was broke as dust when I first met them, in New York, when Phil was first hired on SNL and they had just relocated from Los Angeles. My sister, who lived in L.A. and was close to Brynn, asked me to call her since she knew no one in N.Y. So I did.

I remember the funny parts of Brynn and Phil because they were both hilarious. Once I was on the road in Alaska and it was my birthday. I called home and she and Phil had left a Happy Birthday song on my machine. Brynn sang it as Delores Hope, Bob Hope's wife, because she did Delores better than Delores.

And she was the only person I knew who loved Dean Martin as much as I did. And admitted it publicly.

Phil tried to help me with my career more times than I can count. I knew so many standups who never lifted a finger to help me in L.A., outside of Larry David and Michael Patrick King, but Phil was constantly trying to hook me up. He once made Dennis Miller come to my gig at the L.A. Improv to see if I was right for his show. Dennis had a sick child at home outside of L.A. but made the trip anyway. He figured if Phil thought I was funny, it was worth his time. I got a second audition but Dennis's show got cancelled. But I never forgot what Phil and Dennis did for me.

At Phil's 45th birthday party, he told Jay Leno to book me. He had more confidence in me in those days than I had. Jay did not book me.

Brynn used to go to New York once a year and come back with an entirely new wardrobe. She had two friends who were struggling at the time, me and her bff Judy. She would take all her one year-old designer clothes, all the freebies they got in gift bags and lay them out on her bed and then invite me over to pick out what I wanted. She said she always asked me first because she knew how hard I struggled and how little money I had. (Knowing Brynn, she probably told Judy the same thing) Sometimes I would try something on and she would say, "Oh God, I'm not giving that away, it's too fabulous. Ahhh forget it, it really looks better on you." She was a tall blond beauty who was a size 2. I wasn't blind. She was just that generous of spirit.

I still cry every time I think of her taking care of me like that. And for Phil risking his formidable reputation for me.

There are lots of stories out there about what Andy Dick did or did not do at that Christmas party. I will just say this, only her girlfriends know the truth about what went on in that marriage and we ain't talking. I do know that Jon Lovitz was completely devastated by the loss of his best friend so anything he does in Phil's honor, I understand.

We are often defined in life by one mistake. One episode that can't be erased or taped over. We've all had a moment that can't be returned to sender. I wrote about this because I didn't want all this press over the Lovitz-Dick fight to overshadow the real lives of the Hartmans. They have two children out there who remember their parents with love. And so should the rest of us.

End of chat. I mean it.


  1. Always.

    Is there anybody you don't know? :-)

  2. D2, I'm known for being able to get to anyone in 3 phone calls.

  3. tommy james10:30 PM

    Anyone in 3 phone calls, huh? That means I can get to anyone in 4... Not too shabby.

    BTW, what crappy TV are you watching these days? Since AI ended, we can't find anything we like.

  4. Tommy, I'm watching Army Wives and My Life on the D List.

    And for you, I could get to anyone in 17 phone calls. If I was lucky.

  5. Interesting story and touching.

  6. surcie7:14 AM

    I didn't know them at all but was very sad about how their lives ended. Such a thoughtful tribute, Suzy.

    BTW, I love Dean Martin, too. He's all over my iPod. And I'm trying to convert the kid.

  7. That is a touching tribute, Suzy. And sad. I can't even imagine how it must have felt to lose two dear friends together.

    Jay Leno should have booked you.

  8. I am glad you continue to share about the loss of your friends. I don't know what is going on between with Lovitz and Dick, but someone should remind them to be respectful of the family.
    I am with Jess, Leno should have and should book you NOW!

  9. Jess and gm, you're both right. Leno should have booked me.

  10. well so much for that I had to google it- I love Jon Lovitz. Andy Dick has always kinda done everything humanly possible to make me change the channel as soon as I see his face.

    This was a lovely tribute. I wish I had friends like that- we should all have at least one of those in a lifetime and you had 2!!

    And I agree- go on knocking on Leno's door- it ain't too late chica!

  11. Anonymous8:32 AM

    Tommy, you should Netflix or already be watching "Wonderfalls," "The Wire," & "Heroes."


  12. Thanks for those touching stories.
    Just today I auditioned for a commercial where they used Phil Hartman's name as a prototype for the spot.

    Also-Funny how some things plant themselves in your head. I read an article about Phil numerous years ago where he mentioned he had worked as a graphic artist designing record albums,etc. He stated that his acting career didn't take off until he decided to do the absolute best graphic art work he could possibly do. Once he made that decision he said he got every job he auditioned for after that. Hmmm, wonder why that stuck in my head? Oh yeah, I do art work and I'm an actor too! Thanks for the advice Phil! You still rock!

  13. Nice to read your stuff without the hideousness of ACS...BTW the Yanks got crushed tonight by Tampa Bay. Awful.

  14. Al, the Yanks are killing me. Seriously, I can't even watch.

  15. that was an amazing post - how did I miss it the first time???

    still sad about that whole devastating event.

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