One of the greatest crimes against comedy, even greater than the prosecutions against Lenny Bruce, was the untimely death of Saturday Night Live
legend and all around funnyman Phil Hartman.
He wasn't just a funny guy. He had a very approachable and warm style, someone who was affable and familiar and seemed as though a stranger could walk up to him and stick out his hand and Phil would not only shake it boisterously but would talk and joke with the guy long before he could even learn his name. That assessment was finally confirmed when a response to a fan letter surfaced on the Internet
And this letter was more than just a simple "Thanks for watching" boilerplate response. The original correspondence started from an aspiring standup comic and sketch actor including a tape of characters and a letter asking for an honest critique of his talent. Mr. Hartman not only wrote back and complimented the young dreamer, but also gave him a lengthy and honest assessment of his work and ways he could improve it. Just imagine if he were still alive today. He could have touched a lot of lives if he were still around.Photo: Derek Storm/FilmMagic/Getty Images