The untimely death of Phil Hartman prevented many potentially great projects from seeing the light of day. For example, there isn’t a Simpsons’ fan alive that doesn’t regret the fact that we’ll never get to see Hartman in that live-action Troy McClure movie. This nagging reminder of what could have been is only exacerbated by projects that seem like little more than cheap cash-ins.
Splitsider is reporting that “Flat TV” – a 40 minute comedy album Hartman recorded in the late 70s’ that wasn’t released until 2002 – is being developed into an animated movie. The movie – much like the album- will consist of “sketches written by and starring Hartman that revolve around a dysfunctional family, [and the] TV shows they consume interspersed throughout”.
At best “Flat TV” was an interesting curio, an early peek into a great comedic mind that was still developing its voice. At its worst it was just another sketch comedy album from the 70s. No better or worse than anything The Firesign Theater or The Credibility Gap produced. But no matter what it was, it wasn’t a movie. If anything, the “Flat TV” movie sounds eerily similar to last year’s “A Liar’s Autobiography” another animated cash-grab that exploited the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman.