"OH, MY! A CAMERA?! HOW UNEXPECTED!"
That's Phil Hartman's intro back when he was a cast member on Saturday Night Live. For those unaware of this particular era of credits, this was back when "comedy = being cheerfully accosted by a camera." And for those who aren't aware of who Hartman is (you fucking ghouls) then go watch an old Simpsons episode or NewsRadio or the film CB4. (In fact -- let's all go enjoy the rap-comedy antics of CB4 the moment this nightmare article is over. You'll need them.)
You see, on May 28, 1998, Hartman was shot in the head several times by his wife, Brynn, who at the time was drunk and high on cocaine. She committed suicide a few hours later as the police were escorting their children from the house. It was fucking tragic, to say the very least. And as you probably have figured out, the lady sitting across from Hartman in his SNL intro was indeed his future killer.
"Hello, I'm Phil Hartman! You might remember me from such GIFs as the one right before this, and the one right below."
But wait, take a look at Brynn's earring in this above GIF, and the way it's swinging wildly. What the hell is up with that?
Obviously we can't know exactly what was going through Brynn's head. But we do know that, according to several friends, Brynn felt eclipsed and insecure by her husband's fame. And during the filming of this SNL introduction, she kept attempting to get her face on-camera, only to have the director continually tell her to cut it out.
The earring is swinging because Brynn couldn't stop looking at the camera, seemingly desperate to break out of her husband's shadow. So if you believe the narrative described by their friends, that goddamn earring represents all the frustrations that eventually culminated in horrific tragedy.
So in conclusion, I might've just forever ruined 1990s SNL for you. Uh, sorry.
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What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror, the third book in David Wong's John Dies at the End series, is available now!