Jon Lovitz

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Jon Lovitz
Jon Lovitz Mercedes-Benz Carousel of Hope Gala 2014 (cropped).jpg
Lovitz in 2014
Born
Jonathan Michael Lovitz

(1957-07-21) July 21, 1957 (age 65)
Education University of California, Irvine
Occupations
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1984–present

Jonathan Michael Lovitz ( /ˈlʌvɪts/ ; born July 21, 1957) [1] is an American actor and comedian. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990. Lovitz starred as Jay Sherman in The Critic and played a baseball scout in A League of Their Own . [2] He has appeared in 20 episodes of The Simpsons .

Contents

Early life

Lovitz was born on July 21, 1957, in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles, to Harold and Barbara Lovitz. [3] [1] His family is Jewish, and emigrated from Romania, Hungary, and Russia. [4] His paternal grandfather, Feivel Ianculovici, left Romania around 1914. After arriving in the United States, he Americanized his name to Phillip Lovitz. [3]

In a 2011 interview, Lovitz described his comedic influences:

"When I was 13, I saw Woody Allen's movie Take The Money and Run , and I wanted to be a comedian. Then when I was 16, I saw the movie Lenny , about Lenny Bruce, starring Dustin Hoffman. I thought the movie was so great, and I'd never heard of Lenny, so I went to the record store because I wanted to hear the real guy. Then I saw that Woody Allen had a record. I didn't know he had been a standup. So, I bought Woody Allen: The Nightclub Years, '64-'68. I learned their routines and performed them at my college dorm. That was at U.C. Irvine. I was a drama major there. In imitating their routines, I learned a lot about writing. You learn how to write a joke. I was influenced by them a lot, the way I say something, the timing or whatever. Or Jack Benny, sometimes I'll go, 'Well....'" [5]

In college, Lovitz was friends with David Kudrow, brother of Lisa Kudrow, and went on a backpacking trip across Europe and Israel with him in 1978. [3] He graduated with a bachelor's degree in drama in 1979, then studied acting with Tony Barr at the Film Actors Workshop. [6] He became a member of the Groundlings comedy troupe, where he befriended his future SNL castmate Phil Hartman. [5]

Career

Saturday Night Live

Lovitz was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990. He later said in an interview for the book Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live that his time on SNL was the most memorable in his career. He went from having no money to being offered a $500,000 film contract. He was nominated for an Emmy Award his first two years on Saturday Night Live. One of his most notable SNL characters was "Tommy Flanagan, The Pathological Liar" who used an old Humphrey Bogart line "Yeah! That's the ticket!" as a catchphrase to punctuate painfully elaborated implausible lies. His other recurring characters and impersonations included Annoying Man, Master Thespian, Tonto, Mephistopheles, Harvey Fierstein, and Michael Dukakis. In a 1986 SNL episode, he portrayed a virgin Trekkie, who was scripted to hang his head when asked by William Shatner if he had ever kissed a girl.

Hanukkah Harry, one of Lovitz's most memorable roles, cast him in 1989 as a Jewish contemporary of Santa Claus who lives on Mount Sinai and travels the globe with a cart flown by three donkeys to give bland gifts to Jewish boys and girls. He is asked to fill in when Santa falls ill on Christmas Eve.

On February 15, 2015, on the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special , he was named by Steve Martin as one of the many SNL cast members who had died over the years, with the camera cutting to show Lovitz's reaction. Later, his image was seen in a montage of deceased SNL members, with the camera once again cutting to his now "outraged" reaction. [7]

Television series

Lovitz's first stint as a regular in a situation comedy was that of Mole, an investigator for a New York City district attorney's office, in the short-lived 1985–86 series Foley Square , starring Margaret Colin.

Lovitz was a contestant on The New Celebrity Apprentice (also known as Celebrity Apprentice 8), playing for the charity St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He was the sixth contestant fired, finishing in 11th place and raising $50,000 for his charity.

Voice work

Lovitz has lent his voice to several cartoons and films. In The Critic , he played the title character Jay Sherman (using his regular speaking voice). He has made several appearances on The Simpsonsas Marge's prom date Artie Ziff in "The Way We Was", the art teacher in "Brush with Greatness", theater director Llewellyn Sinclair and his sister who owned a daycare center in "A Streetcar Named Marge", Andre in "Homer's Triple Bypass", and numerous other appearances, including the character of Jay Sherman in the episode "A Star Is Burns", a crossover with The Critic. He was also the voice of Radio in the Hyperion-produced, Disney-distributed animated movie The Brave Little Toaster , and that of T.R. Chula the tarantula in Amblimation's An American Tail: Fievel Goes West .

Music

Lovitz performed a duet with Robbie Williams on Williams' album Swing When You're Winning (2001), in the song "Well, Did You Evah". He also performed on the TV series Two and a Half Men singing "Save the Orphans" and beating Charlie (Charlie Sheen) out of the award for best jingle writer.

Broadway theatre

He has appeared on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in Neil Simon's play The Dinner Party , taking over the lead role from Henry Winkler. He sang at Carnegie Hall three times (including Great Performances' Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall) and sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium and the U.S. Open.

On October 10, 2001, Lovitz sang a duet (with Robbie Williams) of the song "Well, Did You Evah!" at the Royal Albert Hall. The recording can be found on the Swing When You're Winning album.

Commercial work

In the 1990's he was the voice for Red in commercials for M&M's.

Between 1999 and 2000 Lovitz appeared in a $33 million advertising campaign that featured a series of television commercials promoting the Yellow Pages. The comic premise was to present Lovitz as the Yellow Pages' author. One of them featured Lovitz saying, "The hardest thing to do is to come up with a simple idea that is also great. And I just thought, 'Oh, the alphabet!'" [8] [9]

In 2006, he became the spokesman in an advertising campaign for the Subway restaurant chain. [10]

In 2020, Lovitz starred in commercials for Playology, a brand of toys for aging dogs. They featured him with disparaging puppies, asking for senior dogs to get their due. [11]

Stand-up comedy

Lovitz began his stand-up career in 2003 at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. [12] [13]

Feud with Andy Dick

Lovitz has had a long rivalry with former NewsRadio costar Andy Dick concerning the death of their mutual friend Phil Hartman. According to Lovitz, Dick gave Hartman's wife Brynn cocaine at a Christmas party at Hartman's house in 1997. Brynn, a recovering addict, began using drugs again, culminating in her killing Hartman and herself on May 28, 1998. When Lovitz joined the cast of NewsRadio as Hartman's replacement, he and Dick got into a heated argument in which Lovitz reportedly shouted "I wouldn't be here if you hadn't given Brynn coke in the first place." Lovitz later apologized to Dick for the remark. [14]

In early 2007, Dick approached Lovitz at a restaurant and said "I put the Phil Hartman hex on you—you're the next to die." [15] On July 10, 2007, Lovitz got into a physical altercation with Dick at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. Lovitz demanded an apology from Dick, who refused and accused Lovitz of blaming him for Hartman's death. Lovitz then smashed Dick's head into the bar. [15]

The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club & Podcast Theatre

In 2009, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club location on Universal CityWalk in Universal Studios Hollywood opened. [16] A comic short film starring Ken Davitian and featuring Lovitz was filmed there, directed by Brent Roske and written by Aaron Davitian.

The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club in Universal Studios Hollywood was home to the first MMA Roasted standup comedy show [17] in 2009.[ citation needed ]

On May 29, 2011, the name was changed to the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club & Podcast Theatre. A premiere event called Podammit was held, in which Kevin Smith hosted a variety of six podcasts, including Plus One 3D with his wife, Jennifer Schwalbach; Hollywood Babble-On with Ralph Garman; and Jay & Silent Bob Get Old with Jason Mewes; as well as The ABCs of SNL with Lovitz himself, a six-episode This Is Your Life -style biographical interview about Lovitz's life and career. [18] The Club periodically hosted other podcasts such as Rob Paulsen's Talkin' Toons (which subsequently left in October 2013). The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club & Podcast Theater closed on November 5, 2014. [19]

Personal life

Lovitz resides in Beverly Hills, California. He is friends with Sean Penn and Adam Sandler. [20] [21] He was also friends with Penny Marshall and Phil Hartman. He has described Hartman as "the big brother I always wanted". [22]

Politically, Lovitz is a supporter of the Democratic Party. However, he was an outspoken critic of former President Barack Obama. He called Obama a "fucking asshole" and criticized him for claiming the rich did not pay their share of taxes. Lovitz said: "He had nothing … and the guy ends up being at Harvard. He's the president of the United States. And now he's like, 'Fuck me and everyone who made it like me'." [23]

In June 2021, Lovitz criticized cancel culture and compared it to McCarthyism. [24] [25] He claimed that it made comedians' jobs increasingly difficult, saying, "If you don't have the ability to laugh at yourself, don't go to a comedy club," and "If you're watching TV and you don't like the show, change the channel. It's very simple." [24]

Filmography

Film

Film performances
YearTitleRoleNotes
1986 Hamburger: The Motion Picture Security guard
Last Resort Bartender
Jumpin' Jack Flash Doug
Ratboy Party guest
Three Amigos Morty
1987 The Brave Little Toaster RadioVoice
1988 Big Scotty Brennen
My Stepmother Is an Alien Ron Mills
1990 Mr. Destiny Clip Metzler
1991 An American Tail: Fievel Goes West T.R. ChulaVoice
1992 A League of Their Own Ernie Capadino
Mom and Dad Save the World Emperor Tod Spengo
The BuzzUn­known
1993 Loaded Weapon 1 Becker
Coneheads Dr. RudolphUncredited
1994 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold Glen Robbins
North Arthur Belt
Trapped in Paradise Dave Firpo
1996 For Goodness Sake II Un­known
The Great White Hype Sol
Matilda MickeyUncredited
High School High Richard Clark
1998 The Wedding Singer Jimmie MooreUncredited
Happiness Andy Kornbluth
1999 Lost & Found Uncle Harry
2000 Small Time Crooks Benny
Little Nicky Peeper
Sand Kirby
2001 3000 Miles to Graceland Jay Peterson
Cats & Dogs CalicoVoice
Rat Race Randall "Randy" Pear
Good Advice Barry Sherman
2002 Eight Crazy Nights Tom BlazerVoice
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Sidney Wernick
2004 The Stepford Wives Dave Markowitz
2005 Bailey's Billion$ BaileyVoice
Pancho's PizzaUn­knownShort film
The Producers Mr. Marks
2006 The Benchwarmers Mel
Southland Tales Bart Bookman
Farce of the Penguins "My eyes are up here" PenguinVoice; Direct-to-DVD release
2007 I Could Never Be Your Woman RobDirect-to-DVD release
2010 Casino Jack Adam Kidan
2012 Jewtopia Dennis Lipschitz
Hotel Transylvania Quasimodo Voice
A Mouse Tale King of MiceVoice
2013 Jungle Master MullaVoice
Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie The Mad Scientist
Bula Quo! Wilson
Grown Ups 2 Squats Fitness Janitor
Almost SharkproofMax [26]
2014 Birds of Paradise SkeeterVoice
Coffee ShopFrank Miller
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 The Phantom of the Opera Voice
The Ridiculous 6 Ezekiel Grant
Bark RangerRangerVoice
2016 Mother's Day Wally Burn
2017 Sandy Wexler Testimonial
Killing Hasselhoff Barry
Chasing the Blues Lincoln Groome
2018Bachelor LionsAlfred Brownberry
Paws P.I.JacksonVoice
2019Benchwarmers 2: Breaking BallsMel Carmichael
HookedMr. Campbell
2020InfluenceGregg Anderson
Agent Toby BarksTobyVoice
The Swing of ThingsJon Johnston
2021ExtinctConchVoice
Tales of a Fifth Grade Robin HoodJohn Prince
Love on the RockAlex Wingrave
Lacy's Christmas Do-OverSanta's ElfVoice
Ace & the Christmas MiracleAceVoice

Television

Television performances
YearTitleRoleNotes
1984 The Paper Chase LevitzEpisode 2.18: "Billy Pierce"
1985–1986 Foley Square MoleRegular cast member
1985–1992 Saturday Night Live Various charactersMain cast member; appeared in 92 episodes
1991 Tales from the Crypt Barry BlyeEpisode 3.5: "Top Billing"
Married... with Children Jeff LittleheadEpisode 6.10: "Kelly Does Hollywood: Part 2"
1991–present The Simpsons Artie Ziff, Jay Sherman, Aristotle Amadopolis, Professor Lombardo, other various charactersVoices; 20 episodes
1992, 1994 The Larry Sanders Show HimselfEpisode 1.03: "The Spiders Episode" and Episode 3.11: "Larry Loses a Friend"
1993 A League of Their Own Ernie CapadinoEpisode 1.1: "Dottie's Back"
1994–1995 The Critic Jay ShermanVoice; Appeared in all 23 episodes
1995 Seinfeld Gary FogelEpisode 6.13: "The Scofflaw"
1995, 2003 Friends SteveEpisodes 1.15: "The One with the Stoned Guy" and 9.14: "The One with the Blind Dates"
1997 The Naked Truth Acer PredburnEpisode 2.8: "The Scoop"
1997–1999 NewsRadio Ulysses S. Grant
Mike Johnson
Max Lewis
Episode 3.20: "Our Fiftieth Episode"
Episode 4.1: "Jumper"
Main cast member in fifth season
1997 Saturday Night Live HostEpisode 23.5: "Jon Lovitz/Jane's Addiction"
2000 Bette HimselfEpisode 1.15: "Polterguest"
2002 Son of the Beach Father of B.J.'s BabyEpisode 3.14: "Bad News, Mr. Johnson"
2003 Just Shoot Me! Roland DevereauxEpisode 7.15: "A Simple Kiss of Fate"
2004–2005 Las Vegas Fred PuterbaughAppeared in three episodes
2006 Two and a Half Men Archie BaldwinEpisode 3.17: "The Unfortunate Little Schnauzer"
2010 WWE Raw HimselfGuest Host [27]
2011 Saturday Night Live Himself (cameo)Episode 36.14: "Dana Carvey/Linkin Park"
2011–2012 Hot in Cleveland Homeless man/Artie4 episodes
2012–2015 Mr. Box Office Bobby GoldMain cast member
2013–2014 New Girl Rabbi FeiglinEpisode 3.05: "The Box"; Episode 3.16: "Sister"
2014 Sing Your Face Off HimselfContestant
2015 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Queen GabnidineVoice; Episode: "To Smell and Back"
Hawaii Five-O Barry BurnsEpisode 5.17 "Kuka'awale"; Episode 5.21 "Ua helele'i ka koku"
2016–2018 Animals. Himself
Old Ben
Voices; Episode 1.09 "Squrriels Part I"; Episode 1.10 "Squrriels Part II"; Episode 2.04 "Squrriels"
2016, 2018 The $100,000 Pyramid Himself/Celebrity GuestEpisode: "Jon Lovitz vs. Deion Sanders"; Episode: "Jon Lovitz vs. Bobby Moynihan"
2017 The New Celebrity Apprentice Himself/Contestant11th place
Justice League Action Sid SharpVoice; 1.35 "Superman's Pal, Sid Sharp"
2017–present Funny You Should Ask Himself/Celebrity Comicmultiple episodes - present
2018 Insatiable Father SchwartzEpisode 1.09 "Bad Kitty"
MogulettesAmnonTelevision movie
2019 The Goldbergs Jimmie MooreEpisode 6.11 "The Wedding Singer"
The Cool Kids Kip SamgoodEpisode 1.19 "Kip Samgood's Biggest Fan"
Jackie and the Next-Neighbor GirlsJohnny Bodine41 episodes
Historical Roasts Franklin D. Roosevelt Episode 1.03 "Anne Frank"
Anything but A..Man..Da!Michael SteinEpisode 1.01 "Pilot"
2020 Saturday Night Live Alan Dershowitz Episode 45.11 "Adam Driver/Halsey"
Bitmoji TVJustin BieberVoice; Episode 1.04 "Demon Bear"
Holey Moley Himself/Captain Long Jon LovitzEpisode 2.01 "Literally Jumping the Shark"; 2.05 "Where the Herd At?": 2.06 "Don't Attempt This in Clogs"
A.P. Bio Robin SchwonkEpisode 3.02 "Disgraced"
2021The PotwinsHenryEpisode: "Blue Collar
Paper EmpireStan KatzEpisode 1.06 "The Anderson Files"
2023 The Tonight Show George Santos Episode 1782: "Colin Jost/Kenya Barris"

Web

Web series credits
YearTitleRoleNotes
2013 Kevin Pollak's Chat Show Himself/GuestEpisode: "178"
2020 GPS Distress Manager, NavTerrainSeason 5, Episode 10

Other work

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Preceded by MTV Movie Awards host
1995 (with Courteney Cox)
Succeeded by