For five years on Saturday Night Live, Jon Lovitz gave us some of the most memorable characters in the show’s history. His flare for the dramatic, as well his ability to be as irritating as humanly possible, gave us dozens of hilarious routines. Being that Lovitz is celebrating his 58th birthday, this seemed like a good time to remember his best characters and sketches from his time on SNL.
Tommy Flanagan, The Pathological Liar
Perhaps Lovitz’s most famous character, Tommy Flanagan was known for telling as many lies as he possibly could (most notably, that he was married to Morgan Fairchild), along with his catchphrase, “Yeah, that’s the ticket.” This particular clip took place during the Iran-Contra scandal, with Flanagan acting as Oliver North’s lawyer. As you might guess, he crams as many lies into an Update segment as one possibly can.
Master Thespian is the greatest actor of our time… but he’s reduced to playing a Mall Santa at Macy’s. He doesn’t realize how low this job is on the acting scale; he thinks playing St. Nick is the greatest challenge an actor can face. Naturally, he studies the intricate nuances of the character far more than any Mall Santa would. But what keeps him from seeming too delusional is that the Macy’s manager, played Phil Hartman, takes the role just as seriously as he does. This sketch seems to take place in an alternate universe where playing Santa is the greatest honor an actor can receive. The Tim Allen-verse…
No recurring character in SNL history lived up to his name quite as much as Annoying Man. He would scratch a fork on a chalkboard, and he would pop insanely large boils and show them to Dennis Miller. Really, Miller’s reactions to his antics are as important as what he actually does. In the clip above, Annoying Man makes a New Year’s Resolution to not annoy Dennis anymore. Obviously, he fails miserably.
Time To Make The Donuts
This sketch comes from Lovitz’s hosting gig in 1997, where he plays Fred the Baker, who gave us the immortal catchphrase, “Time to make the donuts.” Because this is his last commercial before retiring the character for good, he decides that he needs some closure. This brings us to, “Time to make the donuts… Then, time to die,” as he thinks the perfect way to end the commercials would be for Fred to go home and take his own life right after making the last batch of donuts. Eventually, Will Ferrell, who plays the director, puts his foot down on all the ad-libbing and suggests a compromise, but it makes no one happy.
“Well hello… and goodbye.” As we can see from these sketches, SNL was calling out cat-calling well before it was cool. Lovitz and Tom Hanks play two guys who hit on every girl who walks down the street and never get any response whatsoever. What makes it work so well is that they take all of this rejection in stride. “My face is just too wide,” Hanks says. “And my hairline isn’t helping, either,” Lovitz replies.
Get To Know Me!
This is the only Lovitz character who may be more annoying than Annoying Man. Lovitz plays himself in these sketches, and he tells us that if we just get to know him, we can have fabulous lives and date supermodels just like him. If that wasn’t enough, we can find out why women call him The Anchor!