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Worker Studio Announces 'Phil Hartman’s Flat TV' Feature

Animation and visual effects company Worker Studio secures the option to produce an animated property based on the comedy album, “Phil Hartman’s Flat TV.”

Animation and visual effects company Worker Studio, in collaboration with producers Paul Hartmann and Angel Rosenthal, has secured the option to produce an animated property based on the comedy album, Phil Hartman’s Flat TV. The album holds the seeds of Phil Hartman’s genius, with all the sophistication and bold energy he carried through an illustrious comedic legacy.  

Phil Hartman’s Flat TV was written, recorded and performed by Hartman before his rise to stardom as a beloved cast member on The Pee Wee Herman Show and Pee Wee’s Playhouse,Saturday Night LiveThe SimpsonsNewsRadio, and his feature film work. In 2002, four years after Phil Hartman’s passing, his brother, legendary music agent, John Hartmann, of Leo/Hartmann Productions, released the album through after its mysterious disappearance.    

"Phil Hartman's Flat TV was produced by Chad Stuart and recorded just before Phil joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. Wrapped up in the hectic schedule of writing and acting on SNL, he forgot all about the album. In the interim, the recording studio closed and the tapes were stashed and forgotten in a backyard storage unit in San Fernando Valley. After Phil's death, 25 years later, we searched far and wide and finally found the original masters. This is Phil at his funniest, without the burden of time, censors or committees. It's pure genius," John Hartmann explained. 

Comedic writer, animator and performer, Michael T. Scott recently joined animation company Worker Studio as a partner. Before Scott began his career, he shared his burgeoning comedy work in a fan letter to Phil Hartman in 1997 and received a thoughtful and constructive reply. Thirteen years after Phil Hartman’s death, Scott posted the letter online and it went viral. This caught the eye of Angel Rosenthal, business partner of Phil’s brother Paul Hartmann. At the time, Rosenthal and Paul Hartmann were spearheading a campaign that got Phil Hartman a Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, in addition to working to convert two of Phil’s unseen art projects into animated features.  

Producing with Paul Hartmann and Rosenthal, Worker Studio has begun developing animation around the twenty-two vignettes that make up Phil Hartman’s Flat TV. It revolves around the dysfunctional Sphincter Family and intersperses their daily life with the television broadcasts they consume. It is a satirical portrait of the American family in the late 1970s, but with hilarious insights perennial to our culture.

Worker Studio founder and CEO, Michael “Fish” Hemschoot said: “All of us at Worker Studio come to the project as fans of Phil Hartman, he has influenced us at so many levels. We’re honored to have this opportunity to, in essence, collaborate with one of our heroes and intend to bring the same level of craft to the visual adaptation of this overlooked comedic gem.” 

Worker Studio is also proud to be collaborating with the Hartmann family, who along with Rosenthal have dedicated over 13 years honoring Phil Hartman’s legacy. Together they are poised to develop an animated production of award-winning caliber that will excite Phil Hartman fans and capture the comedic imagination of generations to come.

Source: Worker Studio

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.