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Jonathan Michael Lovitz (born July 21, 1957) is an American comedian, actor, and singer perhaps best known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and the voice of Jay Sherman in The Critic. He is also a frequent guest star on The Simpsons. His first character, Artie Ziff (Marge's prom date from season two's "The Way We Was") was originally supposed to be a one-off character. But the staff loved Lovitz so they kept bringing him back.

Early life[]

Lovitz was born in Tarzana California, to a Jewish couple.[1] He attended and studied theater at the University of California at Irvine and graduated in 1979. He studied acting with Tony Barr at the Film Actors Workshop. He became a member of The Groundlings comedy troupe where he befriended Phil Hartman (who, coincidentally, was also an SNL cast member and Simpsons voice actor) and Paul Reubens (who auditioned to be on Saturday Night Live during its infamously awful sixth season [1980-1981], but lost to Gilbert Gottfried. The loss led Reubens to create the comedy special, The Pee Wee Herman Show, which would later be the CBS Saturday morning kids' show Pee Wee's Playhouse). His father was an immigrant from Albania who lived in Jacksonville, Florida, and later moved to California.


Saturday Night Live[]

Lovitz was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1985 (during the show's failed attempt at bringing semi-established celebrities, like Joan Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Randy Quaid, and Robert Downey, Jr., to the cast. Lovitz, along with Nora Dunn, then-Weekend Update anchor, Dennis Miller, and feature players Al Franken and A. Whitney Brown, were the only cast members from season 11 to move on to season 12, which is considered by critics and fans to be SNL's return to form after years of shaky quality) to 1990. Lovitz 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 movie contract. He was nominated for an Emmy his first two years on Saturday Night Live. One of his most notable SNL characters was "Tommy Flanagan, The Pathological Liar" that generated the catchphrase, "Yeah! That's the ticket!" Some of his other recurring characters included Master Thespian, Tonto, Mephistopheles, and Hanukkah Harry. His most notable celebrity impressions include Michael Dukakis, Harvey Fierstein, Andrew "Dice" Clay, Don Adams, Gene Shalit, and Sylvester Stallone.

Voice over work[]

Lovitz has lent his voice to several cartoons and films. In the series The Critic he played the title character of Jay Sherman. On The Simpsons he played Marge's ex-prom date Artie Ziff, theater director Llewellyn Sinclair (and his sister, who runs a daycare center) on the season four episode "A Streetcar Named Marge", Jay Sherman from The Critic in the Season 6 crossover episode "A Star is Burns" (and a brief appearance on season eight's "Hurricane Neddy" where Jay Sherman is one of the patients at the Calmwood Mental Hospital), and paparazzo Enrico Irritazio in the season eighteen episode "Homerazzi". He also played Professor Lombardo (the community college art teacher who praised Marge's Ringo Starr artwork on "Brush with Greatness") and Aristotle Amadopolis (the nuclear plant boss who was a rival to Mr. Burns on "Homer Defined" and "Homer at the Bat") In "The Ziff Who Came To Dinner", he not only voices Ziff, but has a brief bit as Sinclair, Amadopolis, Lombardo, and Sherman at the same time.

Movie cameos and television guest appearances[]

In the late 1990s, Lovitz was "the man who wrote the Yellow Pages", in a series of commercials and print ads for the American Yellow Pages industry.

He also had an unaccredited cameo as a rival crooner to Adam Sandler in the movie The Wedding Singer.

Lovitz has also appeared on Friends twice. He first appeared in the Season 1 episode "The One With The Stoned Guy" as a restaurateur who gets stoned on marijuana trip just prior to interviewing Monica Geller for a job. He reappeared years later in the Season 9 episode "The One with the Blind Dates", where it is revealed that he lost his restaurant due to his drug problem.

He also appeared on Seinfeld as Gary Fogel, a man who lies about having cancer ("The Scofflaw") and later dies in a car accident.

Lovitz guest-starred twice on Newsradio as two separate characters before becoming a cast member in the show's final season (playing a third character).

Broadway theater[]

He has appeared on Broadway at the Music Box Theater 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 in the UK. The recording can be found on the Swing When You're Winning album.

Stand-up comedy[]

In 2005, Lovitz entered stand-up comedy for the first time in his career. He also appeared in the film The Producers as the strict accounting firm chairman, Mr. Marx. In 2006, he became the spokesperson in an advertising campaign for the Subway restaurant chain. He was dropped from the campaign later that year by Fred De Luca after test audiences and a number of phone calls and letters deemed him not funny enough to cause people to eat.

On May 31, 2007 the Laugh Factory on Sunset Strip announced that Lovitz had signed a deal to appear there every Wednesday night for the rest of his life. Or, Lovitz could appear in New York if he is there on a project such as a movie. In addition, Lovitz will write a Laugh Factory blog giving advice to up-and-coming comedians. Lovitz commented "Who knows? I could become the Don Ho of Los Angeles," he said. "God knows I've got enough Hawaiian shirts".[2]

Confrontation with Andy Dick[]

On July 11, 2007, Lovitz got into a violent confrontation with fellow comedian Andy Dick at the Laugh Factory. Lovitz had long blamed Dick for reintroducing Phil Hartman's wife Brynn to cocaine (after 10 years of sobriety) just five months before she would murder her husband and commit suicide. Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada said, "Jon picked Andy up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times, and blood started gushing out of his nose." Dick had previously said to Lovitz he would "put the 'Phil Hartman hex' on you - you’re the next one to die."[3] Lovitz told Page Six, "All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is an asshole." He has not commented further. Lovitz succeeded Hartman on the comedy series NewsRadio following Hartman's murder; Dick was a co-star.

Recently, Lovitz was on the 97.1 Morning Show. When he was asked about the Andy Dick incident, he replied, "Oh, I just call him A. Dick."[4]



Film Year Role
Hamburger The Motion Picture 1986 Security Guard
Last Resort 1986 Bartender
Jumpin' Jack Flash 1986 Doug
Ratboy 1986 Party Guest
¡Three Amigos! 1986 Morty
The Brave Little Toaster 1987 The Radio (voice)
Big 1988 Scotty Brennen
My Stepmother is an Alien 1988 Ron Mills
Cranium Command (short subject) 1989 Right Cranium
Mr. Destiny 1990 Clip Metzler
Tales from the Crypt 1991 Barry Blye
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West 1991 T.R. Chula
A League of Their Own 1992 Ernie Capadino
Mom and Dad Save The World 1992 Emperor Todd Spengo
Loaded Weapon 1 1993 Becker
Coneheads 1993 Dr. Rudolph, Dentist (credited)
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold 1994 Glen Robbins
North 1994 Arthur Belt
Trapped in Paradise 1994 Dave Firpo
The Great White Hype 1996 Sol
Matilda 1996 Million $ Sticky Host
High School High 1996 Richard Clark
The Wedding Singer 1998 Jimmie Moore (credited)
Banjo-Kazooie (commercial) 1998 Narrator (Voice)
Happiness 1998 Andy Kornbluth
Spyro the Dragon (video game) 1998 Tomas, Oswin, Cosmos, Zane, additional voices (voice)
Lost and Found 1999 Uncle Harry
Small Time Crooks 2000 Benny
Little Nicky 2000 Pepper
Sand 2000 Kirby
3000 Miles to Graceland 2001 Jay Peterson
Cats & Dogs 2001 Calico (voice)
Rat Race 2001 Randall 'Randy' Pear
Good Advice 2001 Barry Sherman
Eight Crazy Nights 2002 Tom Baltezor (voice)
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star 2003 Sidney Wernick
The Stepford Wives 2004 Dave Markowitz
Pancho's Pizza (short film) 2005
Bailey's Billion$ 2005 Bailey (voice)
The Producers 2005 Mr. Marks
The Benchwarmers 2006 Mel
Southland Tales 2007 Bart Bookman
Farce of the Penguins 2007 My eyes are up here Penguin (voice)
I Could Never Be Your Woman 2007


Show Years Role
Saturday Night Live 1985–1990 various
Seinfeld 1989–1998 'Gary Fogel' in The Scofflaw
The Simpsons 1991-Present Llewellyn Sinclair, Ms. Sinclair, Professor Lombardo, Enrico Irritazio, Artie Ziff, Aristotle Amadopolis, and Jay Sherman
Friends 1995 & 2003 Restaurant owner who interviews Monica Geller and later goes out on a date with Rachel Green
The Critic 1994–1995 Jay Sherman


1998–1999 Max Louis, Fred,[5] and Mike Johnson[6]

He is currently in the cast of Mr. Box Office as Bobby Gold.


Jon Lovitz as himself in My Way or the Highway to Heaven



Cast and Crew
Dan Castellaneta | Julie Kavner | Nancy Cartwright | Yeardley Smith | Hank Azaria | Harry Shearer
Also Starring
Pamela Hayden | Tress MacNeille | Maggie Roswell | Russi Taylor | Karl Wiedergott | Christopher Collins | Doris Grau | Jo Ann Harris | Marcia Mitzman Gaven
Special Guest Voices
Kelsey Grammer | Maurice LaMarche | Joe Mantegna | Marcia Wallace | Greg Berg | Albert Brooks | Phil Hartman | Jan Hooks | Jane Kaczmarek | Jon Lovitz | Frank Welker