Phil Hartman’s career in comedy grows as cracks in marriage form: Part 5

Hartman and his wife Brynn welcomed their second child Birgen in 1992. Their marriage deteriorated as Hartman got more work opportunities and was increasingly away from home.
7:37 | 09/20/19

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Transcript for Phil Hartman’s career in comedy grows as cracks in marriage form: Part 5
When I watch the old home videos of Brynn and Phil, it really brought home what loving parents they were. Phil and Brynn's second child, a daughter named birgen, is born in 1992, on a Saturday. So, in fact, that night, the host of the show, Susan day, announces her birth on the air. We would like to welcome into this world, miss birgen Hartman. I remember him calling me when birgen was born and he was very, very choked up. And he said, she's the most beautiful baby in the world. And she was. So pretty today. What makes me the happiest? Well, would question, it's being a father. Run in a circle. Simon says hands in the air. Hands at your side. Ah! Phil playing Simon says with the two kids, you know, they were a fun family. They did a lot of things and they loved them very much. It showed on the videos. Hello. I thought Brynn was the greatest mom. She was wonderful. Sing "I love you" with me. I love you you love me we're a happy family By all external appearances, they look like a happy couple and family, but there are cracks in the armor. On this particular evening, Brynn Hartman showed up at 10:00 in the black cocktail dress and Phil went down to meet her at the elevator bank on the eighth floor and it's like a mile from the stage door. It's a very long corridor. And the group of us were at the stage door and we could see what was going on. We could see Brynn and Phil obviously having an animated argument. And the proof of that was the gestures, the arm gestures. So, we just turned and left them to go at it. It's lucky there wasn't an NBC tour walking through that evening, it would have been quite a tour. I remember one time walking into the restroom and seeing her snorting coke and she offered me some, but I didn't think, oh, here's a person with problems. Oh, my, she shouldn't be doing that. I mean, it's "Snl." She had a habit of zapping him before the dress rehearsal. One night, I could hear through the dressing room door some provocative language. I heard him say, Brynn, several times, you know, yelling at her. He was obviously talking to his wife. And on at least one occasion, that was even more dramatic. He came to the makeup chair trembling, just trembling. He was white as a sheet. And I said, Phil, what's the matter? And he said, comedy Phil Hartman voice, well, norm, looks like the wife's going to divorce me this time. And I was like, wow. And he said, well, it's my schedule, I work so much and she doesn't have a career and I'm away from the house a lot and she would like me to trim things back, but I'm the breadwinner, I'm making the money. Brynn was resenting him more and more. She brings it up when she calls a friend about a playdate. It's Brynn Hartman, I got your message. Phil's just been working like crazy and he's real cranky. Work was very important to him and so he did what he had to do. Meanwhile, of course, he has this get gig at "The simpsons." I was just about to be show runner in season two and we were looking for a sleazy lawyer to represent Bart and we thought, oh, Phil would be a great voice to play the lawyer. You can cash in on this tragedy! And he plays one of the great characters of all time, Troy Mcclure. Hello. This is Troy Mcclure. The kind of troubled actor pitchman -- Famous catch phrase, you may remember me from such films as -- Smoke yourself thin, and get confident, stupid. I directed Phil several times, but directed, I said action and cut and laughed in between. He just had it. Absolutely Phil made the material funnier than, you know, we imagined and I couldn't imagine anybody else doing it. Brynn, my wife, Brynn. Phil was getting a lot of attention. And she wasn't getting any attention. We reinvented it and reinvigorated it. I suppose some of that is natural. She just wanted to be more part of the spotlight than she was, you know? With his profile rising, Phil appears on "The Howard Stern show" on E. And he brings along Brynn. What did you do, swimsuits? Did a lot of swimsuits. She was a runway model. Clearly Phil's making an effort to raise her profile. If he screws up this marriage, there's something wrong with him. Did you ever meet the other two wives? No. Talked to Gretchen on the phone. Never wanted to meet the second one. Were they as beautiful as Brynn? No. No. He became busier and busier. Phil was making big bucks doing commercials for brands like McDonald's. A meteor landed near a McDonald's. I think they paid him a million two to do that. He couldn't believe he was making that kind of money. When Phil starts making real money, he starts buying more toys. He buys a Bentley, a Mercedes. He's got a couple of boats. And he started with a small Boston whaler and graduated to a larger Boston whaler. Then he bought a, like, a small yacht, called an egg harbor. Eventually he bought an airplane. Phil had a very safe, very well-made French airplane. Are you straight in? Roger, that's what I was -- He spent a lot of time away from the house and away from his wife with his toys. I think I'm going to like it here at emerald bay. Maybe she felt Phil was spending too much time with his boat or airplane or not enough time with the kids or she wanted him to go to the grocery store with them and he didn't. And I would kind of reassure her that that's normal. And that he still loved her. He wasn't home nearly as much as she thought he should be. He wasn't being a father nearly as much as she thought he would be. And so that was also a source of friction in the relationship. By 1994, Phil decides, it's time to move on after eight seasons at "Saturday night live." It's time to do something else. On Phil's last show, they did a cast sign-off to the tune of "So long, farewell," from "Sound of music." So long farewell And after the end, there were just two characters remaining on stage, and one was Chris Farley and one was Phil. Good-bye It was one of the memorable moments of anyone of that era would remember in the next few years, they would both be gone. Perhaps Chris Farley's death wouldn't shock that many people, but Phil's absolutely would.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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