Jon Lovitz

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Jon Lovitz
Lovitz in 2014
Jonathan Michael Lovitz

(1957-07-21) July 21, 1957 (age 66)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationUniversity of California, Irvine (BA)
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1984–present

Jonathan Michael Lovitz (/ˈlʌvɪts/; born July 21, 1957)[1] is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his tenure as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990 for which he was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards. Outside of SNL, he starred as Jay Sherman in The Critic (1994–1995) and has played various roles on The Simpsons (1991–).[2]

Lovitz has acted in numerous television shows such as Seinfeld, Friends, and NewsRadio. From 2012 to 2015 he starred in the sitcom Mr. Box Office. He played a baseball scout in the film A League of Their Own (1992) and acted in other films such as Three Amigos (1986), Big (1988), Happiness (1998), Small Time Crooks (2000), Rat Race (2001), and The Producers (2005). He also voiced roles in Hotel Transylvania (2012) and Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015). He played Alan Dershowitz on Saturday Night Live and George Santos on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Early life and education[edit]

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 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.[5] He became a member of the Groundlings comedy troupe, where he befriended his future SNL castmate Phil Hartman.[6]


1985–1992: Saturday Night Live[edit]

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 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, David Crosby, 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]

1993–2008: Post-SNL, The Critic[edit]

From 1997 to 1999, he was cast to replace Phil Hartman on NewsRadio upon the late actor's untimely death. 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.

In the 1990s 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]

Lovitz performed a duet with Robbie Williams on Williams' album Swing When You're Winning (2001), in the song "Well, Did You Evah". 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. 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. 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.

Lovitz began his stand-up career in 2003 at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.[10][11] In 2006, he became the spokesman in an advertising campaign for the Subway restaurant chain.[12]

2009–present: Standup[edit]

In 2009, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club location on Universal CityWalk in Universal Studios Hollywood opened.[13] 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[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] That same year he portrayed lawyer Alan Dershowitz on season 45 of Saturday Night Live with Adam Driver as the host playing Jeffrey Epstein.[18] In 2023 he portrayed U.S. Congressman George Santos on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.[19]

Comedic influences[edit]

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....'"[6]

Personal life[edit]

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]


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.

Feud with Andy Dick[edit]

Lovitz was involved in an intense feud 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.[23]

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."[24] 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.[24]

Political beliefs[edit]

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'."[25]

In June 2021, Lovitz criticized cancel culture and compared it to McCarthyism.[26][27] He opined that it makes 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."[26]



Film performances
Year Title Role Notes
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 Radio Voice
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. Chula Voice
1992 A League of Their Own Ernie Capadino
Mom and Dad Save the World Emperor Tod Spengo
The Buzz Un­known
1993 Loaded Weapon 1 Becker
Coneheads Dr. Rudolph Uncredited
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 Mickey Uncredited
High School High Richard Clark
1998 The Wedding Singer Jimmie Moore Uncredited
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 Calico Voice
Rat Race Randall "Randy" Pear
Good Advice Barry Sherman
2002 Eight Crazy Nights Tom Blazer Voice
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Sidney Wernick
2004 The Stepford Wives Dave Markowitz
2005 Bailey's Billion$ Bailey Voice
Pancho's Pizza Un­known Short film
The Producers Mr. Marks
2006 The Benchwarmers Mel
Southland Tales Bart Bookman
Farce of the Penguins "My eyes are up here" Penguin Voice; Direct-to-DVD release
2007 I Could Never Be Your Woman Rob Direct-to-DVD release
2010 Casino Jack Adam Kidan
2012 Jewtopia Dennis Lipschitz
Hotel Transylvania Quasimodo Voice
A Mouse Tale King of Mice Voice
2013 Jungle Master Mulla Voice
Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie The Mad Scientist
Bula Quo! Wilson
Grown Ups 2 Squats Fitness Janitor
Almost Sharkproof Max [28]
2014 Birds of Paradise Skeeter Voice
Coffee Shop Frank Miller
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 The Phantom of the Opera Voice
The Ridiculous 6 Ezekiel Grant
Bark Ranger Ranger Voice
2016 Mother's Day Wally Burn
2017 Sandy Wexler Testimonial
Killing Hasselhoff Barry
Chasing the Blues Lincoln Groome
2018 Bachelor Lions Alfred Brownberry
Paws P.I. Jackson Voice
2019 Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls Mel Carmichael
Hooked Mr. Campbell
2020 Influence Gregg Anderson
Agent Toby Barks Toby Voice
The Swing of Things Jon Johnston
2021 Extinct Conch Voice
Tales of a Fifth Grade Robin Hood John Prince
Love on the Rock Alex Wingrave
Lacy's Christmas Do-Over Santa's Elf Voice
Ace & the Christmas Miracle Ace Voice
TBA Lost & Found in Cleveland TBA


Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Paper Chase Levitz Episode 2.18: "Billy Pierce"
1985–1986 Foley Square Mole Regular cast member
1985–1992 Saturday Night Live Various characters Main cast member; appeared in 92 episodes
1991 Tales from the Crypt Barry Blye Episode 3.5: "Top Billing"
Married... with Children Jeff Littlehead Episode 6.10: "Kelly Does Hollywood: Part 2"
1991–present The Simpsons Artie Ziff, Jay Sherman,
Aristotle Amadopolis, Prof. Lombardo
Voices; 20 episodes
1992, 1994 The Larry Sanders Show Himself 2 episodes
1993 A League of Their Own Ernie Capadino Episode 1.1: "Dottie's Back"
1994–1995 The Critic Jay Sherman Voice; Appeared in all 23 episodes
1995 Seinfeld Gary Fogel Episode 6.13: "The Scofflaw"
1995, 2003 Friends Steve 2 episodes
1997 The Naked Truth Acer Predburn Episode 2.8: "The Scoop"
1997–1999 NewsRadio Ulysses S. Grant
Mike Johnson
Max Lewis
2 episodes; Main cast member in fifth season
1997 Saturday Night Live Host Episode 23.5: "Jon Lovitz/Jane's Addiction"
2000 Bette Himself Episode 1.15: "Polterguest"
2000-2001 The Critic (webisodes) Jay Sherman Voice
2002 Son of the Beach Father of B.J.'s Baby Episode 3.14: "Bad News, Mr. Johnson"
2003 Just Shoot Me! Roland Devereaux Episode 7.15: "A Simple Kiss of Fate"
2004–2005 Las Vegas Fred Puterbaugh Appeared in three episodes
2006 Two and a Half Men Archie Baldwin Episode 3.17: "The Unfortunate Little Schnauzer"
2008 Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget Himself Television special
2010 WWE Raw Himself Guest Host[29]
2011 Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen Himself Television special
2011 Saturday Night Live Himself (cameo) Episode 36.14: "Dana Carvey/Linkin Park"
2011–2012 Hot in Cleveland Homeless man/Artie 4 episodes
2012–2015 Mr. Box Office Bobby Gold Main cast member
2013–2014 New Girl Rabbi Feiglin Episode 3.05: "The Box"; Episode 3.16: "Sister"
2014 Sing Your Face Off Himself Contestant
2015 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Queen Gabnidine Voice; Episode: "To Smell and Back"
Hawaii Five-O Barry Burns 2 episodes
2016–2018 Animals. Himself / Old Ben Voices; 3 episodes
2016, 2018 The $100,000 Pyramid Himself/Celebrity Guest 2 episodes
2017 The New Celebrity Apprentice Himself/Contestant 11th place
Justice League Action Sid Sharp Voice; 1.35 "Superman's Pal, Sid Sharp"
2017–2020 Funny You Should Ask Himself/Celebrity Comic 257 episodes
2018 Insatiable Father Schwartz Episode 1.09 "Bad Kitty"
Mogulettes Amnon Television movie
2019 The Goldbergs Jimmie Moore Episode 6.11 "The Wedding Singer"
The Cool Kids Kip Samgood Episode 1.19 "Kip Samgood's Biggest Fan"
Jackie and the Next-Neighbor Girls Johnny Bodine 41 episodes
Historical Roasts Franklin D. Roosevelt Episode 1.03 "Anne Frank"
Anything but A..Man..Da! Michael Stein Episode 1.01 "Pilot"
2020 Saturday Night Live Alan Dershowitz Episode 45.11 "Adam Driver/Halsey"
Bitmoji TV Justin Bieber Voice; Episode 1.04 "Demon Bear"
Holey Moley Himself/Captain Long Jon Lovitz 3 episodes
A.P. Bio Robin Schwonk Episode 3.02 "Disgraced"
2021 The Potwins Henry Episode: "Blue Collar
Paper Empire Stan Katz Episode 1.06 "The Anderson Files"
2023 The Tonight Show George Santos Episode 1782: "Colin Jost/Kenya Barris"
The Masked Singer Himself Season 8, Episode 8: "Comedy Roast Night"


Year Title Role Venue
2000 The Dinner Party Albert Donay (replacement) Music Box Theatre, Broadway


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Kevin Pollak's Chat Show Himself/Guest Episode: "178"
2020 GPS Distress Manager, NavTerrain Season 5, Episode 10
2024 Bill Burr's Monday Morning Himself February 1, 2024

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Project Result Ref.
1986 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety Program Saturday Night Live Nominated
1987 Nominated
1993 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actor in a Movie A League of Their Own Nominated
1998 National Board of Review Best Acting in an Ensemble Happiness Won
2013 Behind the Voice Awards Best Vocal Performance in a Film Hotel Transylvania Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Jon Lovitz Biography (1957-)". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Kempley, Rita (July 1, 1992). "A League of Their Own". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 3, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Reinhertz, Adam (June 18, 2021). "Getting serious for a change, Jon Lovitz reflects on childhood, faith and Israel". Israel Times. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  4. ^ "Jon Lovitz". Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Master thespian". UCI News. November 8, 2013. Archived from the original on January 5, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Freeman, Paul (October 15, 2011). "Jon Lovitz: Standing Up For Himself". Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  7. ^ Zuckerman, Esther (February 15, 2015). "SNL includes still-living Jon Lovitz in its 'In Memoriam' segment". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 16, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  8. ^ Landwehr, Rebecca (February 13, 2000). "Lovitz returns as the face of the Yellow Pages". Denver Business Journal. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  9. ^ "Jon Lovitz's Yellow Pages". Youth'n Up!. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Renner, Michael (April 9, 2021). "Jon Lovitz – Biography, Movies, Life Story". Archived from the original on April 13, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  11. ^ Rotter, Joshua (July 6, 2015). "Jon Lovitz Loves Stand-Up, Acting, and Singing — But Not in That Order". SF Weekly. Archived from the original on October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  12. ^ Gianatasio, David (March 31, 2006). "Lovitz Makes His Subway Debut in MMB Effort". Adweek. ISSN 0199-2864. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  13. ^ Siegemund-Broka, Austin (November 19, 2014). "Hollywood Docket: Jon Lovitz's Dispute With Comedy Club Manager Ends". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  14. ^ Arredondo, Steven. "History". MMA Roast. Archived from the original on October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  15. ^ Smith, Kevin (April 15, 2011). "SModcastle Pulls Up The Drawbridge". Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  16. ^ Tillman, Christopher (November 5, 2014). "The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club Has Closed". Inside Universal. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  17. ^ Neff, Jack (September 11, 2020). "Jon Lovitz is Getting Paid to Hate Puppies and Pitch Senior Dog Toys". Advertising Age. Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  18. ^ "In SNL's cold open, Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz meets his biggest fan in hell". Vox. January 26, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  19. ^ "The Many George Santoses of Late Night". Vulture. January 22, 2023. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  20. ^ "Jon Lovitz's House in Beverly Hills, CA". Virtual Globetrotting. December 3, 2009. Archived from the original on December 27, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  21. ^ Ed, Condran (May 2, 2019). "Jon Lovitz on SNL, Adam Sandler, and why he hates TMZ". Philly Voice. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  22. ^ @realjonlovitz (September 25, 2018). "Phil Hartman was the big brother I always wanted..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Johnson, Caitlin (July 17, 2007). "Dick and Lovitz Fight Over the Dead". CBS News. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Faber, Judy (July 18, 2007). "Jon Lovitz Speaks Out on Dustup with Andy Dick". CBS News. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  25. ^ McDevitt, Caitlin (April 24, 2012). "Jon Lovitz goes off on Obama". Politico. Archived from the original on April 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Polus, Sarah (June 11, 2021). "Ex-SNL star Jon Lovitz compares cancel culture to Red Scare, McCarthyism". The Hill. Archived from the original on June 13, 2021. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  27. ^ "'McCarthyism': Jon Lovitz rips 'cancel culture' and warns of negative impact on comedy". Washington Examiner. June 12, 2021. Archived from the original on June 13, 2021. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  28. ^ "Almost Sharkproof". Alibris. Archived from the original on July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  29. ^ "World Wrestling Entertainment". Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2010.

External links[edit]

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