Date of Birth : Jul 21st 1957
Jonathan M. Lovitz (born July 21, 1957) is an American actor and comedian perhaps best known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and the voice of Jay Sherman in The Critic.
Lovitz was born in Tarzana, California to a Jewish couple. 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 and Paul Reubens. His father was an immigrant from Albania who lived in Jacksonville, Florida, and later moved to California.
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 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 catch phrase, “Yeah! That’s the ticket!” Some of his other recurring characters included Master Thespian, Tonto, Mephistopheles, Hanukkah Harry, and Michael Dukakis.
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 a drug problem.
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.
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.