A pear-shaped, somewhat froggy-faced comedic character player, Jon Lovitz gained initial fame as a regular on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”. Lacking the mimetic virtuosity of some of his colleagues, Lovitz nonetheless emerged as one of the show’s stars thanks to a number of hilariously broad characters including Tommy Flanagan of Pathological Liars Anonymous, the great Shakespearean ham Master Thespian, the Devil himself and a memorable impression of actor-playwright Harvey Fierstein (“I just want to be loved! Is that so wrong?”).
Prior to “SNL”, Lovitz had done some TV work–a guest spot on “The Paper Chase”, a recurring role on the legal sitcom, “Foley Square”–and completed his contributions to several features: “The Last Resort” (1986), “Ratboy” (1986), and a cartoon feature, “The Brave Little Toaster” (1987). With his newfound success, Lovitz became a popular character player in features and a frequent guest on TV.
His distinctive and theatrical voice is well suited to animation as both “An American Tail 2: Fievel Goes West” (1991) and his contributions to TV’s “The Simpsons” and “The Critic” demonstrated. Lovitz’s long friendship with actor-turned-director Penny Marshall led to roles in her films “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1986), “Big” (1988), and “A League of Their Own” (1992). He was outstanding in the latter as Ernie ‘Cappy’ Capadino, the fast-talking scout who recruits Geena Davis and Lori Petty.
His subsequent feature work has been uneven, but Lovitz landed a key supporting role in Tom Shadyac’s “Liar Liar” (1997), starring Jim Carrey. The following year, he accepted a role on the NBC sitcom “NewsRadio”. Lovitz was hired to fill the void left by the untimely death of former “SNL” co-star Phil Hartman.