We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.


Season 5 Episode 1

Bill Moves On

Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM Sep 23, 1998 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
324 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The news crew copes with the loss of their good friend, Bill, after he dies of a heart attack.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • A great tribute to a great performer on a great show.

    I'm not going to lie. I loved Phil Hartman, and I loved NewsRadio. That said, I'm going to try and give as un-biased a review as possible. This episode had quite an unhill battle for the show. Not only is it the season premiere for the 5th season, but also lost one of its key cast members during the summer hiatus. Now I'm not sure what the actual season openner was to be, but the quick turnaround to write this episode was not apparent as the homage to Phil was beautifully produced. It is so hard to create an episode to pay tribute without falling into many corny or flat performances, and they succeeded. Even today, it is hard to watch that episode without getting emotional - especially when they are reading the notes!moreless
  • 501

    Phil Hartman was an absolute legend in the comedy world. He was the star of SNL and he was the funniest member of this cast. His tragic death affected all fans and people involved with this show. Sitcoms have had to deal with real-life deaths of their stars before and it is never easy to write that kind of episode, but I think that Newsradio did a good job here. The episode had some funny moments, but more importantly, everything felt real. The sadness these characters were going through felt real, so yes, we could laugh, but we also struggled to cope with the loss, just like these characters did.

    Very well-done episode.moreless
  • A very sad episode that honors the great Phil Hartman.

    This episode always makes me sad. This is the first episode of the show that does not feature the late Phil Hartman, and begins season five in a sad way. Phil Hartman basically was the glue of this show, just like he was on Saturday Night Live. Jon Lovitz did a good job on the show afterwards, because I think it must have been difficult for the writers to find someone that will fit the show after Phil. Phil was an irreplaceable individual, who always brougt a smile to people's faces. I think this was a wonderful way to salute Phil Hartman and all he has done. I highly recommend this episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Dave: [reading Bill's letter] "Dear everyone, if Dave is reading this to you, I have either been fired or I have passed away. Since my formidable talent would preclude the former, I'll have to assume that the latter is true. Someone please explain that one to Matthew later."
      Matthew: I don't get it.
      Joe: I'll explain it to you later.
      Dave: Thanks. He continues: "I know this is strange, but I just want to make sure my final wishes are observed. Wish number one--I wish I weren't dead. Jimmy, get your best people on this one, if you would. [Jimmy pulls out his phone.] Ha ha, just kidding. Attached please find envelopes containing personal notes for everyone. Please have them distributed to the appropriate parties. [Matthew takes the notes and passes them out.] Matthew seems like the ablest man for this very challenging task. [Everyone straightens out the mixed-up letters.]
      Matthew: Why don't we read them out loud? Beth, you start.
      Beth: "Dear Beth, I am sorry about that time I said that your outfit looked like something you fished out of the garbage can after the circus left town." You know, that's really the only thing he ever said that hurt my feelings.
      Joe: No, what about that time...
      Beth: Please Joe, just let me have a moment, thank you. "I meant it as a compliment, but somehow it came out wrong." That's very sweet.
      Joe: "Dear Joe, I'm sorry I intentionally broke the printer by my desk every Monday morning and made you fix it." I knew there was something up with that printer. "I only did it because I enjoyed hearing your voluminous redactions on the prior weekend's sporting events. On more than one occasion, you helped lull me into my mid-morning nap. For that, I am eternally grateful. Kudos. The printer shouldn't give you much trouble anymore." I wonder if he knew how much I enjoyed fixing that printer.
      Jimmy: Oh, I think he did, big guy. I'll go ahead and go. "Dear Jimmy, what can I say? The fact that you trusted me enough to share a few of your secrets with me means a lot. I only hope that someday you'll reveal to the rest of the world the actual culprits behind the assasination of John F. Ken--" Actually, this one's kind of personal, so I'll just read it myself.
      Lisa: "Dearest Lisa, I'm sorry I was so obsessed with what you might look like naked. I'm even more sorry that I never actually got the chance to see what you naked. Please think of me the next time you're naked, because if it is at all possible to become a ghost, I will be there appreciating you in all your naked splendor."
      Matthew: Are you sure you don't have...
      Lisa: It's mine, Matthew.
      Matthew: "Dear Matthew, I am dead. No matter what I may have told you about my secret plan, do not get on an airplane and fly around the world searching for me. Also, be assured that this is not just a further ruse to throw everyone off the track of my secret plan."
      Lisa: I'm sorry, Matthew...
      Matthew: "P.S., the crow flies at midnight."
      Beth: What does that mean?
      Matthew: Nothing, never mind. It's top secret.
      Dave: "David, I suppose I should say I'm sorry for tormenting you so relentlessly, but I'm not. You enjoyed the game as much as I did, and you gave as good you got. I salute you, Sir. Salud! As for my eulogy, please make it as long and boring as is possible."
      Jimmy: See? You did right by him.
      Dave: "Anything less than three hours I will consider a colossal failure."
      Jimmy: Okay, you almost did right by him.
      Dave: Catherine, come on.
      Catherine: Well, this is kind of personal.
      Lisa: No, come on...
      Matthew: Easy there, Lisa. No one likes a sloppy drunk.
      Joe: Come on, Catherine.
      Catherine: Okay, you asked for it. "Dear Catherine, I'm sorry that we only slept together that one time. I found your lovemaking technique delicious, particularly the way--"
      Jimmy: Just go ahead and read that to yourself.
      Dave: Well, there is another final note for all of us. "Anyhoo," he continues, "that about wraps it up for me. Farewell. Take care of each other, and I'll see you all when you get to wherever it is that I am now." That's it. "Matthew, please collect these notes and burn them immediately." [Matthew takes everyone's notes.] Oh wait, there's some fine print here. [Matthew puts the notes in the wastebasket and lights a match.] "P.S. To liven up what I'm sure is an unnecessarily somber day, I've taken the liberty of treating these notes with a flammable agent which should--" [As soon as Matthew drops the match, the notes immediately burst into flames.] Joe, my office is on fire.

    • Dave: So tell me Lisa, how badly did my eulogy suck?
      Lisa: I really couldn't tell you Dave, because I've been drunk off my ass since eight this morning.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Matthew: But I read his book!
      Dave: Yes, you did. You magnificent bastard.

      Convinced he has seen through one last ploy of Bill's, Matthew (supported by Dave) quotes George C. Scott's Oscar winning performance as Patton (1970).