In 1997, while Phil Hartman was enjoying his post-SNL fame in primetime with NewsRadio, a 19-year-old aspiring comedian named Mike Scott wrote Hartman a letter and included an audio recording of his early routines. Amazingly, Scott not only received a reply, but also Hartman’s honest assessment of the recording.

There’s more than a bit of Hartman’s letter that serves as sound advice to any young would-be comedian or artist.

You can see what Scott had to say when he submitted the original letter to the site Letters of Note. You can also check out what Scott is up to these days with his craft on his YouTube channel.

Here’s the full letter. Read it and weep, for we still miss us some Phil Hartman.