The Great Harry Shearer

Few people are as talented as Harry Shearer.

Most people know him from his role as Derek Smalls in “This is Spinal Tap” and the voice of countless — some estimate 21 — characters on “The Simpsons.”

I remember seeing him on “Saturday Night Live” — during his second tour with the show — in the 1984-1985 season impersonating Mike Wallace (like this one from Nov. 17, 1984).

There was also a great sketch that I can’t find anywhere online, it might have been only 15 or 30 seconds, where he plays a radio announcer at a station which only airs the time.

So, I asked about it on Twitter, a long time ago, and Shearer himself replied:


Yes, it was very cool to receive a direct response from the person who would know. (And another memory of when Twitter was half-decent and useful.)

In 2005, I discovered the podcast of his weekly radio show, “Le Show” and have listened to it ever since. It’s available on Sundays and a great way to cap the weekend.

Fast forward to 2016 and his six-part series based on actual recordings from Richard Nixon’s Oval Office, “Nixon’s the One.” I’ve watched the entire series at least five times and it only gets better.

As you watch it, you have to remind yourself that what you’re laughing at are things that were said with utmost sincerity at a time the president was kinda losing his mind.

If you want to learn about his career, from appearing on Jack Benny’s show to directing a documentar on Hurricane Katrina, watch his long interview with him from 2016. Lots of good stuff here.