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December 23: Harry Shearer

December 23, 2014

harry-shearer-2Harry Julius Shearer, who since 1989 has provided the voices for Mr. Burns and his assistant Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and numerous other characters on The Simpsons, was born to Jewish immigrants in Los Angeles on this date in 1943. He was a child actor on The Jack Benny Program, in the films Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and The Robe, and on the television series Leave It to Beaver. Shearer spent one year as a writer and actor on Saturday Night Live and wrote and costarred in the 1984 satire, This is Spinal Tap. These days he is host of the National Public Radio broadcast, Le Show, which satirizes hypocrisy and heedless immorality among the powerful, and he is also professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. Shearer has written three books, including Not Enough Indians, his first published novel. He has also released five albums and is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post. To see him performing his Simpsons characters in rapid succession, look below. To see the pilot for his new six-episode YouTube series, “Nixon’s The One,” in which Harry plays Nixon, look further below.

“If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure?” —Harry Shearer

Check out Harry Shearer’s latest project, the six-episode series, “Nixon’s The One,” on YouTube. Harry plays Nixon. Here’s episode one: