The award-winning actor and satirist Harry Shearer of The Simpsons and This is Spinal Tap fame, discusses Richard Nixon, and playing the former president in a new series, Nixon’s the One, based on Nixon’s White House tapes, with Joseph Planta.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
I grappled with how to introduce my guest now, so I went to his website and just got this off of there: ‘Actor, author, director, comedian, musician, philosopher, political satirist, record-company owner, and one of the best ‘voices’ in the business (just ask The Simpsons), Harry Shearer is a comic personality and modern day renaissance man.’ He’s more than that of course, he was in This is Spinal Tap, and other movies including A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, The Right Stuff, Real Life, The Fisher King, and the Truman Show. He was a cast member on Saturday Night Live, and began his career as a child actor in such programs as General Electric Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Leave it To Beaver, and The Jack Benny Program. He joins me now to talk about a recent television series he stared in: Nixon’s the One. It aired on British television last year, and is now available on You Tube. Go to My Damn Channel on You Tube to watch all six episodes. Mr. Shearer plays Richard Nixon, and the dialogue is derived from Nixon’s tapes. It’s a fascinating program that reveals a little bit more about the 37th president of the United States, his persona, his idiosyncrasies, and his mania. I’ll ask Mr. Shearer about why Nixon has fascinated him so, and what he’s learned about Nixon since doing it, despite decades of interest. www.harryshearer.com is the website for more. You can listen to or download his very fine podcast, Le Show off to there, which airs on public radio in the United States. I’m very pleased to welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, from Los Angeles today, Harry Shearer; Mr. Shearer, good morning.