Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

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Harry Julius Shearer is an American actor, comedian, writer, voice artist
Voice acting
Voice acting is the art of providing voices for animated characters and radio and audio dramas and comedy, as well as doing voice-overs in radio and television commercials, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, video games, puppet shows, and amusement rides.Performers are called...

, musician, author, radio host and director. He is known for his long-running role on The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, his work on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

, the comedy band Spinal Tap
Spinal Tap (band)
Spinal Tap is a parody heavy metal band that first appeared on a failed 1979 ABC TV sketch comedy pilot called "The T.V. Show", starring Rob Reiner...

 and his radio program Le Show
Le Show
Le Show is a weekly syndicated public radio show hosted by satirist Harry Shearer.The program is a hodgepodge of satirical news commentary, music, and sketch comedy...

. Born in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, Shearer began his career as a child actor
Child actor
The term child actor or child actress is generally applied to a child acting in motion pictures or television, but also to an adult who began his or her acting career as a child; to avoid confusion, the latter is also called a former child actor...

, appearing in The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy.-Cast:*Jack Benny - Himself...

, as well as the 1953 films Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
Abbott and Costello Go To Mars is a 1953 American science fiction comedy film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. The film follows the misadventures of Lester and Orville who accidentally find themselves on a rocketship bound for Mars, which accidentally...

and The Robe
The Robe (film)
The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable for being the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope.It was directed by Henry Koster...

. In 1957, Shearer played the precursor to the Eddie Haskell
Eddie Haskell
Edward Clark "Eddie" Haskell is a fictional character on the Leave It to Beaver television situation comedy, which ran on CBS from October 4, 1957 to 1958 and then on ABC from 1958 to June 20, 1963...

 character in the pilot episode for the television series Leave It to Beaver
Leave It to Beaver
Leave It to Beaver is an American television situation comedy about an inquisitive but often naïve boy named Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver and his adventures at home, in school, and around his suburban neighborhood...

, but his parents decided not to let him continue in the role so that he could have a normal childhood.

From 1969 to 1976, Shearer was a member of The Credibility Gap
The Credibility Gap
The Credibility Gap was a satirical comedy team comprising Harry Shearer, Richard Beebe, David L. Lander and Michael McKean. Lew Irwin, John Gilliland, Thom Beck, and Len Chandler also performed in their early days...

, a radio comedy group. Following the breakup of the group, Shearer co-wrote the film Real Life
Real Life (film)
Real Life is an American comedy film released in 1979. The first feature directed by Albert Brooks, who also co-authored the screenplay, it is a spoof of the 1973 reality television program An American Family and portrays a documentary filmmaker named Albert Brooks who attempts to live with and...

with Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks
Albert Lawrence Brooks is an American actor, voice actor, writer, comedian and director. He received an Academy Award nomination in 1987 for his role in Broadcast News...

 and started writing for Martin Mull
Martin Mull
Martin Mull is an American actor who has starred in his own television sitcom and acted in prominent films. He is also a comedian, painter, and recording artist...

's television series Fernwood 2 Night. In August 1979, Shearer was hired as a writer and cast member on Saturday Night Live. Shearer describes his experience on the show as a "living hell" and he did not get along well with the other writers and cast members. He left the show in 1980. Shearer co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock musical mockumentary directed by Rob Reiner about the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap...

, a satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 rockumentary
Rockumentary
The term rockumentary is a neologism denoting a documentary about rock music or its musicians. The term was used by Bill Drake in the 1969 History of Rock & Roll radio broadcast, and by Rob Reiner in the 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap....

 about a band called Spinal Tap
Spinal Tap (band)
Spinal Tap is a parody heavy metal band that first appeared on a failed 1979 ABC TV sketch comedy pilot called "The T.V. Show", starring Rob Reiner...

. Shearer portrayed Derek Smalls
Derek Smalls
Derek Albion Smalls is a fictional character played by Harry Shearer. He is the bassist for mock British heavy metal group Spinal Tap. He co-starred in the hit spoof rockumentary This is Spinal Tap with guitarists Nigel Tufnel and David St...

, the bassist, and Michael McKean
Michael McKean
Michael John McKean is an American actor, comedian, writer, composer and musician, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Squiggy's friend, Leonard 'Lenny' Kosnowski, on the sitcom Laverne and Shirley; and for his work in the Christopher Guest ensemble films, particularly as David St...

 and Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest
Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest , better known as Christopher Guest, is an American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor and comedian. He is most widely known in Hollywood for having written, directed and starred in several improvisational "mockumentary" films that...

 played the other two members. The film became a cult hit and the band has since released several albums and played several concerts. While promoting the film, Shearer was offered the chance to return to Saturday Night Live. He accepted, but left the show for good in January 1985, just three months into the season. Since 1983, Shearer has been the host of the public radio comedy/music program Le Show
Le Show
Le Show is a weekly syndicated public radio show hosted by satirist Harry Shearer.The program is a hodgepodge of satirical news commentary, music, and sketch comedy...

on Santa Monica's
Santa Mônica
Santa Mônica is a town and municipality in the state of Paraná in the Southern Region of Brazil.-References:...

 NPR-affiliated radio station, KCRW
KCRW
KCRW is a public radio station broadcasting from the campus of Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, carrying a mix of National Public Radio news, talk radio and freeform music format. The general manager of KCRW is Jennifer Ferro...

. The program, a hodgepodge of satirical news commentary, music, and sketch comedy
Sketch comedy
A sketch comedy consists of a series of short comedy scenes or vignettes, called "sketches," commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comic actors or comedians, either on stage or through an audio and/or visual medium such as broadcasting...

, is carried on many public radio stations throughout the United States.

In 1989, Shearer became a part of the cast of The Simpsons. He was initially reluctant because he thought the recording sessions would be too much trouble. He felt voice acting was "not a lot of fun" because traditionally, voice actors record their parts separately. He provides voices for numerous characters, including Mr. Burns
Montgomery Burns
Charles Montgomery "Monty" Burns, usually referred to as Mr. Burns, is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer and previously Christopher Collins. Burns is the evil owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and is Homer...

, Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers, Jr., usually referred to as Smithers, is a recurring fictional character in the animated series The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. Smithers first appeared in the episode "Homer's Odyssey", although he could be heard in the series premiere "Simpsons Roasting on an Open...

, Ned Flanders
Ned Flanders
Nedward "Ned" Flanders, Jr. is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the next door neighbor to the Simpson family and is generally...

, Reverend Timothy Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy "Tim" Lovejoy is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Lovejoy is the minister at The First Church of Springfield—the Protestant church in Springfield which most of...

, Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer and first appeared in the episode "Krusty Gets Busted"...

, Dr. Hibbert
Julius Hibbert
Dr. Julius M. Hibbert, usually referred to as Dr. Hibbert, is a recurring character on the animated series The Simpsons. His speaking voice is provided by Harry Shearer and his singing voice was by Thurl Ravenscroft, and he first appeared in the episode "Bart the Daredevil". Dr...

, Lenny Leonard, Principal Skinner, Otto Mann
Otto Mann
Otto Mann is a fictional character on the animated TV series The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the school bus driver for Springfield Elementary School...

 and Rainier Wolfcastle. Shearer has been vocal about what he perceives as the show's declining quality. In 2004, he said "I rate the last three seasons as among the worst."

Shearer directed the 2002 film Teddy Bears' Picnic
Teddy Bears' Picnic (film)
Teddy Bears' Picnic is a 2002 film directed and written by Harry Shearer. It was released in May, 2002 to limited audiences. Shearer has a small role.-Plot:...

and appeared in several films, including A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind is a 2003 mockumentary about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands must reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. It was directed by Christopher Guest...

, For Your Consideration
For Your Consideration (film)
For Your Consideration is a 2006 comedy film directed by Christopher Guest. It was co-written by Guest and Eugene Levy, both also starring in the film....

, The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 American animated comedy film based on the animated television series The Simpsons. The film was directed by David Silverman, and stars the regular television cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress...

and Godzilla
Godzilla (1998 film)
Godzilla is a 1998 science fiction monster disaster film film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. It is a loose remake of the 1954 giant monster classic Godzilla. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The film relates a tale of a nuclear incident...

among many others. Shearer has written three books, Man Bites Town, It's the Stupidity, Stupid, and Not Enough Indians. He has been married to singer-songwriter Judith Owen
Judith Owen
Judith Owen is a Welsh singer-songwriter. Her first North American album, Emotions on a Postcard, was released in 1996, and has since been followed by five additional releases...

 since 1993. He has received several Primetime Emmy Award
Primetime Emmy Award
The Primetime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming...

 and Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 nominations and in 2008 it was announced that Shearer would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

 in the radio category.

Early life



Shearer was born December 23, 1943 in Los Angeles, California, the son of Dora Warren (née
Married and maiden names
A married name is the family name adopted by a person upon marriage. When a person assumes the family name of her spouse, the new name replaces the maiden name....

 Kohn), a book-keeper, and Mack Shearer. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Austria and Poland. Starting when Shearer was four years old, he had a piano teacher whose daughter worked as a child actress. The piano teacher later decided to make a career change and become a children's agent, as she knew people in the business through her daughter's work. The teacher asked Shearer's parents for permission to take him to an audition. Several months later, she called Shearer's parents and told them that she had gotten Shearer an audition for the radio show The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy.-Cast:*Jack Benny - Himself...

. Shearer received the role when he was seven years old. He described Jack Benny
Jack Benny
Jack Benny was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and actor for radio, television, and film...

 as "very warm and approachable [...] He was a guy who dug the idea of other people on the show getting laughs, which sort of spoiled me for other people in comedy." Shearer said in an interview that one person who "took him under his wing" and was one of his best friends during his early days in show business was voice actor Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc
Melvin Jerome "Mel" Blanc was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros...

, who voiced many animated characters, including Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny is a animated character created in 1938 at Leon Schlesinger Productions, later Warner Bros. Cartoons. Bugs is an anthropomorphic gray rabbit and is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality and his portrayal as a trickster. He has primarily appeared in animated cartoons, most...

 and Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons, often running the gamut between being the best friend and sometimes arch-rival of Bugs Bunny...

. Shearer made his film debut in the 1953 film Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
Abbott and Costello Go To Mars is a 1953 American science fiction comedy film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. The film follows the misadventures of Lester and Orville who accidentally find themselves on a rocketship bound for Mars, which accidentally...

, in which he only had a small part. Later that year, he made his first big film performance in The Robe
The Robe (film)
The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable for being the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope.It was directed by Henry Koster...

. Throughout his childhood and teenage years he worked in television, film, and radio. In 1957, Shearer played the precursor to the Eddie Haskell
Eddie Haskell
Edward Clark "Eddie" Haskell is a fictional character on the Leave It to Beaver television situation comedy, which ran on CBS from October 4, 1957 to 1958 and then on ABC from 1958 to June 20, 1963...

 character in the pilot episode of the television series Leave It to Beaver
Leave It to Beaver
Leave It to Beaver is an American television situation comedy about an inquisitive but often naïve boy named Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver and his adventures at home, in school, and around his suburban neighborhood...

. After the filming, Shearer's parents said they did not want him to be a regular in a series. Instead they wanted him to just do occasional work so that he could have a normal childhood. Shearer and his parents made the decision not to accept the role in the series if it was picked up by a television network.

Shearer attended UCLA
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

 as a political science major in the early 1960s and decided to quit show business to become a "serious person". However, he says this lasted approximately a month, and he joined the staff of the Daily Bruin
Daily Bruin
The Daily Bruin is the student newspaper at the University of California, Los Angeles.-Frequency and governance:When classes are in session, the Bruin is published Monday through Friday during the school year and once a week on Mondays in the summer quarter.It is overseen by the ASUCLA...

, UCLA's school newspaper, during his freshman year. According to Shearer, after graduating, he had "a very serious agenda going on, and it was 'Stay Out Of The Draft'." He attended graduate school
Graduate school
A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate degree...

 at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 for one year and worked at the state legislature in Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, in the United States of America.Sacramento may also refer to:- United States :*Sacramento County, California*Sacramento, Kentucky*Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta...

. In 1967 and 1968 he was a high school teacher, teaching English and social studies. He left teaching following "disagreements with the administration."

From 1969 to 1976, Shearer was a member of The Credibility Gap
The Credibility Gap
The Credibility Gap was a satirical comedy team comprising Harry Shearer, Richard Beebe, David L. Lander and Michael McKean. Lew Irwin, John Gilliland, Thom Beck, and Len Chandler also performed in their early days...

, a radio comedy group that included David Lander
David Lander
David L. Lander is an American actor, comedian, composer, musician, and baseball scout. David is also the Goodwill Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.- Biography :...

, Richard Beebe
Richard Beebe
Richard Beebe was on the air for five decades in Los Angeles and won two Golden Mic Awards. A founding member of The Credibility Gap, his experience and wit that moulded into its famous four man group. He was an original Beatnik still working and being creative in the late 1960s when he discovered...

 and Michael McKean
Michael McKean
Michael John McKean is an American actor, comedian, writer, composer and musician, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Squiggy's friend, Leonard 'Lenny' Kosnowski, on the sitcom Laverne and Shirley; and for his work in the Christopher Guest ensemble films, particularly as David St...

. The group consisted of "a bunch of newsmen" at KRLA 1110, "the number two station" in Los Angeles. They wanted to do more than just straight news, so they hired comedians who were talented vocalists. Shearer heard about it from a friend so he brought over a tape to the station and nervously gave it to the receptionist. By the time he got home, there was a message on his answering machine asking, "Can you come to work tomorrow?" The group's radio show was canceled in 1970 by KRLA and in 1971 by KPPC-FM, so they started performing in various clubs and concert venues. While at KRLA, Shearer also interviewed Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American rock band that gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a number of successful singles drawn from various albums....

 for the Pop Chronicles
Pop Chronicles
The Pop Chronicles are two radio documentary series which together "may constitute the most complete audio history of 1940s-60s popular music." Both were produced by John Gilliland.-The Pop Chronicles of the 50s and 60s:...

 music documentary. The group broke up 1976 when Lander and McKean left to perform in the sitcom Laverne & Shirley
Laverne & Shirley
Laverne & Shirley is an American television situation comedy that ran on ABC from January 26, 1976, to May 10, 1983...

. Shearer started working with Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks
Albert Lawrence Brooks is an American actor, voice actor, writer, comedian and director. He received an Academy Award nomination in 1987 for his role in Broadcast News...

, producing one of Brooks' albums and co-writing the film Real Life
Real Life (film)
Real Life is an American comedy film released in 1979. The first feature directed by Albert Brooks, who also co-authored the screenplay, it is a spoof of the 1973 reality television program An American Family and portrays a documentary filmmaker named Albert Brooks who attempts to live with and...

. Shearer also started writing for Martin Mull
Martin Mull
Martin Mull is an American actor who has starred in his own television sitcom and acted in prominent films. He is also a comedian, painter, and recording artist...

's television series Fernwood 2 Night. In the mid-1970s, he started working with Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
Robert "Rob" Reiner is an American actor, director, producer, writer, and political activist.As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence as Archie and Edith Bunker's son-in-law, Michael "Meathead" Stivic, on All in the Family. That role earned him two Emmy Awards during the 1970s...

 on a pilot for ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

. The show, which starred Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest
Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest , better known as Christopher Guest, is an American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor and comedian. He is most widely known in Hollywood for having written, directed and starred in several improvisational "mockumentary" films that...

, Tom Leopold
Tom Leopold
Tom Leopold is an American comedy writer, performer and novelist. He has written episodes of Seinfeld and Cheers and several books. He has often been associated with Chevy Chase, Harry Shearer and Paul Shaffer in various projects...

 and McKean, was not picked up.

Saturday Night Live


In August 1979, Shearer was hired as a writer and cast member on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

, one of the first additions to the cast, and an unofficial replacement for John Belushi
John Belushi
John Adam Belushi was an American comedian, actor, and musician, best known as one of the original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, The Star of the Films National Lampoon's Animal House and the The Blues Brothers and for fronting the American blues and soul...

 and Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd
Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM is a Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician, winemaker and ufologist. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.-Early...

, who were both leaving the show. Al Franken
Al Franken
Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party....

 recommended Shearer to Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels, CM is a Canadian-American television producer, writer, and comedian best known for creating and producing Saturday Night Live and producing the various film and TV projects that spun off from it.-Early life:...

. Shearer describes his experience on the show as a "living hell" and "not a real pleasant place to work." He did not get along well with the other writers and cast members and states that he was not included with the cast in the opening montage, and that Lorne Michaels had told the rest of the cast that he was just a writer. Michaels left Saturday Night Live at the end of the fifth season, taking the entire cast with him. Shearer told new executive producer Jean Doumanian
Jean Doumanian
Jean Doumanian is an American producer.Doumanian is probably most well known for her short reign as producer of Saturday Night Live between November 1980 and March 1981...

 that he was "not a fan of Lorne's" and offered to stay with the show if he was given the chance to overhaul the program and bring in experienced comedians, like Christopher Guest. However, Doumanian turned him down, so he decided to leave with the rest of the cast.

In 1984, while promoting the film This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock musical mockumentary directed by Rob Reiner about the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap...

, Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean had a performance on Saturday Night Live. All three members were offered the chance to join to the show in the 1984–1985 season. Shearer accepted because he was treated well by the producers and he thought the backstage environment had improved but later stated that he "didn't realize that guests are treated better than the regulars." Guest also accepted the offer while McKean rejected it, although he would join the cast in 1993. Dick Ebersol
Dick Ebersol
Duncan "Dick" Ebersol is an American television executive and a senior adviser for . He had previously been the chairman of NBC Sports, producing large scale television events such as the Olympic Games and National Football League broadcasts....

, who replaced Lorne Michaels as the show's producer, said that Shearer was "a gifted performer but a pain in the butt. He's just so demanding on the preciseness of things and he's very, very hard on the working people. He's just a nightmare-to-deal-with person." In January 1985, Shearer left the show for good, partially because he felt he was not being used enough. Martin Short
Martin Short
Martin Hayter Short, CM is a Canadian actor, comedian, writer, singer and producer. He is best-known for his comedy work, particularly on the TV programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live...

 said "[Shearer] wanted to be creative and Dick [Ebersol] wanted something else. [...] I think he felt his voice wasn't getting represented on the show. When he wouldn't get that chance, it made him very upset."

Spinal Tap



Shearer co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
Robert "Rob" Reiner is an American actor, director, producer, writer, and political activist.As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence as Archie and Edith Bunker's son-in-law, Michael "Meathead" Stivic, on All in the Family. That role earned him two Emmy Awards during the 1970s...

's 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock musical mockumentary directed by Rob Reiner about the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap...

. Shearer, Reiner, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest received a deal to write a first draft of a screenplay for a company called Marble Arch. They decided that the film could not be written and instead filmed a 20 minute demo of what they wanted to do. It was eventually greenlighted by Norman Lear
Norman Lear
Norman Milton Lear is an American television writer and producer who produced such 1970s sitcoms as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude...

 and Jerry Perenchio
Jerry Perenchio
Andrew Jerrold "Jerry" Perenchio was the former chairman and CEO of Univision, the largest Spanish-language company in the United States.-Early life:...

 at Embassy Pictures
Embassy Pictures
Embassy Pictures Corporation was an independent studio and distributor responsible for such films as The Graduate, The Lion in Winter, This Is Spinal Tap and Escape from New York.-Founding:The company was founded in 1942 by producer Joseph E...

. The film satirizes the wild personal behavior and musical pretensions of hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 and heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 bands, as well as the hagiographic
Hagiography
Hagiography is the study of saints.From the Greek and , it refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically to the biographies of saints and ecclesiastical leaders. The term hagiology, the study of hagiography, is also current in English, though less common...

 tendencies of rockumentaries
Rockumentary
The term rockumentary is a neologism denoting a documentary about rock music or its musicians. The term was used by Bill Drake in the 1969 History of Rock & Roll radio broadcast, and by Rob Reiner in the 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap....

 of the time. The three core members of the band Spinal Tap
Spinal Tap (band)
Spinal Tap is a parody heavy metal band that first appeared on a failed 1979 ABC TV sketch comedy pilot called "The T.V. Show", starring Rob Reiner...

David St. Hubbins
David St. Hubbins
David Ivor St. Hubbins is a fictional character who is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the mock rock band Spinal Tap, which was the subject of "rockumentary" film This Is Spinal Tap . David is played by actor Michael McKean, who improvised the role through the whole film...

, Derek Smalls
Derek Smalls
Derek Albion Smalls is a fictional character played by Harry Shearer. He is the bassist for mock British heavy metal group Spinal Tap. He co-starred in the hit spoof rockumentary This is Spinal Tap with guitarists Nigel Tufnel and David St...

 and Nigel Tufnel
Nigel Tufnel
Nigel Tufnel was the lead guitarist of the rock band Spinal Tap featured in the 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap. He was played by actor Christopher Guest.-Character biography:...

—were portrayed by McKean, Shearer and Guest respectively. The three actors play their musical instruments and speak with mock English accents throughout the film. There was no script, although there was a written breakdown of most of the scenes, and many of the lines were ad-libbed. It was filmed in 25 days.

Shearer said in an interview that "The animating impulse was to do rock 'n' roll right. The four of us had been around rock 'n' roll and we were just amazed by how relentlessly the movies got it wrong. Because we were funny people it was going to be a funny film, but we wanted to get it right." When they tried to sell it to various Hollywood studios, they were told that the film would not work. The group kept saying, "No, this is a story that's pretty familiar to people. We're not introducing them to anything they don't really know," so Shearer thought it would at least have some resonance with the public. The film was only a modest success upon its initial release but found greater success, and a cult following
Cult following
A cult following is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of pop culture. A film, book, band, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base...

, after its video release. In 2000, the film was ranked 29th on the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

's list of the top 100 comedy movies in American cinema
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs
Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Laughs is a list of the top 100 funniest movies in American cinema. A wide variety of comedies were nominated for the distinction that included slapstick comedy, screwball comedy, romantic comedy, satire, black comedy, musical comedy, comedy of...

 and it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

 by the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Shearer, Guest and McKean have since worked on several projects as their Spinal Tap characters. They released three albums: This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap (album)
This Is Spinal Tap was the soundtrack to the film This Is Spinal Tap, released in 1984. It was re-released in 2000 with lyrics and two versions of "Christmas with the Devil" as bonus tracks...

(1984), Break Like the Wind
Break Like the Wind
Break Like the Wind is an album by the semi-fictional band Spinal Tap. The title, from the album's title track, is a double entendre that combines and confuses the idiom "make like the wind [and blow]" with "break[ing] wind" , and samples the classical guitar piece Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo...

(1992) and Back From The Dead (2009). In 1992, Spinal Tap appeared in an episode of The Simpsons called "The Otto Show
The Otto Show
"The Otto Show" is the twenty-second episode of The Simpsons third season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 23, 1992. In the episode, Bart decides that he wants to become a rock star after attending a Spinal Tap concert, so Homer and Marge buy him a guitar...

". The band has played several concerts, including at Live Earth
Live Earth
-Background:Founded by Emmy-winning producer Kevin Wall, in partnership with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Live Earth was built upon the belief that entertainment has the power to transcend social and cultural barriers to move the world community to action...

 in London on July 7, 2007. In anticipation of the show, Rob Reiner directed a short film entitled Spinal Tap. In 2009, the band released Back from the Dead to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of the film. The album features re-recorded versions of songs featured in This Is Spinal Tap and its soundtrack, and five new songs. The band performed a one date "world tour" at London's Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena is an indoor arena, at Wembley, in the London Borough of Brent. The building is opposite Wembley Stadium.-History:...

 on June 30, 2009. The Folksmen
The Folksmen
The Folksmen are a fictitious American folk music trio, conceived and performed by actors/comedians/musicians Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. Originally created in 1984 for a TV comedy sketch, the Folksmen have subsequently maintained an intermittent public presence for more...

, a mock band featured in the film A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind is a 2003 mockumentary about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands must reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. It was directed by Christopher Guest...

that is also made up of characters played by Shearer, McKean and Guest—was the opening act for the show.

The Simpsons


Shearer may be best known for his prolific work as a voice actor on The Simpsons. Matt Groening
Matt Groening
Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

, the creator of the show, was a fan of Shearer's work, while Shearer was a fan of a column Groening used to write. Shearer was asked if he wanted to be in the series, but he was initially reluctant because he thought the recording sessions would be too much trouble. He felt voice acting was "not a lot of fun" because traditionally, voice actors record their parts separately. He was told that the actors would record their lines together and after three calls, executive producer James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
James Lawrence Brooks is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Growing up in North Bergen, New Jersey, Brooks endured a fractured family life and passed the time by reading and writing. After dropping out of New York University, he got a job as an usher at CBS, going on to write for the...

 managed to convince Shearer to join the cast. Shearer's first impression of The Simpsons was that it was funny. Shearer, who thought it was a "pretty cool" way to work, found it peculiar that the members of the cast were adamant about not being known to the public as the people behind the voices.

Shearer provides voices for Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer and first appeared in the episode "Krusty Gets Busted"...

, Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers, Jr., usually referred to as Smithers, is a recurring fictional character in the animated series The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. Smithers first appeared in the episode "Homer's Odyssey", although he could be heard in the series premiere "Simpsons Roasting on an Open...

, Ned Flanders
Ned Flanders
Nedward "Ned" Flanders, Jr. is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the next door neighbor to the Simpson family and is generally...

, Reverend Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy "Tim" Lovejoy is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Lovejoy is the minister at The First Church of Springfield—the Protestant church in Springfield which most of...

, Dr. Hibbert
Julius Hibbert
Dr. Julius M. Hibbert, usually referred to as Dr. Hibbert, is a recurring character on the animated series The Simpsons. His speaking voice is provided by Harry Shearer and his singing voice was by Thurl Ravenscroft, and he first appeared in the episode "Bart the Daredevil". Dr...

, Lenny Leonard, Otto Mann
Otto Mann
Otto Mann is a fictional character on the animated TV series The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the school bus driver for Springfield Elementary School...

, Rainier Wolfcastle, Dr. Marvin Monroe and many others. He describes all of his regular characters' voices as "easy to slip into. [...] I wouldn't do them if they weren't easy." Shearer modeled Mr. Burns's voice on the two actors Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore was an American actor of stage, screen and radio. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

. Shearer said that Burns is the most difficult character for him to voice because it is rough on his vocal cords and he often needs to drink tea and honey to soothe his voice. He describes Burns as his favorite character, saying he "like[s] Mr. Burns because he is pure evil. A lot of evil people make the mistake of diluting it. Never adulterate your evil." Shearer is also the voice of Burns' assistant Smithers
Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers, Jr., usually referred to as Smithers, is a recurring fictional character in the animated series The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. Smithers first appeared in the episode "Homer's Odyssey", although he could be heard in the series premiere "Simpsons Roasting on an Open...

, and is able to perform dialogue between the two characters in one take. Ned Flanders had been meant to be just a neighbor that Homer
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 was jealous of, but because Shearer used "such a sweet voice" for him, Flanders was broadened to become a Christian and a sweet guy that someone would prefer to live next to over Homer. Dr. Marvin Monroe's voice is based on psychiatrist David Viscott
David Viscott
David Viscott , was an American psychiatrist, author, businessman, and media personality. He was a graduate of Dartmouth , Tufts Medical School and taught at University Hospital in Boston. He started a private practice in psychiatry in 1968 and later moved to Los Angeles in 1979 where he was a...

. Monroe has been retired since the seventh season
The Simpsons (season 7)
The Simpsons seventh season originally aired on the Fox network between September 17, 1995 and May 19, 1996. The show runners for the seventh production season were Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein who would executive produce 21 episodes this season. David Mirkin executive produced the remaining...

 because voicing the character strained Shearer's throat.

In 2004, Shearer criticized what he perceived as the show's declining quality: "I rate the last three seasons as among the worst, so Season Four
The Simpsons (season 4)
The Simpsons fourth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 24, 1992 and May 13, 1993, beginning with "Kamp Krusty." The show runners for the fourth production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss. The aired season contained two episodes which were hold-over episodes from season...

 looks very good to me now." Shearer has also been vocal about "The Principal and the Pauper
The Principal and the Pauper
"The Principal and the Pauper" is the second episode of The Simpsons ninth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 28, 1997. In the episode, Seymour Skinner begins to celebrate his twentieth anniversary as principal of Springfield Elementary School when a man...

" (season nine
The Simpsons (season 9)
The Simpsons ninth season originally aired between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997 with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". The show runner for the ninth production season was Mike Scully...

, 1997) one of the most controversial episodes of The Simpsons. Many fans and critics reacted negatively to the revelation that Principal Seymour Skinner, a recurring character since the first season, was an impostor. The episode has been criticized by both Shearer and Groening. In a 2001 interview, Shearer recalled that after reading the script, he told the writers, "That's so wrong. You're taking something that an audience has built eight years or nine years of investment in and just tossed it in the trash can for no good reason, for a story we've done before with other characters. It's so arbitrary and gratuitous, and it's disrespectful to the audience." Due to scheduling and availability conflicts, Shearer decided not to participate in The Simpsons Ride
The Simpsons Ride
The Simpsons Ride is a simulator ride featured at the Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood theme parks. The ride is based on the animated television series The Simpsons. It was first announced in 2007 and replaced the Back to the Future: The Ride at both locations...

, which opened in 2008, so none of his characters have vocal parts and many do not appear in the ride at all.

Until 1998, Shearer was paid $30,000 per episode. During a pay dispute in 1998, Fox threatened to replace the six main voice actors with new actors, going as far as preparing for casting of new voices. The dispute, however, was resolved and Shearer received $125,000 per episode until 2004, when the voice actors demanded that they be paid $360,000 an episode. The dispute was resolved a month later, and Shearer's pay rose to $250,000 per episode. After salary re-negotiations in 2008, the voice actors now receive $400,000 per episode.

Le Show and radio work


Since 1983, Shearer has been the host of the public radio comedy/music program Le Show
Le Show
Le Show is a weekly syndicated public radio show hosted by satirist Harry Shearer.The program is a hodgepodge of satirical news commentary, music, and sketch comedy...

on Santa Monica's
Santa Mônica
Santa Mônica is a town and municipality in the state of Paraná in the Southern Region of Brazil.-References:...

 NPR-affiliated radio station, KCRW
KCRW
KCRW is a public radio station broadcasting from the campus of Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, carrying a mix of National Public Radio news, talk radio and freeform music format. The general manager of KCRW is Jennifer Ferro...

. The program is a hodgepodge of satirical news commentary, music, and sketch comedy that takes aim at the "mega morons of the mighty media". It is carried on many National Public Radio and other public radio stations throughout the United States. Since the merger of SIRIUS
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio is a satellite radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Radio.Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002 and currently provides 69 streams of music and 65 streams of...

 and XM
XM Public Radio
XM Public Radio is a 24/7 Sirius XM Satellite Radio channel dedicated to public radio programming. Broadcasting in stereo, XM Public Radio is one of two talk channels on the XM platform which broadcasts 2-channel audio—the other being the ViRUS...

 satellite radio services the program is no longer available on either. The show has also been made available as a podcast
Podcast
A podcast is a series of digital media files that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication...

 on iTunes
ITunes
iTunes is a media player computer program, used for playing, downloading, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop computers. It can also manage contents on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad....

. On the weekly program Shearer alternates between DJing, reading and commenting on the news of the day after the manner of Mort Sahl
Mort Sahl
Morton Lyon "Mort" Sahl is a Canadian-born American comedian and actor. He occasionally wrote jokes for speeches delivered by President John F. Kennedy. He was the first comedian to record a live album and the first to perform on college campuses...

, and performing original (mostly political) comedy sketches and songs. In 2008, Shearer released a music CD called Songs of the Bushmen, consisting of his satirical numbers about former President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 on Le Show. Shearer says he criticizes both Republicans and Democrats equally, and also says that "the iron law of doing comedy about politics is you make fun of whoever is running the place" and that "everyone else is just running around talking. They are the ones who are actually doing something, changing people's lives for better or for worse. Other people the media calls 'satirists' don't work that way."

Since encountering satellite news feeds when he worked on Saturday Night Live, Shearer has been fascinated with the contents of the video that does not air. Shearer refers to these clips as found object
Found object
A found object, in an artistic sense, indicates the use of an object which has not been designed for an artistic purpose, but which exists for another purpose already. Found objects may exist either as utilitarian, manufactured items, or things which occur in nature...

s. "I thought, wow, there is just an unending supply of this material, and it’s wonderful and fascinating and funny and sometimes haunting — but it’s always good," said Shearer. He collects this material and uses it on Le Show and on his website. In 2008, he assembled video clips of newsmakers from this collection into an art installation titled "The Silent Echo Chamber" which was exhibited at the The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is located in Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA. The Aldrich has no permanent collection. It is one of the United States's leading contemporary art galleries and special exhibition spaces . The museum is an international leader in museum education .The Aldrich was...

 in Ridgefield, Connecticut
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Ridgefield is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. Situated in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, the 300-year-old community had a population of 24,638 at the 2010 census. The town center, which was formerly a borough, is defined by the U.S...

. The exhibit was also displayed in 2009 at Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM) in Valencia, Spain  and in 2010 at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center.

In 2006 Shearer appeared with Brian Hayes
Brian Hayes (broadcaster)
Brian Hayes is a radio presenter who is known in United Kingdom for his phone-in shows.The son of a miner, he left school aged 15 and worked as a clerk for a mining company before obtaining a job as a newsreader for a radio station in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia...

 in four episodes of the BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 sitcom Not Today, Thank You
Not Today, Thank You
Not Today, Thank You is a British radio comedy featured on BBC Radio 4. It stars Harry Shearer as Nostrils, a man convinced that he is extremely unattractive, and Brian Hayes as Brian Hughes, an aging radio presenter who tries to broadcast his radio show from his grandmother's basement before...

, playing Nostrils, a man so ugly he cannot stand to be in his own presence. He was originally scheduled to appear in all six episodes but had to withdraw from recording two due to a problem with his work permit.

On June 19, 2008, it was announced that Shearer would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the radio category. The date of the ceremony where his star will be put in place has yet to be announced.

Further career



In 2002, Shearer directed his first feature film Teddy Bears' Picnic
Teddy Bears' Picnic (film)
Teddy Bears' Picnic is a 2002 film directed and written by Harry Shearer. It was released in May, 2002 to limited audiences. Shearer has a small role.-Plot:...

, which he also wrote. The plot is based on Bohemian Grove
Bohemian Grove
Bohemian Grove is a campground located at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California, belonging to a private San Francisco-based men's art club known as the Bohemian Club...

, which hosts a three-week encampment of some of the most powerful men in the world. The film was not well-received by critics. It garnered a 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

, with all 19 reviews being determined as negative and received a rating of 32 out of 100 (signifying "generally negative reviews") on Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

 from 10 reviews. In 2003, he co-wrote J. Edgar! The Musical with Tom Leopold
Tom Leopold
Tom Leopold is an American comedy writer, performer and novelist. He has written episodes of Seinfeld and Cheers and several books. He has often been associated with Chevy Chase, Harry Shearer and Paul Shaffer in various projects...

, which spoofed J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

's relationship with Clyde Tolson
Clyde Tolson
Clyde Anderson Tolson was Associate Director of the FBI, primarily responsible for personnel and discipline. He is best known as the protégé of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.-Early career:...

. It premiered at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado
Aspen, Colorado
The City of Aspen is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 5,804 in 2005...

 and starred Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer
Allen Kelsey Grammer is an American actor and comedian. He is most widely known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the sitcoms Cheers and Frasier...

 and John Goodman
John Goodman
John Stephen Goodman is an American film, television, and stage actor. He is best known for his role as Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne for which he won a Best Actor Golden Globe Award in 1993, and for appearances in the films of the Coen brothers, with prominent roles in Raising...

.

In 2003, Shearer, Guest and McKean starred in the folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 mockumentary
Mockumentary
A mockumentary , is a type of film or television show in which fictitious events are presented in documentary format. These productions are often used to analyze or comment on current events and issues by using a fictitious setting, or to parody the documentary form itself...

 A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind is a 2003 mockumentary about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands must reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. It was directed by Christopher Guest...

, portraying a band called The Folksmen. The film was written by Guest and Eugene Levy
Eugene Levy
Eugene Levy, CM is a Canadian actor, comedian, television director, producer, musician, and writer. He is known for his work in Canadian television series, American movies, and television movies. He is the only actor to have appeared in all eight of the American Pie films, as Noah Levenstein...

, and directed by Guest. Shearer had a major role in the Guest-directed parody of Oscar politicking For Your Consideration
For Your Consideration (film)
For Your Consideration is a 2006 comedy film directed by Christopher Guest. It was co-written by Guest and Eugene Levy, both also starring in the film....

in 2006. He played Victor Allan Miller, a veteran actor who is convinced that he is going to be nominated for an Academy Award. He also appeared as a news anchor in Godzilla
Godzilla (1998 film)
Godzilla is a 1998 science fiction monster disaster film film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. It is a loose remake of the 1954 giant monster classic Godzilla. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The film relates a tale of a nuclear incident...

with fellow The Simpsons cast members Hank Azaria
Hank Azaria
Henry Albert "Hank" Azaria is an American film, television and stage actor, director, voice actor, and comedian. He is noted for being one of the principal voice actors on the animated television series The Simpsons , on which he performs the voices of Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief...

 and Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Campbell Cartwright is an American film and television actress, comedian and voice artist. She is best known for her long-running role as Bart Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons...

. His other film appearances include The Right Stuff, Portrait of a White Marriage
The History of White People in America
The History of White People in America is a made for TV mockumentary movie, first broadcast in 1985 on HBO.It starred Martin Mull, with Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place, and Edie McClurg...

, The Fisher King
The Fisher King (film)
The Fisher King is a 1991 American comedy-drama film written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer and Michael Jeter...

, The Truman Show
The Truman Show
The Truman Show is a 1998 American satirical comedy-drama film directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol. The cast includes Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, as well as Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Ed Harris and Natascha McElhone...

, EdTV
EdTV
EDtv is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Ron Howard. An adaptation of the Quebec film Louis 19, le roi des ondes , it stars Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Landau, Rob Reiner, Sally Kirkland, Elizabeth Hurley, Clint Howard, and Dennis Hopper.The...

and Small Soldiers
Small Soldiers
Small Soldiers is a 1998 American action/science fiction film directed by Joe Dante starring Gregory Smith and Kirsten Dunst. The film revolves around two teenagers , who get caught in the middle of a war between two factions of sentient action figures, the Gorgonites and the Commando...

.

Shearer has also worked as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, but decided that it "became such a waste of time to bother with it." His columns have also been published in Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

and Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

. Since May 2005 he has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is an American news website and content-aggregating blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring liberal minded columnists and various news sources. The site offers coverage of politics, theology, media, business, entertainment, living, style,...

. Shearer has written three books. Man Bites Town, published in 1993, is a collection of columns that he wrote for The Los Angeles Times between 1989 and 1992. Published in 1999, It's the Stupidity, Stupid analyzed the hatred some people had for then-President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. Shearer believes that Clinton became disliked because he had an affair with "the least powerful, least credentialed women cleared into his official compound." His most recent book is Not Enough Indians, his first novel. Published in 2006, it is a comic novel about Native Americans and gambling. Without the "pleasures of collaboration" and "spontaneity and improvisation which characterize his other projects", Not Enough Indians was a "struggle" for Shearer to write. He said that "the only fun thing about it was having written it. It was lonely, I had no deal for it and it took six years to do. It was a profoundly disturbing act of self-discipline."

Shearer has released five solo comedy albums: It Must Have Been Something I Said (1994), Dropping Anchors (2006), Songs Pointed and Pointless (2007), Songs of the Bushmen (2008) and Greed and Fear (2010). His most recent CD, Greed and Fear is mainly about Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 economic issues, rather than politics like his previous albums. Shearer decided to make the album when he"started getting amused by the language of the economic meltdown — when 'toxic assets' suddenly became 'troubled assets,' going from something poisoning the system to just a bunch of delinquent youth with dirty faces that needed not removal from the system but just...understanding."

In May 2006, Shearer received an honorary doctorate from Goucher College
Goucher College
Goucher College is a private, co-educational, liberal arts college located in the northern Baltimore suburb of Towson in unincorporated Baltimore County, Maryland, on a 287 acre campus. The school has approximately 1,475 undergraduate students studying in 31 majors and six interdisciplinary...

.

Shearer is the director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 of The Big Uneasy, a film about the effects of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 on New Orleans.

Personal life


Shearer married Penelope Nichols in 1974. They divorced in 1977. He has been married to singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 Judith Owen
Judith Owen
Judith Owen is a Welsh singer-songwriter. Her first North American album, Emotions on a Postcard, was released in 1996, and has since been followed by five additional releases...

 since 1993. In 2005, the couple launched their own record label called Courgette Records. Shearer has homes in Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

, the Faubourg Marigny
Faubourg Marigny
The Marigny is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Bywater District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: North Rampart Street and St...

 of New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

, and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. He first came to New Orleans in 1988 and has attended every edition of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana...

 since. Shearer often speaks and writes about the failure of the Federal levee system which flooded New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, belittling the coverage of it in the mainstream media and criticizing the role of the United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

.

Films

Year Film Role Notes
1953 Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
Abbott and Costello Go To Mars is a 1953 American science fiction comedy film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. The film follows the misadventures of Lester and Orville who accidentally find themselves on a rocketship bound for Mars, which accidentally...

Boy Uncredited
The Robe
The Robe (film)
The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable for being the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope.It was directed by Henry Koster...

David Uncredited
1977 American Raspberry
American Raspberry (film)
American Raspberry is a 1977 parody film that lampoons various films of the 1970s, much like The Groove Tube, Tunnel Vision, The Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon.-Plot:American Raspberry tells the story of what happens when some strange unknown sources takes over the air waves and...

Trucker's friend
Cracking Up Various characters Credited as part of "The Credibility Gap"
1979 Real Life
Real Life (film)
Real Life is an American comedy film released in 1979. The first feature directed by Albert Brooks, who also co-authored the screenplay, it is a spoof of the 1973 reality television program An American Family and portrays a documentary filmmaker named Albert Brooks who attempts to live with and...

Pete Also co-writer
The Concorde ... Airport '79 Jeffrey Marx Uncredited
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh is an American sports/fantasy comedy film that was released in 1979. The movie was directed by Gilbert Moses and co-produced by David Dashev and Gary Stromberg. It was produced by Lorimar and distributed by United Artists. The rights to the film are currently owned by...

Murray Sports
1980 Animalympics
Animalympics
Animalympics is a 1980 animated film produced by Lisberger Studios and released by Warner Bros.. Originally commissioned by the NBC network as two separate specials, it spoofs the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and features the voices of Billy Crystal, Gilda Radner, Harry Shearer and Michael...

Keen Hacksaw
Loose Shoes
Loose Shoes
Loose Shoes is a 1980 comedy film directed by Ira Miller and featuring Bill Murray. The film is presented as a series of movie trailers with titles such as The Howard Huge Story, Skate-boarders from Hell and The Invasion of the Penis Snatchers...

Narrator
One Trick Pony Bernie Wepner
1983 The Right Stuff NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Recruiter
1984 This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock musical mockumentary directed by Rob Reiner about the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap...

Derek Smalls
Derek Smalls
Derek Albion Smalls is a fictional character played by Harry Shearer. He is the bassist for mock British heavy metal group Spinal Tap. He co-starred in the hit spoof rockumentary This is Spinal Tap with guitarists Nigel Tufnel and David St...

Also co-writer, composer and musician
1987 Flicks Narrator
1988 Plain Clothes
Plain Clothes (1988 film)
Plain Clothes is a 1988 comedy film directed by Martha Coolidge. The film stars Arliss Howard and was released by Paramount Pictures. As of 2011, it is available on VHS and 'Internet video streaming' through Netflix.-Plot summary:...

Simon Feck
My Stepmother Is an Alien
My Stepmother Is an Alien
My Stepmother Is An Alien is a 1988 comedy science fiction film produced by the Weintraub Entertainment Group for release through Columbia Pictures, directed by Richard Benjamin and starring Kim Basinger and Dan Aykroyd, with featured performances by Jon Lovitz and Alyson Hannigan.-Plot:Celeste is...

Voice of Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan
Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books...

1990 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Announcer Short film
1991 Blood and Concrete: A Love Story Sammy Rhodes
Oscar
Oscar (1991 film)
Oscar is a 1991 American comedy film directed by John Landis. Based on the Claude Magnier stage play, it is can be considered a remake of the 1967 film of the same name, but the settings has been moved to the Depression era New York City and centers around a mob boss trying to go straight...

Guido Finucci
Pure Luck
Pure Luck
Pure Luck is a 1991 American comedy film starring Martin Short and Danny Glover. It is remake of the popular French comedy film La Chèvre .- Plot :...

Monosoff
The Fisher King
The Fisher King (film)
The Fisher King is a 1991 American comedy-drama film written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer and Michael Jeter...

Ben Starr
1992 A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League . Directed by Penny Marshall, the film stars Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Madonna, and Rosie O'Donnell...

Newsreel announcer
1993 Wayne's World 2
Wayne's World 2
Wayne's World 2 is a 1993 comedy film starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as hosts of a Public-access television cable TV show from Aurora, Illinois. The film was adapted from a sketch on NBC's Saturday Night Live and is the sequel to Wayne's World....

Handsome Dan
1994 I'll Do Anything
I'll Do Anything
I'll Do Anything is a 1994 American dramedy film written and directed by James L. Brooks. Its primary plot concerns a down-on-his-luck actor who suddenly finds himself the sole caretaker of his six-year-old daughter.-Synopsis:...

Audience Research Captain
Little Giants
Little Giants
Little Giants is a 1994 family comedy film, starring Rick Moranis and Ed O'Neill as brothers in a small Ohio town, coaching rival Pee-Wee Football teams.-Synopsis:...

Announcer Littbarski
Speechless
Speechless (film)
Speechless is a 1994 romantic comedy film directed by Ron Underwood. It stars Geena Davis , Michael Keaton, Bonnie Bedelia, Ernie Hudson and Christopher Reeve.-Plot:...

Chuck
1997 My Best Friend's Wedding
My Best Friend's Wedding
My Best Friend's Wedding is a 1997 romantic comedy film directed by P. J. Hogan. It stars Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Dermot Mulroney, Rupert Everett, and Philip Bosco.The film received mostly positive reviews from critics...

Jonathan P.F. Ritt
Waiting for Guffman
Waiting for Guffman
Waiting for Guffman is a mockumentary starring, co-written and directed by Christopher Guest that was released in 1997. Its cast included Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Parker Posey and others who would appear in several of the subsequent mockumentaries directed by Guest.The title of...

N/A Composer
1998 Godzilla
Godzilla (1998 film)
Godzilla is a 1998 science fiction monster disaster film film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. It is a loose remake of the 1954 giant monster classic Godzilla. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The film relates a tale of a nuclear incident...

Charles Caiman
Almost Heroes
Almost Heroes
Almost Heroes is a 1998 adventure comedy film directed by Christopher Guest, narrated by Guest's friend and frequent collaborator Harry Shearer, and starring Chris Farley and Matthew Perry.-Plot:...

Narrator
The Truman Show
The Truman Show
The Truman Show is a 1998 American satirical comedy-drama film directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol. The cast includes Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, as well as Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Ed Harris and Natascha McElhone...

Mike Michaelson
Small Soldiers
Small Soldiers
Small Soldiers is a 1998 American action/science fiction film directed by Joe Dante starring Gregory Smith and Kirsten Dunst. The film revolves around two teenagers , who get caught in the middle of a war between two factions of sentient action figures, the Gorgonites and the Commando...

Punch-It
1999 EDtv
EdTV
EDtv is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Ron Howard. An adaptation of the Quebec film Louis 19, le roi des ondes , it stars Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Landau, Rob Reiner, Sally Kirkland, Elizabeth Hurley, Clint Howard, and Dennis Hopper.The...

Moderator
Encounter in the Third Dimension Narrator
Dick
Dick (film)
Dick is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Andrew Fleming from a script he wrote with Sheryl Longin. It is a parody retelling the events of the Watergate scandal which ended the presidency of Richard Nixon and features several cast members from Saturday Night Live.Kirsten Dunst and Michelle...

G. Gordon Liddy
G. Gordon Liddy
George Gordon Liddy was the chief operative for the White House Plumbers unit that existed from July–September 1971, during Richard Nixon's presidency. Separately, along with E. Howard Hunt, Liddy organized and directed the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in...

2000 Catching Up with Marty DiBergi Derek Smalls Short film
Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big is a 2000 film starring Emily Osment. The film also stars Justin Brinsfield, John Cleese, Catherine O'Hara, and Haley Joel Osment. It is based on the book by Berkeley Breathed....

Additional voice
2001 Haiku Tunnel
Haiku Tunnel
Haiku Tunnel is an office comedy film about the struggle between tempness and permness .-Plot:Josh is the consummate temp employee, avoiding all long-term connections and responsibilities, both at work and in his personal life...

Orientation leader
Out There Dr. Gerard
Haunted Castle Mr. D
Mephisto
2002 Teddy Bears' Picnic
Teddy Bears' Picnic (film)
Teddy Bears' Picnic is a 2002 film directed and written by Harry Shearer. It was released in May, 2002 to limited audiences. Shearer has a small role.-Plot:...

Joey Lavin Also writer, director and executive producer
2003 A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind is a 2003 mockumentary about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands must reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. It was directed by Christopher Guest...

Mark Shubb
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School
Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School
Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School is a 2005 musical romance film produced by Samuel Goldwyn Films and directed by Randall Miller...

Promo announcer
Chicken Little Dog announcer
2006 For Your Consideration
For Your Consideration (film)
For Your Consideration is a 2006 comedy film directed by Christopher Guest. It was co-written by Guest and Eugene Levy, both also starring in the film....

Victor Allan Miller
2007 A Couple of White Chicks at the Hairdresser Marc Gavin
The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 American animated comedy film based on the animated television series The Simpsons. The film was directed by David Silverman, and stars the regular television cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress...

Various characters

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1953, 1955 The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy.-Cast:*Jack Benny - Himself...

Jack Benny, as a child
Episode 4.2: "Jack as a Child"
Episode 5.12: "Jack Takes the Beavers to the Fair"
1955 The Donald O'Connor Show
The Donald O'Connor Show
The Donald O'Connor Show is an American musical situation comedy television series starring singer/dancer Donald O'Connor...

Himself Episode 1.7
1955 It's a Great Life Terry Episode 2.4: "The Paper Drive"
1955 Death Valley Days
Death Valley Days
Death Valley Days is an American radio and television anthology series featuring true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death Valley area. Created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman, the program was broadcast on radio until 1945. It continued from 1952 to 1975 as a syndicated television series...

Unnamed character Episode 4.2: "The Valencia Cake"
1956 Private Secretary
Private Secretary (TV series)
Private Secretary is an American sitcom that aired from February 1, 1953 to September 10, 1957 on CBS, alternating with The Jack Benny Program on Sundays at 7:30pm EST...

Chuckie Willis Episode 4.16: "The Little Caesar of Bleecker Street"
1957 General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater is an American anthology series hosted by Ronald W. Reagan that was broadcast on CBS radio and television. The series was sponsored by General Electric's Department of Public Relations.-Radio:...

Timmy Episode 5.28: "Cab Driver"
Leave It to Beaver
Leave It to Beaver
Leave It to Beaver is an American television situation comedy about an inquisitive but often naïve boy named Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver and his adventures at home, in school, and around his suburban neighborhood...

Frankie Bennett Pilot: "It's a Small World
It's a Small World (Leave It to Beaver episode)
"It's a Small World" is the pilot episode from the iconic American television series Leave It to Beaver . The pilot was first televised April 23, 1957 on a syndicated anthology series, Studio 57, without a laugh track nor the series' well known theme song, "The Toy Parade"...

"
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the premiere of the show on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades...

Street Kid Episode 2.31: "The Night the World Ended"
1976 Serpico
Serpico (TV series)
Serpico is a short-lived American crime drama series that aired on NBC between September 1976 and February 1977. The series was based on the novel by Peter Maas and the 1973 film of the same name that starred Al Pacino in the title role...

Hippy TV film/Pilot: "The Deadly Game"
1976–1982 Laverne & Shirley
Laverne & Shirley
Laverne & Shirley is an American television situation comedy that ran on ABC from January 26, 1976, to May 10, 1983...

Various characters Appeared in six episodes;
also co-wrote episode 1.12: "Hi, Neighbor"
1979 The T.V. Show Various characters Pilot; also writer, producer and composer
1979-80, 1984–85 Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

Various characters Appeared in 32 episodes;
also co-wrote 39 episodes
1981 Likely Stories, Vol. 1 Various characters TV film; also co-wrote
1982 Million Dollar Infield Jack Savage TV film
1985 The History of White People in America
The History of White People in America
The History of White People in America is a made for TV mockumentary movie, first broadcast in 1985 on HBO.It starred Martin Mull, with Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place, and Edie McClurg...

Rabbi TV film; also director
1986 Viva Shaf Vegas Rabbi TV film; also director, writer and executive producer
The History of White People in America: Volume II
The History of White People in America
The History of White People in America is a made for TV mockumentary movie, first broadcast in 1985 on HBO.It starred Martin Mull, with Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place, and Edie McClurg...

Rabbi TV film; also director
Spitting Image: Down And Out In The White House Additional voice Pilot/TV special
1987 Spitting Image: The Ronnie and Nancy Show Additional voice TV special
Down and Out with Donald Duck Additional voices TV special
1988 Portrait of a White Marriage
The History of White People in America
The History of White People in America is a made for TV mockumentary movie, first broadcast in 1985 on HBO.It starred Martin Mull, with Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place, and Edie McClurg...

Unnamed character TV film; also director
Miami Vice
Miami Vice
Miami Vice is an American television series produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami. It ran for five seasons on NBC from 1984–1989...

FBI Agent Timothy Anderson Episode 4.12: "The Cows of October"
Merrill Markoe's Guide to Glamorous Living Unnamed character TV special
1989- The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

Various characters Longest-running role
1990 The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom created by Susan Harris, which originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show centers on four older women sharing a home in Miami, Florida...

George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

Episode 5.26: "The President's Coming! The President's Coming! Part 2"
Hometown Boy Makes Good Unnamed character TV film
Murphy Brown
Murphy Brown
Murphy Brown is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS from November 14, 1988, to May 18, 1998, for a total of 247 episodes. The program starred Candice Bergen as the eponymous Murphy Brown, a famous investigative journalist and news anchor for FYI, a fictional CBS television...

Chris Bishop Episode 3.1: "The 390th Broadcast"
1991 Sunday Best Various characters
1993 Dream On
Dream On (TV series)
Dream On is an American adult-themed situation comedy about single New Yorker, Martin Tupper. The show used a gimmick where old black and white clips were used to punctuate the main character's feelings or thoughts...

Steve Episode 4.6: "Home Sweet Homeboy"
L.A. Law
L.A. Law
L.A. Law is a US television legal drama that ran on NBC from September 15, 1986 to May 19, 1994. L.A. Law reflected the social and cultural ideologies of the 1980s and early 1990s and many of the cases featured on the show dealt with hot topic issues such as abortion, racism, gay rights,...

Gordon Huyck Episode 8.6: "Safe Sex"
Animaniacs
Animaniacs
Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs, usually referred to as simply Animaniacs, is an American animated series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television and produced by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The cartoon was the second animated series produced by the collaboration of Steven...

Ned Flat Episode 1.40: "Fair Game/Puppet Rulers"
1994 Ellen
Ellen (TV series)
Ellen is a U.S. television sitcom that ran on the ABC network from March 29, 1994 to July 22, 1998, producing 109 episodes.The theme song, "So Called Friend" is by Scottish band Texas...

Ted Episode 2.9: "The Trainer"
1995 Sliders
Sliders
Sliders is an American science fiction television series. It was broadcast for five seasons, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2000. The series follows a group of travelers as they use a wormhole to "slide" between different parallel universes. The show was created by Robert K. Weiss and Tracy Tormé...

Radio DJ Episode 1.1: "Pilot"; uncredited
Friends
Friends
Friends is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television...

Dr. Baldharar Episode 1.21: "The One with the Fake Monica"
The Show Formerly Known as the Martin Short Show Mr. Blackwell
Mr. Blackwell
Richard Blackwell was an American fashion critic, journalist, television and radio personality, artist, former child actor and former fashion designer, sometimes known just as Mr. Blackwell. He was the creator of the "Ten Worst Dressed Women List", an annual awards presentation he unveiled in...

TV special
Frontline
Frontline (Australian TV series)
Frontline is an Australian comedy television series which satirised Australian television current affairs programmes and reporting. It ran for three series of 13 half-hour episodes and was broadcast on ABC TV in 1994, 1995 and 1997.-Production:...

Larry Hadges Episode 2.10: "Changing the Face of Current Affairs"
1996 State of the Union: Undressed Newt Gingrich TV special
Chicago Hope
Chicago Hope
Chicago Hope is an American medical drama series created by David E. Kelley that ran from September 18, 1994, to May 5, 2000. It takes place in a fictional private charity hospital.-Premise:The show stars Mandy Patinkin as Dr...

Nowhere man Episode 3.7: "A Time to Kill"
1997 Tracey Takes On...
Tracey Takes On...
Tracey Takes On... is an HBO sketch comedy series created by British-American comedienne Tracey Ullman.In 1993, Ullman returned to television after her hit Fox comedy series, The Tracey Ullman Show, was canceled, with two comedy specials for HBO. Tracey Ullman Takes On New York, and Tracey Ullman:...

Ronald Littleman Episode 2.12: "Race Relations"
ER
ER (TV series)
ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994 to April 2, 2009. It was produced by Constant c Productions and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Warner Bros. Television...

John Smythe Episode 3.19: "Calling Dr. Hathaway"
The Visitor
The Visitor (TV series)
The Visitor was a science fiction television series created by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin which aired on Fox from 1997–1998. It starred John Corbett as Adam McArthur who was abducted by extraterrestrials 50 years earlier and escapes back to Earth to help improve life for...

Louis Faraday Episode 1.1: "Fear of Flying"
1998 George & Leo
George & Leo
George & Leo is a short-lived American sitcom starring Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsch. Set on Martha's Vineyard, the series aired on CBS from September 15, 1997 to March 16, 1998.-Synopsis:...

Unnamed character Episode 1.17: "The Poker Game"
1999 Seven Days Walter Landis Episode 1.19: "EBE's"
Just Shoot Me!
Just Shoot Me!
Just Shoot Me! is an American television sitcom that aired for seven seasons on NBC from March 4, 1997 to August 16, 2003, with 148 episodes produced. The show was created by Steven Levitan, the show's executive producer.-Description:...

Larry Fenwick Episode 4.1: "A Divorce to Remember"
1999–2001 Jack & Jill
Jack & Jill (TV series)
Jack & Jill is an American television series comedy-drama starring Ivan Sergei, Amanda Peet, Jaime Pressly, Justin Kirk, Simon Rex and Sarah Paulson which ran from September 1999 to April 2001 on the WB Network. It was created and executive produced by Randi Mayem Singer.The show's theme song was...

Dr. Wilfred Madison Appeared in four episodes
2000–2001 Dawson's Creek
Dawson's Creek
Dawson's Creek is an American teen drama television series which debuted on January 20, 1998, on The WB Television Network and was produced by Sony Pictures Television. The show is set in the fictional seaside town of Capeside, Massachusetts, and in Boston, Massachusetts, during the later seasons...

Principal Peskin Episodes 4.8: "The Unusual Suspects" and 4.22: "The Graduate"
2001 That's Life
That's Life (2000 TV series)
That's Life is an American dramedy series created by Diane Ruggiero, that was broadcast on CBS from October 1, 2000 to January 26, 2002.-Synopsis:...

Dean Episode 2.9: "Oh, Baby!"
2002 The Agency The President Episode 1.14: "The Gauntlet"
2003 MADtv
MADtv
MADtv is an American sketch comedy television series. It licensed the name and logo of Mad, but otherwise had no connection with the humor magazine outside the animated Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin cartoon shorts and images of Alfred E. Neuman that the show featured during the late 1990s. Its first...

Mark Shubb Episode 8.21

Video games

Year Game Role
1996 Blazing Dragons Sir Burnevere, Sir George's Valet
1996 The Simpsons Cartoon Studio
The Simpsons Cartoon Studio
The Simpsons Cartoon Studio is a computer program based on the animated television series The Simpsons that was released for PC and Mac computers in 1996 by Fox Interactive. It allows users to create their own Simpsons cartoons, using characters, sounds, music, and locations from the show. The cast...

Various characters
1997 Virtual Springfield
Virtual Springfield
The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield is a Windows and Macintosh computer game released in 1997 and published by Fox Interactive. It lets players to explore the fictional town Springfield featured in the animated television series The Simpsons, and the goal is to collect an entire set of character...

Various characters
1998 StarCraft
StarCraft
StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The first game of the StarCraft series was released for Microsoft Windows on 31 March 1998. With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide as of February 2009, it is one of the best-selling...

Science Vessel
2001 The Simpsons Wrestling
The Simpsons Wrestling
The Simpsons Wrestling is a professional wrestling video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons, made for the PlayStation console. The game was developed by Big Ape Productions, and published by Fox Interactive and Activision...

Various characters
2001 The Simpsons Road Rage
The Simpsons Road Rage
The Simpsons Road Rage is a 2001 video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons, and is part of a series of games based on the show. It was developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 2, the Xbox, and the GameCube...

Various characters
2002 The Simpsons Skateboarding Various characters
2003 The Simpsons Hit & Run
The Simpsons Hit & Run
The Simpsons Hit & Run is an action-adventure video game based on the animated sitcom The Simpsons. It was released for the GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Windows in North America on September 16, 2003, In Europe and Australia on October 31, 2003 and in Japan on December 25, 2003...

Various characters
2005 Chicken Little Dog announcer
2007 The Simpsons Game
The Simpsons Game
The Simpsons Game is an action/platformer video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons, made for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable. The game was developed, published, and distributed by Electronic Arts. It was released in North...

Various characters

Discography


Album Release Label
It Must Have Been Something I Said 1994 Rhino
Dropping Anchors 2006 Courgette
Songs Pointed and Pointless 2007 Courgette
Songs of the Bushmen 2008 Courgette
Greed and Fear 2010 Courgette

Awards


Shearer is the only one of the six regular voice actors from The Simpsons not to have won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance is a creative arts Emmy Award given out by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is awarded to a performer for an outstanding "continuing or single voice-over performance in a series or a special." Prior to 1992, voice-actors...

. However, he was nominated for the award in 2009
61st Primetime Emmy Awards
The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place on September 20, 2009. CBS broadcast the Primetime event and E! the Creative Arts event; both take place at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The nominations for the Awards were announced on July 16....

 for his performance as Kent Brockman, Lenny, Mr. Burns and Smithers in the episode "The Burns and the Bees
The Burns and the Bees
"The Burns and the Bees" is the eighth episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 7, 2008. In the episode, after winning the "Austin Celtics" in a game of poker, Mr. Burns builds a new stadium in Springfield in the place where...

". He lost the award to Dan Castellaneta
Dan Castellaneta
Daniel Louis "Dan" Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter. Noted for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, he voices many other characters on The Simpsons, including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble,...

.
Year Award Category Series/album Result Ref.
1978 Primetime Emmy Award
Primetime Emmy Award
The Primetime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming...

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series America 2Night
1980 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

2008 Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

Best Comedy Album
Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album
The Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album was awarded from yearly 1959 to 1993 and then from 2004 to present day. There have been several minor changes to the name of the award over this time:*From 1959 to 1967 it was Best Comedy Performance...

Songs Pointed and Pointless
2009 Grammy Award Best Comedy Album Songs of the Bushmen
2009 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance is a creative arts Emmy Award given out by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is awarded to a performer for an outstanding "continuing or single voice-over performance in a series or a special." Prior to 1992, voice-actors...

The Simpsons
2010 Grammy Award Best Comedy Album Back from the Dead (with Spinal Tap)

External links