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Shearer/Nixon
January 30, 2014 1:55 AM   Subscribe

"Harry Shearer is best known for providing the voice of Mr Burns in The Simpsons and as Derek Smalls in spoof rock band Spinal Tap. His next role sees him take on former US president Richard Nixon in a series based on the disgraced politician behind closed doors... To borrow from Sir David's opening line - the following conversation was recorded by the BBC and these are the words actually spoken by Shearer and edited only for time." - The Beeb interviews Harry Shearer on his new role as Nixon.
posted by marienbad (22 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's My Nixon!
posted by Mezentian at 2:11 AM on January 30, 2014


Will there be any way to watch these in the US?
posted by wittgenstein at 2:42 AM on January 30, 2014


Yes.

Legally? I guess if you wait a while.
Or check Youtube.
posted by Mezentian at 2:48 AM on January 30, 2014


I love the sound of this.

I have a fascination presidents and prime ministers who make it to the top with odd, weird characters.

Forget the utterly banal salesmanship of Tony Blair and Barack Obama.

Give me the damned soul of Gordon Brown! Nixon's seething resentment! Kevin Rudd's tragic control-freakery!
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 3:00 AM on January 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kevin Rudd's tragic control-freakery?

Salad daze.
posted by Mezentian at 3:03 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


My favorite Nixon quote: America can't stand Pat.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:30 AM on January 30, 2014


Harry Shearer is this somewhat unsung hero of comedy. He's never made big splashes like a lot of his contemporaries, but he's, nonetheless, sort of a "Good Housekeeping" stamp of approval. Anytime that unmistakable, laconic face shows up, you know it's going to be good and very much worth your while.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:02 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


If you want a taste of Harry Shearer as Nixon (and Haldeman), here are some episodes of Shearer's radio show Le Show that contain the ongoing saga of Nixon in Heaven: Contacting Reagan, Is Obama like Nixon?, and Grand Jury Transcripts Released.
posted by Public Policy at 5:33 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anytime that unmistakable, laconic face shows up, you know it's going to be good and very much worth your while.*

*Godzilla and Oscar excepted.

One of the most startling things I have learned about Star Wars is that Harry Shearer did some of the vocal redubs. Harry Shearer (in vocal form anyway) is in the original 1977 Star Wars and I heard his voice literally dozens of times without connecting it to him, as his most prominent appearance -- as it were -- is coming out of the mouth of an uncredited English actor.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:38 AM on January 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


I am having visions of Nixon sheepishly pulling a foil-wrapped zucchini from his trousers and beast-howling like he does in Futurama, "I told you it washn't a mike-rophone! Arouuuu!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:47 AM on January 30, 2014


Only Nixon could go to China. And only Shearer could go to Nixon.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:01 AM on January 30, 2014


The make-up artist did a great job of making Harry Shearer look like Ralph Fiennes.
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:23 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


One of the most startling things I have learned about Star Wars is that Harry Shearer did some of the vocal redubs.
You have just blown my mind. I just went and found the ship-scanning scene (It starts at about 1:03 into the original, untinkered-with movie.) As the Millennium Falcon is getting pulled into the Death Star, you can also clearly hear Waylon Smithers say "Clear bay 327, we are opening the magnetic shield".
posted by usonian at 6:31 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


OMG!
posted by Mister_A at 6:41 AM on January 30, 2014


You have just blown my mind. I just went and found the ship-scanning scene (It starts at about 1:03 into the original, untinkered-with movie.) As the Millennium Falcon is getting pulled into the Death Star, you can also clearly hear Waylon Smithers say "Clear bay 327, we are opening the magnetic shield".

I am told he is in there in three different places. I have heard he may be the unseen bridge crew who react to the departing escape pod with "There goes another one!" but I am less certain of this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:58 AM on January 30, 2014


Possibly the Storm Trooper in Mos Eisley ("Move along! Move along!") and/or the one who says "Look, sir - Droids!". I'm going to have to watch the whole thing again.
posted by usonian at 7:31 AM on January 30, 2014


I listen to Harry's show every week (and am especially delighted whenever he there's a "Nixon in Heaven" sequence) but his cinematic appearance I like best is his role (with Jeff Goldblum) as "the NASA recruiters sent to find astronaut candidates" in The Right Stuff.
posted by Rash at 8:10 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I lived through Nixon (just barely old enough to understand what was happening), so this would be interesting to see, but not anything particularly new. The American Experience I'm curious about is the Army/McCarthy hearings, during the Red Scare of the 50's. I would love to see a re-enactment of that, or even watch the originals. I wonder if they are available anywhere.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:04 AM on January 30, 2014


... beast-howling like he does in Futurama, "I told you it washn't a mike-rophone! Arouuuu!"

In Futurama, Nixon ('s head) is voiced by Billy West.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:26 AM on January 30, 2014


I am told he is in there in three different places. I have heard he may be the unseen bridge crew who react to the departing escape pod with "There goes another one!" but I am less certain of this.

He dubs one of the Y-wing pilots in the trench run. But after seeing the sequence on YouTube, I'm not quite sure which one, as two of them sound like it could be him.

I think I read where he was asked about all this, probably Twitter, but he didn't have much of a recollection of it, which I suppose is a good sign you've had a productive career.

(Shearer's presence in the film was brought up on the excellent
"Star Wars Minute" podcast. Another fun fact is that Red Leader was played by a non-dubbed Brit doing an American accent.)
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:24 PM on January 30, 2014


As an actor I was always fascinated by watching him and seeing that he seemed to spend about 80% of his waking energy trying to suppress his emotional response to stuff and then the other 20% blurting it out in the most odd and unforeseen situations.

This should be good, thank you. I like to think when Shearer's Mr. Burns impersonates Elvis, he's doing it through Nixon's ears. Had no idea he was on StarWars, though I can kind of hear it. I always thought he was saying "Klinger bay 327". Hey, it could be. Klinger was big then.
posted by petebest at 6:39 PM on January 30, 2014


ricochet biscuit: "*Godzilla and Oscar excepted."

And Wayne's World 2.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:04 PM on February 2, 2014


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