Harry Shearer (December 23, 1943-) is an American actor and Voice Actor famous for starring as Derek Smalls in This Is Spinal Tap, as well as his voicework on The Simpsons, where he played many characters including squeaky-clean religious neighbor Ned Flanders, cynical preacher Reverend Timothy Lovejoy, school principal and Shell-Shocked Veteran who still lives with — and is being controlled by — his mother, Seymour Skinnernote , evil nuclear plant owner Charles Montgomery Burns and his increasingly Transparent Closet, sycophantic assistant Waylon Smithers note , Bill Cosby Expy and the town's only competent doctor Dr. Julius Hibbert, sarcastic, often unprofessional news anchor Kent Brockman, Homer's friend and plant coworker Lenford "Lenny" Leonard, Grandpa Simpson's elderly vitriolic best friend Jasper Beardley, stoner bus driver Otto Mann, and Arnold Schwarzenegger Expy Rainier Wolfcastle. note He also hosts the satirical NPR series Le Show.Shearer got his start on Saturday Night Live during its fifth season (from 1979 to 1980), then returned during Dick Ebersol's final season (1984 to 1985; season ten) before Lorne Michaels's return, making Shearer the Grover Cleveland of SNL note . Shearer's reason for leaving SNL during its tenth season (mid-season): Creative Differences (in his words, "I was creative, they were different.") Most of the celebrity impressions he did on SNL were transferred to The Simpsons: his Vin Scully impression was heard on "Krusty Gets Kancelled" and sounds very similar to Kent Brockman, his Ronald Reagan impression and mannerisms are the basis for Mr. Burns, and his Rod Serling impression was used on the "Treehouse of Horror" special featuring the story of Bart using his God-like powers to make everyone in town bow to his whims, which parodied the The Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life."On May 14 2015, it was announced that he was leaving the Simpsons as of the upcoming season. In July, however, The Simpsons producers announced they've struck a deal with Shearer, who will stay with the show.
Tropes applying to Harry Shearer:
- The Comically Serious: A majority of Shearer's Simpsons characters are unusually straitlaced for the Simpsons universe, such as Principal Skinner and Smithers.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: The number of Simpsons characters listed above are a mere handful of those he, Dan Castellaneta and Hank Azaria play.
- Money, Dear Boy: The reason he stayed on The Simpsons, despite that he feels the quality went downhill after season four.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: In a particular "Treehouse of Horror"'s credits, all of the members of the core voice actors have Halloween pun names...except Shearer.
- What Could Have Been: During his first time on Saturday Night Live, Harry Shearer begged NBC to make him the new executive producer after Lorne Michaels announced that he would be leaving and that Al Franken was rejected for his "Limo For the Lame-O" report on Weekend Update. NBC said no, and that's how Jean Doumanian was picked to be season six's showrunner.