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Harry Shearer

Part-Time New Orleanian…Actor…author…director…comedian…musician…philosopher…political satirist…record-company owner…and one of the best “voices” in the business (just ask THE SIMPSONS), Harry Shearer is a comic personality and modern day renaissance man.

For the past two decades he has enjoyed enormous success and planted the fruits of his talents in the heads of millions worldwide thanks to his voice work for THE SIMPSONS, where he plays a stable of characters: most notably Mr. Burns, Smithers, and insufferable neighbour Ned Flanders.

Movie audiences will know Shearer best for his collaborations with Christopher Guest and friends. The most famous of these is the granddaddy of all mock-umentaries, THIS IS SPINAL TAP (with Rob Reiner and Michael McKean). The film revealed the concepts of spontaneously- combusting drummers and amps that go up to eleven. Spinal Tap – the band have enjoyed worldwide success performing live and five years ago stole the show at the Live Earth concert at Wembley, London. In 2009 Harry, Christopher and Michael reunited to tour an acoustic version of Spinal Tap songs as themselves in the Unwigged and Unplugged tour (which is available on DVD) and returned as Derek Smalls, Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins to play Glastonbury and Wembley Arena with the volume turned up to eleven. Other Guest collaborations have included, A MIGHTY WIND and FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

Shearer’s other film credits include REAL LIFE, THE RIGHT STUFF, PORTRAIT OF A WHITE MARRIAGE, THE FISHER KING, GODZILLA, THE TRUMAN SHOW, SMALL SOLDIERS and DICK. He has been a regular cast member on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE twice and, in 2002, wrote and directed his first feature film, TEDDY BEARSPICNIC.. In 2010 Shearer wrote and directed THE BIG UNEASY, a documentary feature investigating Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans. The film has been selected for numerous film festivals and has won multiple awards including The Golden Eagle Award and The Visionary Award at The DC Independent Film Festival.

Shearer directed and narrated the documentary feature The Big Uneasy, which revealed the reasons why New Orleans flooded during Hurricane Katrina. The film received stellar reviews for Shearer and his team of experts and whistleblowers.

Shearer’s most recent project is a new TV comedy-drama, six part series based on real-life recordings from President Nixon’s Oval Office co-written by Shearer and Stanley Kutler. Starring Shearer as Richard Nixon, NIXON’S THE ONE is made by one of the most respected and prolific UK TV production companies, Hat Trick and is due to be broadcast on Sky Arts.

Harry Shearer is also known for his bitingly satirical songs and impersonations. He was nominated for a Grammy for his CD SONGS OF THE POINTED AND POINTLESS. His album SONGS OF THE BUSHMEN (also Grammy nominated) was an incisive musical impeachment of the Bush administration with impersonations in song of the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove. His last album, GREED & FEAR was a searing satirical attack on Wall Street in the wake of the world economic meltdown. He is currently working on a new album of duets, which will be released in the Summer. Shearer’s musical collaborations with his wife singer/songwriter Judith Owen led to the launch of Courgette Records (a nod to the infamous airport scene from THIS IS SPINAL TAP).

A child of Hollywood, Shearer made guest appearances on a variety of A-list television series while still in his teens. Credits include THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM, GENERAL ELECTRIC THEATRE and ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS

He attended UCLA as a political science major, where he edited and wrote for the school humor magazine. He pursued graduate work at Harvard University and served a political internship in Sacramento before turning to freelance journalism, most notably covering the Watts riots for Newsweek. In 1968, Shearer auditioned for a satirical news team at KRLA-AM called The Credibility Gap. The crew developed a fanatical following, engaging in guerilla comedy actions like alternative live running commentaries to the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena. The classic Gap lineup including Shearer, future bandmate Michael McKean, David Lander, and Richard Beebe began to play local clubs and eventually recorded a number of hilarious – and now scarce – albums, including A GREAT GIFT IDEA, THE BRONZE AGE OF RADIO and FLOATS.

Theatrically, Shearer has collaborated with writer Tom Leopold and composer Peter Matz to create the book and lyrics for an original musical about J.Edgar Hoover simply called J. EDGAR!: THE MUSICAL. The play premiered to sold out houses and critical raves at The Aspen Comedy Festival and is currently being developed for Broadway.

A published novelist (NOT ENOUGH INDIANS), exhibited artist (TELETHESIA at the Fullerton Museum Center and WALL OF SILENCE at MOCA) and celebrated broadcaster (his satirical sandbox LE SHOW is heard weekly on stations around the world), Shearer is a true renaissance man

Harry is also the recipient of two Cable Ace Awards.

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Our Local Publisher Partners

The Arts Council of New Orleans

The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

WWNO

WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

WWOZ

WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

PRC

Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

NOMA

As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

Southern Food

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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