Harry Shearer’s voice is probably most familiar to people. But in addition to voice acting for memorable characters such as Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Ned Flanders on the long-running cartoon show The Simpsons, Shearer is an actor, comedian, philosopher, and political satirist. And he’s just been announced as this year’s recipient of Dallas VideoFest’s Ernie Kovacs Award, honoring innovation in television and media.
Shearer’s work in media spans various forms – from his well-known work on The Simpsons to his own radio show (Le Show) to Grammy nominations for his satirical songs and impersonations. His most recent project is a comedy-drama series for television – Nixon’s The One – that he co-wrote and stars in. A collaboration with Christopher Guest and friends produced the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap and other film and television credits have included Godzilla, The Truman Show and Saturday Night Live. Additionally, Shearer has written and directed feature films and documentaries, and produced albums, plays, and musicals. He’s also a published novelist, exhibited artist, and recipient of two Cable Ace Awards.
Watch an excerpt of Shearer in Nixon’s The One as Nixon prepares to resign.
In 2010, Shearer’s documentary feature The Big Uneasy about Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans was selected for various film festivals and won awards including The Golden Eagle Award and The Visionary Award at The DC Independent Film Festival. See the trailer for the film below.
First awarded in 1997, the Ernie Kovacs Award was inspired by Kovacs’ creative spirit and television work in the 1950s and early 1960s. Previous awardees have included Joel Hodgson (Mystery Science 3000), Terry Gilliam (Monty Python), Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live, Late Night With Conan O’Brien), Paul Reubens, and George Schlatter (Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In).
“Harry Shearer is a media Renaissance man,” says Bart Weiss, founder and director of Dallas VideoFest. “He has created memorial characters on TV, been apart of the most famous fake rock band ever (Spinal Tap), and has a powerful weekly radio show (Le Show). In fact, that show is so cool that a friend used to send me cassettes from Le Show before you could get them on a podcast! After all, it has been on since December 1982.
“Like Kovacs, he has shaped a career inside the beast of show business while maintaining a true independent spirit. His latest show, Nixon’s The One is a brilliant blend of real documents of the time and a unique stylized performance creating some very original television content.”
The Video Association of Dallas released the following video to announce the upcoming award. Shearer is set to receive the award as a part of Dallas VideoFest 27 on October 17 at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. You can get tickets for the event here.