I went to graduate school at Harvard for one year I worked in the state legislature in Sacramento for one year. I taught school in Compton for two years.

— Harry Shearer

The most cheering Harry Shearer quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure?

65

I was a Political Science major.

48

I am one of those people who thrive on deadlines.

Nothing brings on inspiration more readily than desperation.

13

To do then now would be retro. To do then then was very now-tro, if you will.

13

Well Washington DC what are you going to do.

They think the capitol steps are the state of the art in comedy. You try to drag them into the 20th century let alone the 21st and they refuse to come with you.

12

When Nixon died, on my radio show I started doing sketches with three basic conceits: One, there's a place called Heaven. Two, Nixon got in. And three, he's still taping.

5

Democrats always like to brag that their guys are smarter than the opponents and Republicans always like to brag that their guys are more moral than the opponents. But if you're looking for morals in politics you're looking for bananas in the cheese department.

5

When it moved to Friday night it disappeared, when they find another show that can do what The Simpsons does, they will be delighted to do cancel The Simpsons.

4

Well I directed a few feature length things for HBO in the late eighties.

3

I would come back to public school for usually about half the year.

It was actually better for me to be out of school a lot, because I was two years younger than everybody, which is a bad situation, socially.

3

The hardest work most of us do is maintaining the appearance of normality.

3

Music often happens even faster than comedy in terms of the creation.

0

About Harry Shearer

Quotes 54 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Actor
Birthday October 16

If Nixon were a Republican senator today, he would have been primaried out.

0

I couldn't help but be struck that this guy I had thought was the embodiment of everything wrong with American politics, a lot of his domestic policy was mind-numbingly, head-spinningly to the left of Obama's. It was under Nixon that the EPA was created. It was under Nixon that OSHA was created. Under Nixon that the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed.

0

I think Nixon says a lot about those times.

It was possibly hard, in the '90s and early 2000s to understand the grip of fear that communism had on the country in the 1950s and 1960s - a fear Nixon rode like a endless great wave on the Pacific to high office. I'm sure, though there's no evidence of it, one of the things that rankled him down deep was that it was called McCarthyism and not Nixonism.

0

The act of getting married, stripped of the necessity to have a secure setting to raise children, seems to me no less grim than registering your emotions with the government.

0

[C. Montgomery] Burns is much purer evil than Nixon was. I think it's the purity of his evil that attracts me as a comic character.

0

Here's a guy [Richard Nixon] who had no gift for small talk, never liked to be around strangers, was physically awkward, and he goes into the one business that calls for ease with strangers and a gift for small talk.

0

You're not just looking for laughs, but you're trying to do the characters first, and then the laughs come afterwards.

0

I was never into candy and games and clowns.

0

The Simpsons will end as soon as Fox is able to find an 8 p.

m. comedy hit to replace it - so I give us another 50 years.

0

You have to do real acting, not just do a voice.

0

I just think everyone knows you go on those [political satire] shows if you're a politician to, "humanize yourself" - to show, "Hey, I can take a joke." Well, why should satire be in the service of humanizing these people who are supposed to be the target of our venom and vitriol? I think that's unseemly.

0

Sometimes, songs spill out of you very fast, and sometimes you have to wrangle them to the floor. But the same thing is true of comedy, where sometimes it really flows.

0

[The word class has] been excised from the acceptable political vocabulary, except in the limited usage of right-wingers when they accuse liberals of inciting 'class warfare' - a charge that means it's okay for rich people to vote their economic interests but it's not all right to encourage poor people to do so.

0

I'm not sure that there's anybody else that's as psychologically complex and who's given us this window into his soul that Nixon gave us. That's what I find absolutely addictive and seductive.

0

When I was growing up, we learned our history almost as lives of the saints.

And it came as a shock, "Oh, Jefferson had slaves?" It always comes as a shock to us that elevation to the White House didn't somehow cleanse them of all their deep character flaws.

0

As a kid, I really did want to hang out with the grownups, so it was hanging out with the hippest grownups in the world. This was the nicest bunch of people I've worked with in show business, with the exception of the people around 'A Mighty Wind.' It really was a wonderful eight years.

0

Privilege has its own way of seeing the world.

It's not about the kind of people they are; it's about the situation they're in.

0

You know, radio was a really easy way to do the shows.

You'd come in, do a read-through, there'd be a few rehearsals, then you'd come the night of the show and do it in front of the audience and then go home.

0

The first thing you've got to do is know your craft, and then you can do something else with it.

0

If you're going to do something that lasts 90 minutes, you can't really do it with stick figures.

0

Even under the best of circumstances men are hard creatures to trap.

Women who flatter themselves into thinking they've trapped one are like people who believe they can get rid of the cockroaches in their kitchen. They're in for a big surprise late one night when they turn on the light.

0

The last president we had was the smartest guy anyone could remember and he did the dumbest thing anyone has ever seen in the White House so go figure.

0

I've got an odd, negative bond with C.

Montgomery Burns. He reminds a lot of people of bosses they've worked for. He certainly reminds me of someone I'm working for.

0

I think in most cases, if you're with good people, comedy creation happens faster in collaboration. That's how I can tell if it's a good collaboration: If it's faster than me by myself, then it works. If it's slower than me by myself, then I get out of the room.

0

I always used to sit next to Mel Blanc when we'd do the shows.

When you have Jack Benny on one side and Mel Blanc on the other, you're not going to go far wrong.

0

I didn't have a lot of independent film connections.

It really took until the digital film revolution came along that I realized that I could do it myself.

0

I wasn't playing Nixon's satirical stick figure.

I was playing Nixon the man. As an actor, I felt I had to get to the deeply flawed humanity of the guy.

0

Satire is an art best practiced behind the back of the intended target.

I think inviting politicians on a satirical show becomes a very big trap. Because one of two things happen: Either you have to kind of unsharpen your fangs because you can't be quite as cruel to people to their face as you are behind their backs... Or you don't defang, and those guests get the word and they stop coming.

0

I'd always loved radio. I loved Bob And Ray. I loved Stan Freberg.

0

Nobody makes a movie thinking it's still going to be watched and talked about and quoted 20 years later.

0

A movie script more than anything else is a plan of action for the crew.

Everybody in the crew looks at the script to see what they're going to do. It has to contain where you are, and how many people are there, and what they do, and what time of day it is, and what time of year it is.

0

I think the British learn their history through the prism of this gallery of grotesques known as the royals.

0

You can get an awful lot of effects into the customer's mind for a great deal less time and money in radio than you can in television.

0

I happened upon a memoir by a midlevel White House staffer, and he had been in the room that [Nixon's last] night [in office]. This guy's memoir told me what Nixon's last words were. And they were, on August 8, 1974, to the crew: "Have a Merry Christmas, fellas!" That was just so bizarre.

0

For a guy who is always banging on about the masculine virtues, Nixon had this remarkable proclivity for very dainty gestures.

0

The theater business is very much about "Hey, if you want our big blockbuster at Christmas time, you'll play our piece of crap in April."

0

Music can happen with equal ease as a solo or collaborative venture, it seems to me.

0