Month: December 2006

Harry Shearer: Novelist, blogger, Simpsons voice

Harry Shearer is a man of many voices, to be sure. And that’s just on The Simpsons, where Shearer voices the characters of Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, the Rev. Timothy Lovejoy, among others. You’ve heard him for years on Le Show, his weekly public radio program. Seen him on Saturday Night Live (that synchronized swimming sketch alone is legendary). With Christopher Guest and company, he’s been in both This Is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind, and now For Your Consideration. He even blogs, for crying out loud ā€” he started the "Eat the Press" feature on the Huffington Post. And now he has delivered his first novel, the satirical "Not Enough Indians." I spoke with Shearer about the book and everything else. OK. That’s enough of a build-up. Let’s bring Shearer down a notch. First question: How come Le Show still isn’t on the air in Boston? Does it even matter, since you can listen to archived shows online? "I wish I knew," he said. "I guess it’s people calling ‘BUR, ‘GBH saying what the hell is wrong with you people. Like they say, you know Boston isn’t really a big college town." "I have the perception that not being on the air in New York City affects the perception of people in the media business as to what I do. People in...

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Katt Williams

Katt Williams is one nā€”ā€“ a roll. Wait. Hold on, hold on, just hold on one second. What’s with that "n-word"?! Oh, right. That. Avert your eyes now if you don’t want to know what it is, even though you know all too perfectly well what the word is, and as Louis CK will tell you, just saying n-word puts the actual word in your head. That word has been in the news and in comedy debates in the two weeks since Michael Richards (not Kramer) went off on a rage-filled rant at the Laugh Factory in L.A. And considering what’s happened since, with club owner Jamie Masada saying he’d ban and fine comics who utter the word, the Rev. Jesse Jackson calling for a boycott of the word in entertainment circles, and veteran comic Paul Mooney saying he’d stop saying the word that has made him so much, I just had to ask Katt Williams about it. Especially since his HBO special, Katt Williams, The Pimp Chronicles pt. 1 (now out on DVD), was, to quote Williams, the biggest hit "in the history of niggerdom." Suffice it to say, Williams isn’t afraid of Masada’s edict. "No, they shouldn’t have done that," he told me. "They were as wrong as (Michael Richards) was. As a comic, you’re allowed to say whatever. A comic can do 30 minutes on the...

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