I was truly amazed that here at TOuk Blog we were able to ask Harry Shearer some questions! I have a dream to interview a lot of famous people that have a connection to The Simpsons or Tapped Out. I started out with Harry Shearer – a truly amazing voice star – and sent him a tweet. It was only hours before he replied:
So, I sent him questions and he sent me replies. But before I go onto the interview …
Harry Shearer is a voice actor for The Simpsons voicing recurring characters like Mr Burns, Smithers, Dr Hibbert, Ned Flanders and so much more! The Simpsons would be NOTHING without the characters that he voices and the iconic voices that he has breathed into them. He is an inspiration. So now for the interview …
Clarification: Bold parts are my questions. Normal parts are his responses.
I am a massive fan of your work, The Simpsons and find the wide variety of voices, that you do, inspiring. What do you think is your favourite character to voice?
C. Montgomery Burns. He sees no necessity to vitiate a scintilla of his evil. That’s novel, and funny.
What is your favourite episode? It could be the one that was the your favourite to voice or your all-time favourite episode to watch
I have two, both animal-related: the 3-eyed fish from Season 3, in which Burns runs for Governor (one of the most keenly satirical episodes) and from Season 9 the episode in which Homer takes a “trip” and meets the psychedelic coyote (perhaps the most beautiful half-hour of animation ever made for TV).
The voices that you do are amazing, how do you do such a unique sound for EACH one? Is it all natural?
Yes, no electronic manipulation (at least I hope not). I just got two great gifts from my dad, this set of very flexible pipes and a musical ear. The rest is all personal genius.
Were you asked to do a certain voice for each character or is that how you asked/showed to do them?
No, I received no direction or instructions. And this is the same for everybody in the cast: we’d see a script, a new character indicated for us to play, and a one-line description. At the beginning, I created my character voices before ever having seen the drawings.
You voice a lot of characters that are undermined. They are hilarious but don’t get enough spotlight. Which character do you find the most funny or the most undermined?
They are all my children, and they all need love. <3
Does your resting voice sound familiar to any characters that you voice?
I certainly hope not, although I do sometimes get recognized just for saying things like, “a paper carry bag, please”.
Which Simpsons character can you relate to the most?
Kent. We both love the news.
How long do you think The Simpsons will last and how do you think it will end?
It will last until Fox thinks it can make more money doing something else. So, we’ll be on forever. It will end, neither with a bang nor a whimper, but with a promo for a new singing competition.
Season 28 is coming up and I am super excited, along with friends over at TOuk! Any spoilers, news, gossip or info that you are willing to share?
My lips are sealed. Fortunately, my other orifices have not been.
Season 28 has ‘Monty Burn’s Fleeing Circus’ as the premiere which centres on Mr Burns and his childhood. We haven’t had many Mr Burns episodes for a while so, Was that a fun episode to voice?
They’re all good.
Whenever I watch an episode I always wonder what goes on behind the scenes of each one. Can you tell us any behind the scene info or the schedule for each episode?
Not very interesting. I do my recording by myself, so it’s just me and an engineer, and the writer/director, either in person if I’m in LA, or at the other end of an ISDN line, if I’m in New Orleans.
Halloween is approaching fast, which means another THOH episode and this year it will be the 600th episode! Can you reveal anything to us about it? Was it an exciting episode to read/voice?
Most exciting thing about it for me is that my life partner, the fabulously talented Judith Owen, gets to do her spectacular Shirley Bassey singing impression over the closing credits. So stay tuned to the end.
We also know that there will be a Pokémon Go parody episode in Season 28. Have you ever played it yourself? If you do, what is your favourite Pokémon?
I play no games except Scrabble. And I dominate.
It was revealed that there will be an Adventure Time crossover part. What was your favourite crossover episode? Ever watched ‘Adventure Time’? Are you a fan of it?
Never watched it. Not a fan of crossover episodes. I like the reality of Springfield to remain intact. I guess the only one I liked was where one of my fictional universes, Spinal Tap, entered the other one, Springfield.
What is the funniest thing that has happened on the set of The Simpsons?
I think the day Michael Jackson came in to voice his character, a 300-pound white mental patient who thought he was Michael Jackson.
And finally if you were stuck on a desert island, which cast, crew member or Simpsons character would you bring along?
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions. We are all huge fans and we can’t wait for Season 28
So what do you think of his responses? I am still getting over that he replied? Who to next?… For now, we don’t know. Tell us in the comments who you would want to be stuck on an island with and many more responses … Happy tapping …3