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Episode 252: Nerdist Podcast
Harry Shearer
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Harry Shearer

The hilarious Harry Shearer comes on the show to talk about his amazing career and where ideas like Spinal Tap came from, and we play a song from his new album Can’t Take a Hint!

Buy Harry’s album “Can’t Take a Hint”!

ATTN! If you got a version of this episode where Harry repeats a story at the end, it’s because we talked to him for so long that the CD recorder at the E! studio filled to capacity and I had to load another disc to catch the whole convo. Yes, that damn studio still uses CD recorders. It’s frustratingly archaic (nerd translation: 7 years old). I guess when Katie edited it together she accidentally cut to the wrong place. Anyway, that happened!

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  1. Jon says:

    “Wayne’s World, all right. Waynestock. Big event. Everybody’s excited.
    It’s gonna be a big concert at Adlai Stevenson Park.
    uh huh…
    A big party with some great bands.
    uh huh
    Like Aerosmith.
    uh huh
    There’s still tickets left. Don’t wait till the last minute.
    ‘Cause it’s a chance
    uh huh…
    for the city of Aurora…
    uh huh
    To do something…
    uh huh
    And to put the city on the map. It’s a lot of work.
    haha Work is hard
    You’re not listening, are you?
    uh huh
    I could say anything, like “you’re a complete tool”.
    uh huh
    You wouldn’t hear, ’cause you’re a freak with a microphone.
    uh huh
    It’s not challenging any more. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
    uh huh
    True, Sphincter Boy? What? Oh. They’re getting closer.

    Good information about Waynestock. We’ll be back after PIG sports.
    It’s minutes past the big hour.
    Right, Mr Scream?

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ha haaaaaaaaaaa

    Great. Good stuff. I think people are getting cranked.

    LOL Harry shearer is great, love his simpsons voices, him and hank azaria do so many voices for the show, hilarious

  2. Jon says:

    Chris, I love the podcast and thank you for the hours of free entertainment I’ve been enjoying. This episode is my very favorite, I’ve listened to it more than a few times. All of my favorite guests on your show have been voice actors, it seems like a great outlet for them. They’re chock-full of interesting stories to tell, as are you.

  3. Mike Bennett says:

    The discussion got near to a question I have always wanted to ask a member of the Simpsons. It was in regard to their appearance on Inside the Actors Studio. During that interview James Lipton reffered to his own appearance on the Simpsons during the episode “The Sweetest Apu” and some members of the cast glanced at each other. I have always felt that they were in on the joke that this was one of the worst Simpsons episodes ever and perhaps purposefully so. If I recall correctly at the time Matt Groening was in negotiating renewal of his contract and it wasn’t going as well as he would like. That week this episode came out and I think it was one of the worst ever with James Lipton being an example of how bad celebrity appearances could be. At the time I thought that this must the the show telling Fox what it would be like if they didn’t work to their full potential. Of course now knowing the lenght of the production schedules I realise that is highly unlikely but it is fun to think that they could have been that manipulative and would explain away a terrible episode.

  4. CJ says:

    Ahhh the fantastic “Harry Julius Shearer” – thank you NERDIST for giving this intelligent & funny man a respectful interview …. his public radio comedy/music program (Le Show) on Santa Monica’s NPR-affiliated radio station (KCRW) is the dish (thank goodness he will receive his Hollywood Star for all his years on Radio) …. while I understand that E!’s Audio Studio is where you’re able to record the Show, hopefully in the future you’ll be able to afford the services of Raleigh Studios (5300 Melrose Avenue @ Bronson) ….

  5. gsa says:

    Best answer to College Final Jeopardy Question:

    “What is your Momma Alex.”

  6. Liz H (from Canada) says:

    Patty Marvel, I know the song was mentioned, but it didn’t prepare me for the extrememly creepy, whispery, first person account of how great it was to rape boys whose disability made them vulnerable to sexual predators.

    My comment is not a dig a Harry’s taste in comedy, or at Chris for posting the song on the podcast, it’s simply a suggestion to better warn the many sexual assault survivors who likely follow Nerdist, who may not be prepared for that level of graphic detail in a comedy song, and who could suffer flashbacks and other serious psychological/physical damage as a result of exposure to that level of detail.

    I think if everyone thought of 4 little girls they know, then imagined one of them being brutally sexually assaulted, and then imagined that little girl stumbling upon that song at the end of the podcast just as they’re beginning to recover from their abuse, my concern might seem a bit more legitimate.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Liz H

  7. Patty Marvel says:

    @Liz H (from Canada) – To be fair, the guest DID discuss the song and its topic near the end of the podcast, so anyone who listened long enough to hear the tune at the very end should’ve heard the description and considered themselves warned.

  8. Liz H (from Canada) says:

    Chris, I’m a big comedy fan, and a huge Nerdist fan.

    I just want to suggest that you preface the song you’ve included in this podcast with a warning that it could be a trigger for some people. As a therapist who works with many people dealing with the lifetime scars of childhood sexual abuse, I was sickened by the song, and know that for many of those people a song like that could serve as the catalyst for cutting, bingeing on drugs and alcohol, or suicide.

    Sorry to be a downer, but it’s the sad truth that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually assaulted as children, and as big a comedy fan as I am, some things have to be treated with more sensitivity.

    Thank you for your wonderful work, and I wish you continued success in all things Nerdist.

  9. Patty Marvel says:

    @Matt Grandis – Nein! Chris Hardwick liebt das deutsche Volk! Was wird nicht geliebt sind Trolle, hangnails und Zwiebeln.

    (That probably doesn’t make sense…)

  10. Matt Grandis says:

    So. Chris Hardwick hates Germans.

  11. Michelle says:

    …..what is the Rhone…

  12. Christopher C. says:

    Just so Mr. Shearer is aware, we (the canadians) celebrate thanksgiving on the second monday of October.

  13. Patty Marvel says:

    Greetings and Salutations, Nerdiststan!

    Can’t listen to the podcast just yet, so I’ve been reading the thread. A few thoughts regarding the crap equipment in the building Matt and Jonah work in…


    IIRC, there have been complaints about the CD player before as well as the headphones kept in that studio. While I know the equipment doesn’t belong to Team Nerdist, maybe there’s something Team Nerdist could/should do since they have to use it? At the very least, I would STRONGLY recommend you start by getting your own headphones to keep at Matt and/or Jonah’s desks, not just because they would be equipment of your choosing and will take less abuses than the sets already in the recording studio, but look at it from a sanitation angle – just HOW many other people are using those things and how clean are they? The headphones, not the people. Well, maybe the people, too…

    As for the CD players, what brand(s) are they? Are they modular? By that I mean, can they be popped out of the CD tower and a new one popped in, or are they part of one, big, solid unit (that almost sounded dirty)? I ask because we have CD towers in Studio C and Studio B at my college radio station, each stocked with three Denons (model DNC635). When they break down – which happens about once every two years due to the use and abuse they get from eighty-plus programmers at a station transmitting twenty-four/seven every day of the year – our Tech Crew just unscrews a few bolts from the defective machine and they slide in and hook up a new one. They can easily swap the players out while someone is doing a show so long as the programmer switches to vinyl and/or Virtual DJ while they work.


    While I’m fully aware that Team Nerdist has no responsibly to replace the crap equipment, I’m wondering if someone should just go ahead and do so anyway since you guys use it so much. Maybe little worker elves (who happen to resemble Matt and Jonah) can tippy-toe in sometime and do that swap? Yeah, they can go to someone at Comcast and ask for new CD players they need for…”something work-related”…but then there’s the old saying, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission.” At the very least, think of this as an investment in the podcast.

  14. Michelle says:

    I always felt sorry for host, Matt Galant. He hosted “Planets
    Funniest Animals” and had that look in his eyes of, “please kill me”.
    (And then later the host duties were transferred to Keegan Michael Key.)

  15. Admiral Kent says:

    It’s important to regularly burp your colostomy bag.

  16. Leah says:

    Goddamnit! As if you haven’t had enough legends on your podcast – great episode guys 🙂

    (side note: just about died when Mr Burns told us all to enjoy our burritos. The voice actors are my favourite guests)

  17. Eddy says:

    90 minutes? I run a very tight ship Nerdist. I don’t have time for a 90 minute podcast. Get it together.

  18. Kevin says:

    I don’t know why, but “We stand astride the comedy landscape, sir.” really caught me off guard. I don’t think I’ve ever come so close to snorting soup out my nose.

  19. JetpackBlues says:

    Throw me the Idol, I throw you the whip.

    Mr. Shearer was a great guest. Lots of fun!

    At least this week Matt didn’t get upset over the Chubb Group reference.

    Speaking of David Lander:
    “Second time around this sewer and I haven’t found SHIT! Control yourself. Control yourself. What would Gordon Liddy do? No, I can’t do that, I’m not hungry.”

  20. @chris I understand about having to record where you have to record. There have been a number of times I recorded in my car. I think most of us (99.999999992%) are happy to get episodes!! 🙂

    For my MA in Political Science I concentrated on the EU and Russia. I’d like to say to the professor who thought it was a GREAT idea for Putin to become President again: I TOLD YOU SO! It is just a bad idea to go back. Putin was fantastic for Russia to get them from a communistic economic system to capitalism. Long story short, I’ve always had a great love and affection for Russia. It saddens me to see what’s going on there. #sadpanda

    In other news: look at me using one of my degrees! (I collect ’em like pokemon.)

  21. Scrib says:

    Holy shit, Harry’s 68 years old?! (Checked on Wikipedia after the Leave It To Beaver comment) That’s crazy, man.

  22. Chris Sudat says:

    The Fox show you were thinking about was “Open House”.

  23. GuanoLad says:

    That was an outstanding podcast, with a wonderful guest, and it even had a beautiful song at the end.

  24. @David K: It’s not even a question of more convenient–that studio is our only option. We don’t like recording there, but Matt & Jonah work in the building so it’s literally the only way we can record a lot of our episodes. They’re usually sneaking away from their offices to do them.

  25. David K says:

    I know you guys are all mad busy and maybe it’s easier/faster/convenient to use that building, but why not use your lovely Nerdmelt studio more often? Side note, in honor of Mr. Shearer’s appearance did you wander around the halls yelling “Hello Cleveland” ?

  26. Scott S says:

    Is the CD recorder really the best choice the Nerdist can manage now? I’ve never heard of anyone else using anything like it, does it give better sound quality than other choices, or what? Surely Matt has looked at products that are good that the Nerdist could pick up, to keep these problems from cropping up. Or is it sort of a plus to be limited to an hour and 15 minutes?

  27. RoboKelly says:

    Chris, I feel very strongly that next week the Royal Oak, Michigan podcast should be posted. September 10th is my birthday and it would be AMAZING to listen to me talking to you and Matt for my 30th birthday.

    Thank you ♥♥

  28. Brian O says:

    Pussy Riot does go by Pussy Riot (in Latin letters).

    And the Russian would be Бунт кисок

  29. Ross the Boss says:

    That repeat story did make me do a double-ear-take. But it’s all good!

    Shame Harry didn’t know y’all well enough to trust you’d get to his album.

  30. Gerry says:

    киска бунт is pussy riot in Russian.

  31. Three Toes of Fury says:



    * Amazing Doctor Who themed weekend…loved every youtube minute of it!!

    * Awesome write up on ya in the recent Rolling Stone! well done.

    * Woo Hoo WHO! Doctor Who is back baby!!

    Peace .n. Angels in the Outfield would be a far far different movie if Stephen Moffat would have written it.