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October 1, 2014

harry shearer

'Simpsons' Star Harry Shearer Speaks Out on Salary Dispute

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 7th 2011 11:50AM
Harry Shearer SimpsonsIs this the beginning of the end for 'The Simpsons'? Voice actor Harry Shearer is speaking out for the first time on the dramatic salary stalemate between Fox and the 'Simpsons' actors.

Fox has asked the actors to take a 45 percent salary cut. Originally, it was reported the cast would take a 30 percent salary cut if they were also included in profits from syndication and merchandising. Fox said no dice. In a new statement on the matter, Shearer, who voices Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and several other 'Simpsons' characters, said he would agree to a 70 percent cut if the studio let him in on the back-end profits.

"Fox wants to cut our salaries in half because it says it can't afford to continue making the show under what it calls the existing business model," he wrote. "Fox hasn't explained what kind of new business model it has formulated to keep the show on the air, but clearly the less money they have to pay us in salary, the more they're able to afford to continue broadcasting the show. And to this I say, fine -- if pay cuts are what it will take to keep the show on the air, then cut my pay. In fact, to make it as easy as possible for Fox to keep new episodes of 'The Simpsons' coming, I'm willing to let them cut my salary not just 45 percent but more than 70 percent -- down to half of what they said they would be willing to pay us. All I would ask in return is that I be allowed a small share of the eventual profits."

Again, Fox said no. Read the full statement below.

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Celebrity 'Jeopardy!' Contestants and Schedule

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 20th 2010 1:15PM
Jeopardy and Wheel of FortuneThe game show 'Jeopardy!' has announced the semi-finalists for its Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament, in which celebrities compete for $1 Million to go to the charity of their choice. The list of celebrities and the charities they will sponsor is as follows:

May 3
Pat Sajak (Vietnam Veterans of America)
Jane Curtin (U.S. Fund for UNICEF)
Harry Shearer (Common Ground Relief)

May 4
Michael McKean (International Myeloma Foundation)
Charles Shaughnessy (1736 Family Crisis Center)
Isaac Mizrahi (Good Shepherd Services)

May 5
Neil Patrick Harris (Food on Foot)
Jane Kaczmarek (Clothes Off Our Back)
Cheech Marin (Hispanic Scholarship Fund)

The winners of each round will move on to the 2-day finals, on May 6th and 7th.

It must have been easy for the studio to get Pat Sajak since both 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' are produced by Sony Pictures Studios. The line-up on May 4th isn't as interesting as the other two dates (Andy Richter had to drop out for that day due to his appearances on Conan O'Brien's tour), but the other two days pretty much rock, celebrity-wise. I'm secretly hoping that NPH wins it all but I have no idea how good each of the contestants are at 'Jeopardy!'.

Tell us: Who do you think will win?

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Katie Couric has her own YouTube channel - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 17th 2008 1:02PM
Katie CouricLately, the only Katie Couric most people have been seeing is the one that's depicted in the picture to the right: serious, sober, possessing whatever gravitas she can muster in her role as anchor of the CBS Evening News. But where can you see the goofy Katie, the one that people came to know -- and some got sick of -- for fifteen years on the Today show?

Why, on YouTube, of course! In fact, Katie has her very own page on the leading video sharing site, where she posts extended Evening News interviews and behind-the-scene footage. The behind-the-scenes stuff is where you see Katie at her most impish, doing things like snapping Larry King's suspenders as he leads her to the set of his show, singing with Bette Midler, and meeting with mommy bloggers in her office (check out the huge Warhol-esque portrait of herself she has hanging near her desk!).

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Trouble brewing on The Simpsons

by Allison Waldman, posted May 22nd 2008 12:36PM
The SimpsonsSay it ain't so, Ho. Homey, that's is. According to Variety, even though Fox has given The Simpsons a renewal for season number 20, the voice talent that make the show have not been re-signed. Julie Kavner, Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria, Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright and Harry Shearer -- the actors who are as integral to the success of The Simpsons as the writers and animators -- are looking for a new deal. The group make approximately $360,000 per episode. They want a raise to $500,000 per. While that sounds like a lot of money -- and it is! -- when you consider how much Fox and company are making off The Simpsons franchise, like the new ride at Universal Orlando, the talent have every right to expect their piece of the pie.

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Behind the scenes with Bill, Katie, Ann, and Chris - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 26th 2008 3:02PM

Chris MatthewsI like these "Found Objects" videos that Harry Shearer has at My Damn Channel, even if I'm not surprised by what news people do behind the scenes and during commercial breaks. They fuss with their hair and clothes, they argue with staff, they rehearse segments. All the stuff you'd expect to find on videos like this. Of course, that's not to say that there's something mesmerizing about watching Ann Coulter chew Nicorette Gum.

That's one of the many things you'll see in this variety video after the jump. Coulter is waiting to be interviewed on one of the cable networks. You also see Bill O'Reilly looking into a mirror and sighing heavily because "Dave"couldn't get something right in the studio, Chris Matthews talking about a guest that's coming up, and more shots of Katie Couric and her clothes. There's also some footage from a woman I recognize but who's name escapes me at the moment (maybe from The Early Show?), but she urges us to remember that " 'synonymous' is not a good morning show word."

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Here's more behind the scenes footage of Katie Couric - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 15th 2008 1:05PM
CouricI've always liked Harry Shearer and the behind the scenes video and audio he has collected over the years. But I have to be honest and say I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to get from these videos of Katie Couric before and after her newscasts. I think we're supposed to giggle at how she acts or be surprised at the "real" Katie or maybe think less of her or something?

I actually think more of her after viewing these, because she seems real, she's funny, and she seems to get along well with her coworkers, something that people said she didn't do. So, I think they work more for Katie than against her, though she probably wouldn't want her mom watching her say "Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit."

After the jump, the latest video, from CBS News coverage of the NH Primary (and here's part one if you missed it.)

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Katie Couric: this tart's ready to go! - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 16th 2007 12:07PM

Katie CouricSimpsons star Harry Shearer has been exposing the behind the scenes faux pas and foibles of the national media for years. His video and audio of such things as Tom Brokaw's off-camera remarks are classic. Earlier this year he posted a video on his My Damn Channel channel of Dan Rather going on and on about whether or not to wear a trenchcoat. Now it's Katie's turn.

In the video after the jump, we see Katie prepping to go live during The CBS Evening News' recent trip to Nashville. We see her talking about her hair and whether or not to button the top button of her coat. Personally, I don't see what's so shocking or even "embarassing" about this video. All network reporters do this before the cameras roll - all of them, male and female. In fact, it makes me like Couric more, because she's self-deprecating (combing her hair: "This tart's ready to go!") and seems to be getting along with everyone on the crew.

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Check out this damn channel that launched today

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 31st 2007 2:23PM

Harry ShearerDid you know that online video is popular? It's true! Everybody's doing it. Well, I doubt Bea Arthur is doing online video, but still...

Today, MyDamnChannel.com launched. It's a new online video channel put together by some big celebs, including Harry Shearer (The Simpsons), David Wain (Stella, the new movie The Ten), and music producer Don Was. It was created by former CBS Radio and MTV exec Rob Barnett.

As with any new launch, the content is hit or miss, but there's a surprising number of videos here, including several from Shearer and Wain and a couple from web video icon Andy Milonakis. You need Flash 9 to view the videos.

[via TV Tattle]

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The ten funniest substance abusers on TV

by Paul Goebel, posted Jul 13th 2007 4:20PM

Christopher Lloyd as Rev. JimAs most people know, there is very little about being an alcoholic or a drug addict that is funny. For most people who suffer from addiction the best they can hope for is to live "one day at a time" and do their best not to screw up their life and those around them. However, in the world of TV comedy, the addict is often the funniest person on the show. Many characters throughout TV history have given us all a belly laugh while they were under the influence. Here is my list of the funniest of those with this particular problem.

1. Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd) - Taxi
What could make a young Ivy League undergrad from a rich, influential family become a burned out reverend/cabbie with questionable judgment and a terrible memory? I doubt that even Jim could compile a complete list? At least his driving isn't any less safe than most New York cabbies.

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Celebrity blogs you should be reading

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2007 1:40PM

John HodgmanA while back, I showcased some blogs that celebrities were (at the time) keeping. David Duchovny had one for a while, but it was just to promote one of his movies and he stopped it. Zach Braff had one for Garden State, but doesn't update it as much as he used to at his new site (though it's still pretty entertaining). And of course we know that Rosie O'Donnell updates hers, a little too much probably.

But there are other TV celebs who blog too, so it's time for an update. After the jump, a list of some of the better blogs out there.

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New trailer for The Simpsons Movie is online

by Anna Johns, posted Nov 14th 2006 8:04AM
the simpsons movie
The new trailer for The Simpsons Movie is now online-- it also aired on Fox last Sunday night during The Simpsons. It doesn't show much, except a fluffy bunny and Homer getting stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Wikipedia page for the movie says Erin Brockovich, Minnie Driver, and Albert Brooks all have roles. Plus, we'll see old, familiar characters such as SideShow Bob and Fat tony. The plot of the movie is being kept under wraps.

The Simpsons Movie trailer is on the Apple Trailers website. The movie comes out July 27, 2007.

[Via Pop Candy]

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Simpsons actor to appear on BBC Radio

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 1st 2006 11:59AM
harry shearerComedian Harry Shearer, a frequent collaborator with Christopher Guest and the voice of such Simpsons characters as Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Ned Flanders, is bringing his voice to BBC Radio 4. Well, his voice and his body, which is where he keeps his voice. Although, I guess I don't know that for sure, he might actually keep his voice in a jar, allowing himself to do voiceover work while his body tends to daily household chores. Anyway, he'll be providing the voice of a character named "Nostrils" for a show called Not Today Thank You that will air starting August 22. The show centers on a once great radio host now trying to broadcast a show from his grandma's basement.

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Best and worst SNL movie performances

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2006 3:33PM
Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold RamisThe Boston Phoenix has another list (they've been doing this a lot lately), and this one lists what they think are the best and worst movie performances from Saturday Night Live cast members. While it's great to have Bill Murray number one, it's for Ghostbusters?! What about Lost In Translation? Or Stripes? Or Rushmore? How about Groundhog Day? (Same thing with Janeane Garofalo - they pick Wet Hot American Summer?)

Among the best: Eddie Murphy in Bevery Hills Cop, Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, and Harry Shearer in This Is Spinal Tap. Among the worst: Eddie Murphy in The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, Adam Sandler in The Waterboy, and Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch.

OK, SNL fans, who's missing from this list?

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FOX orders more Simpsons, King of the Hill

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 20th 2006 8:31AM
simpsons renewedI am going to ease you into this because the news may make you feel... old. FOX just renewed The Simpsons for two more seasons. What seasons, you ask? Seasons 18 and 19. Do you need a second to get your heart medication?

Seriously. It's been that long, folks. The Simpsons debuted way back in 1989. Remember all the media coverage and freaking out about how it was a cartoon but it wasn't meant for little kids? Adults just couldn't get their minds around that. And, remember when Barbara Bush told Time magazine that The Simpsons was the dumbest thing she'd ever seen? Of course, the writers got their revenge a few years later.

I'd like to think that The Simpsons is still edgy and socially relevant after all these years, it's just the viewing public that has changed. That's pretty remarkable. You know what's also remarkable? The fact that Maggie doesn't seem to be getting any bigger.

Oh yeah, FOX also renewed King of the Hill for an 11th season.

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