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How Harry Shearer Discovered the Soul of Richard Nixon

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The renowned satirist, actor, author, and musician Harry Shearer -- you might know him as the bassist of Spinal Tap, the voice behind a panopoly of Simpsons characters (Mr. Burns and Flanders among them), host of Le Show, and a former Saturday Night Live player -- has done his share of presidential impersonations, but no subject has captured his imagination like Richard Nixon.

In Nixon's the One, a series that first aired on British television and premieres October 21 as a YouTube series, the 70-year-old Shearer reenacts the follies of our 37th president word for word from Nixon's secret Oval Office recordings. (In the exclusive clip above, Nixon and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman aide discuss how to destroy the networks, and come up with something that sounds a lot like Fox News.) The "comedy-drama," co-written by the distinguished Watergate historian Stanley Kutler, is pure unadulterated Nixon. And Shearer, a talented impersonator, has nailed the cringe-inducing, can't-help-but-watch pathos of perhaps our oddest and most paranoid Oval Office inhabitant. I caught up with the actor last week to discuss his comic attraction to Tricky Dick, his favorite Simpsons character, and the one thing he can't stand about The Daily Show.

You also can listen to the unabridged audio version* (~46 minutes):

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Read the rest of this fascinating article at Mother Jones.
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David Corn is  Mother Jones ' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories,  click here . He's also  on  Twitter  and  FacebookRSS  |    David is (more...)
 

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