Actor Harry Shearer, famous for his work in This Is Spinal Tap, Saturday Night Live, and The Simpsons, is tackling a new character with his YouTube mini-series, former president Richard M. Nixon. In the new series, entitled Nixon’s the One, Shearer portrays Nixon by following transcripts of actual audio recordings of Nixon. The results are both illuminating and funny.
Shearer and Nixon scholar and author Stanley Kutler listened to Nixon recordings to find segments that reveal Nixon’s everyday life. Shearer explained to CBS that he always felt that portrayals of Nixon missed something about the man. Shearer sees him as “this strange, self-torturing, self-destroying guy who was, in my point of view, darkly comic.” These new episodes attempt to capture that tragic and comic part of Nixon.
This segment of Nixon’s the One gives a hidden-camera view of Nixon talking to Henry Kissinger about John F. Kennedy.
The following episode captures Nixon’s conversations as he prepares to give his speech to the nation announcing his resignation. As Nixon engages the reporters in small talk as he prepares to resign, the result is funny but also heartbreaking. Certainly, it captures the loneliness of Nixon at that moment. Check it out.
It should not be too surprising that the man who does the voice of Mr. Burns would help us see another side of President Nixon. Check out other segments of Nixon’s the One on YouTube. If you want to compare the resignation video to the real thing, see below.
Who is your favorite actor to portray Nixon? Leave your two cents in the comments.
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