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WWL>Topics>>11-18 12:10pm Garland, Harry Shearer

11-18 12:10pm Garland, Harry Shearer

Nov 18, 2013|

HARRY SHEARER in the Think Tank! He’s an actor, humorist, writer, voice artist, musician, author radio host & filmmaker…and one of the most interesting minds on the planet. Most of you know him as the starring voice on “The Simpsons” and from the mokumentary “This is Spinal Tap.” We embrace him as one of our own, an honorary New Orleanian, who cares so much he made a feature length documentary about the causes of flooding in New Orleans post Katrina, “The Big Uneasy.”

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We knew run a radio talk show every once in while. Some good it's got to be some -- smile about. And thank goodness we've got to Europe favorite son here in this review with the media New Orleans favorites on. Harry -- Who -- everything -- Doing movies and music can play music and horses and you know -- -- Welcome home and shooting you know while on no it's been too long of a non. Out here for almost three months and it's it's only Carmichael says it you know you know enemies -- do. Before we get into. What you're doing here what you gonna be doing your little bit later tell budget for two bucks more. Oh god. It was. And a week. Two. Linger with elephants. That comeback and the mother just. About Judith deny my wife Judith on. Have a friend we made this year. Here in New Orleans a friend is having its sixtieth birthday parties -- brought a lot of folks down here in February. And and around his birthday party were some activities and so we thought oh what the heck we've never done a swamp -- an -- An aerial swamp tour. Let's do it and see what's missing now. And we got on the bus to go to the -- plane. And Judith heard his voice of a woman that she recognized as a Welsh woman does the Welch. -- this way of talking. I should kill me for doing that. And it turned out to be this incredibly. Talented wildlife photographer a woman into flood is produced a documentary series the BBC most notably blue planet. And they just hit it off right away and we all hit it off and we were planning to go there Galapagos and that fell through not the Galapagos they're still. But he said well I've been to this elephant reserves and he should so we went with her to that and it just was. You know. The most -- for time objects in the world shouldn't receive reserve is this. They've rescued wild elephants are -- they're there ready to certain -- rescued and then you know. They do their. Kept. Overnight but they're allowed to be free most of the day and just hang out in the wild with it and and mingle with wild elephant. But at night they're brought in. To shelter. And cared for because they've they were like the one that we knew best Kathy had been ill treated in a circus and so she'd been rescued -- time there. But they're making any progress in stopping the voting killings and -- -- Hard to say I asked. What I thought was the most obvious thing why don't pay. Find some safe thing to inject into the tasks that -- them. So you don't have the and you don't have to be you know is this running after poachers is a losing game. Both with rhino Brian -- in deep trouble I don't know if you saw but who bright -- -- their black rhino have gone extinct. Or you can now African black -- have been declared extent. White -- still survive but this thing you're chasing poachers is ridiculous is that the money you can make selling to Asia is it would just drop it it's like a drug thing you can. Tried and true goal or incarcerate all the -- you want. The demand remains. Elephant I think you're doing better and Botswana I think there's 30000 wild -- now which is pretty good and I think in Asia they're not doing as well as there -- in Africa. I do is ill when some happy talk and did that mostly in the sanitized pursuing guys who voted oh -- and stay in the times. Young people out there that would get some calls and letters for him not human. You don't get letters from an embryo. Though the latter. We've got -- you're up here and -- This Jolo actor. Ups songwriter musician. Voice over huge unit and that is if if it's in the world of entertainment on radio host -- radio yeah yeah hopeful we get into what -- can do this that span the -- About two -- shouldn't be -- right. Up public radio not only are yet NPR is that it is a specific network that operates out of Washington I'm on public radio stations but -- nothing to do with that that outfit. And I the show now is headquartered. Domicile at the WW I know here in New Orleans. We moved it from -- it's old home station to WW and -- often. An hour a week that's all I can do I'd I'd I'd. Bow to people who crashed with three hours today I couldn't do it. I do and our week of cop comedy satire talk -- music sometimes I'll write a song that would on the show. Every once -- a great while a idea have a guest but the main leads me. And sensitive in two weeks we celebrate thirtieth anniversary show. Thirtieth. Thirtieth thirty years of doing that. Now how crazy it would date and time. Sunday at 8 o'clock here Sunday evening and now. You do your doing a play again and Angela and yet. You're the voice of the symptom in virtually debt. Oh awarding fun time and how do you record. Well the radio show the only reason I could've done it for thirty years is because I've figured out awaited this. Find those little odd moments where but the normal people would be watching football or something can. And right herb -- you know record something for a radio show and and I go in on Sunday evening and and or Sunday afternoon whenever we're at whatever -- government. And is usually do with life and it's it's a something I think of stopping doing every week. And then I'll get an email or tweet from somebody -- don't stop it now though. Tell me about -- this afternoon and they didn't have a -- 0:5 PM it's a Catholic school rumor yet. Front reminds him to borer as has been teaching there is a filmmaker and camera person and a we've known each other for a long time and he is a person you need is to keep an island Mardi Gras morning disease in the same as parade always one of the most amazingly festooned people in the in the city in that -- -- -- anyway. He invited me to be a an artist in residence or he -- convinced Loyola to invite me to be an artist in residence at the school. And the first thing I'm doing this afternoon at five -- auditorium. Talking about film comedy. Showing three. Snippets of -- -- a three by favorite. All time favorite comedy films and talking about. Really the difference between. That kind of films these were percent and the kind of comedy that Hollywood turns out -- more often than not nowadays these are three films. That illustrate the fact that you can deal with the most serious subjects on the planet. And be funny with them. You don't have to -- in the audience the human side of treatment it's well that these three films to name them. One. -- strength of of course Dr. Strangelove. Second with the film came out in the middle of World War II in 1942. A film a comedy about. And an acting troupe in Poland that has to impersonate Nazis to get out as starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard called to appear not to be a very funny film. But doesn't blink. Doesn't denied. The horror in the darkness of what it's happening in the middle of a really brilliant piece of work that that. Happens in the in the in the midst of darkness and then brings comedy to. And the other one is an -- incredibly obscure movies you'll form its first American film called taking off the best movie ever made about America in the 1960s. That -- deservedly obscure. About a a married couple whose daughter runs away in the middle of all hippie stuff. And they're wondering through New York trying to find their daughter and does so it's it's got a dark. You know it's serious subject and -- heart which is losing your daughter. But it's a brilliant comedy. And they and if you're young person -- In pursuit in this -- and working interest in this subject how to teach writes -- column it's something. You already have in you reserve in the kind of formula. What you don't teach funny. As they say that's that's kind of -- I thought yet you don't you can teach craft you can teach you know how to put things in script form. How to organize things in the first -- second and third act so that they did it has some shape so it's not you know mess although movies that get made today armistice. But you can't teach funny funny is something that in born and you either. I hesitate to say that you either have agreed -- How would you conference conference those films. Compared column and it. Is it possible to do that yeah. Hollywood comedy today and I will say this with -- alone but this is sneak preview for WW listeners. The formula Hollywood comedies today is -- the lead character is crazy in the First Act. And that's where the laughs come from he's like a lunatic of some sort he's a drunk he's -- slander whatever if you -- out there. Actually meet somebody that's gonna straighten him out and act three learns lessons about life. So all the laughs have to come and about the first half of the move because there's nothing funny about learning a lesson about life and that's just that's just our war. The movies IE I'm showing. The characters don't learn nothing and much like life. And they remain themselves up to the end and plot. Takes care of something that resembles a happy ending of course it except for doctor strength over the world blows. Big exception. The. -- come back to this in kind of strange questions. And ducked a question a couple of always wondered about. Making -- movie it it is it is a very difficult to have him to memorize. Waffle lines and is there a lot of pressure. When you're doing it or is it kind of boring process. And tell me about it day in a move. Well did first of all I just having to bid and play for five months. Much more pressure memorizing lines and play especially this was a three character play all of us a lot of stuff to memorize. In a movie you go in and and basically use the you go yet two and a half hours of with the at least maybe two days where there lighting your scene. So -- or walk through your scene and then you go back -- your trailer and and that's the time when used to memorize what you're about to do. If then you know their famous pictures of of Marlon Brando. In for it would -- and I think godfather reading slides off cue card being held by Robert Duvall Brando never memorize his lines. No body -- Brando you know it's like that that's an assembly to -- you want Brando he exited the three get. There's a lot of waiting as I say I I did a movie called the right stuff now 25 year old movie and and Jeff Goldblum and I came in and -- -- the scene walk through it. And and they said OK this was 10 in the morning is that come back tomorrow afternoon about three will have a list. Because you know that's mode that look where the lights that won't well this was -- Caleb Deschanel is always dad and he's brilliant cinematographer. It was a roomful of windows and and the the director one of the beams of light coming through each window which meant the government be smoked to a certain consistency. And in the lights and it took mid day and a half and then we walked in ended in an hour and a half we shot the scene. So. Pressure I was and it's a very big budget movie called Godzilla. Which was than other oriented -- nation itself. On start up another -- make it already. Nothing makes you feel older. But you know that was all night shooting that he you know in Hoboken, New Jersey I wouldn't call it pressure voting now. But that was the coldest April reverend Hoboken, New Jersey we -- have hand warmer than foot warmer is on you know every time that the cameras cut. The good people the reward people rushing to with a foot plumbers and hand were. So you know it's all sorts of different things but the waiting it's like the army. There's a lot of waiting is is -- life worthwhile. You know to me and this is easy for me to say because -- I make a good living. It's worthwhile if you're doing stuff you think is good. And you turn around and say now OK and made people laugh I'm unhappy with that that cures cancer sometimes. If you it yeah if if I were in movies that. Our modeling violence. And seen kids aping what I was doing. I wouldn't feel very good about myself. We're good New Orleans favorites -- -- sure will -- He is going to be had -- maker auditorium 5 o'clock this afternoon. And you can hold a discussion of the mechanics of comedy in this tournament during what's so funny about that a public forum. And again this afternoon at 5 o'clock. Free I think it's free and open to the public I don't talk to publish it certainly is free is good. I have just brilliant question -- put my mind but something else -- in. Your word play he's determined in London when the Nixon. Known on on the Nixon thing is that as television series that goes on the air in in England in January -- still doing that no bid we completed it and now it's an air and hopefully the economy because you sent. The the Tyler oh yes and I didn't know who won. I didn't recognize you're number two how long did that make him take me you really looked like. Yeah four hours today for now that's when you talk about movies and and television that's that's something you take into account is like OK I walked into something. People I knew who were in -- science fiction movies there were people who would like eight or nine hour makeup. And what is that accrue interest in silicon Lindley silicon now silicone used to be latex now at silicone. They. They build it you know it's built before and it the pieces are built before and then a little put on your -- glued on your skin. So getting an office is a fun thing. And a view of your skin tingles at the end of the day a little bit. And it's you know there's there it it is almost on an awful lot of my face was was covered with some prophetic or other during that during an exhibition -- so. It was amazing you know going taking bathroom break and walking and I'm looking in the holy -- that always made. This saris are. Are there I didn't mean about it -- Oakland we're gonna bring the -- and you do your own with her sure appreciated the call. -- supporters to -- beyond the bass player for Arnold thank you Matt at the there don't have a party and a very well the first Barbara salt would be well -- looked old musician aired there were two girls that I used to play it toward world where patients. Loyal wasn't true blonde rhetoric should the word article check out this eBay and dictating all the documentary about it and -- It was a eight body critics attribute from the UK you put the videotape there. I'll watch it for about three or ridicule. I was like -- Appleby from what she's. Got the real that reflect just like we rarely see you actually are you obligated to -- out how well they'll boost here thank you -- well he's -- me. Great bravery and -- -- -- what that would be mean Dutch don't musicians are very near record all the time. Here -- these spiritual Robert but what have the best seem to honor our -- -- guard approached there are eleven what you're seeing at Yale you work. Metal detector yeah. It's it's interesting thank you first of all for the compliments and and you know we get. That response not just from rock musicians but country musicians and and even classical musicians come up millions of people we take your film on the bus because that fits the musician's life. The metal detectors seen. Yet has become a lot more relevant. Since then. I'm -- I was talking to you Garland a moment ago about not wanting to be in films were -- know that. Kids are modeling my behavior intruding. The only person I've known who got in trouble for modeling my behavior in the film was and I think he was doing it unconsciously. Was. A used to be a point guard for the Portland trailblazers named Darnell Valentine who believe was stopped at the airport once for having. Aluminum -- down his trousers unfortunately it wasn't that wasn't. It's leukemia -- that it was an in the inhale double substance. That. The aluminum foil to Manila thank you. Do appreciate. -- good news once again -- cure. Be man who was very from them and help and bring back the city who fought approach all over the world that is. Documentaries and with his fame and movies is musician as a writer. Been in the business for very very long time wait too long. Back and don't actually do and and couldn't get shelter if it was not -- well and he's gonna be and a public forum this afternoon. 5 o'clock. None of my core hole and human role. -- -- auditorium in general. And you know caucus day and anybody can cure that's right. Wanna get into. You and I usually. Talk about world politics and and a headline news whenever you come and appear but go back to the movie industry for just a moment. If you had a -- And I think everything operated in the people and -- about movers to topple and the chances. But making it big. Are pretty independent possible yes would you recommend your child and. Well. That depends on what part of business. You know I've thought for a long time that if I had it a girl child a daughter they called. Off. I would discourage her from going into acting. Because. It's so brutal com. It's obviously still very appearance based much more so -- for guys. But the clock starts -- so fast. And -- -- to me the problem physical so yeah yeah and on you know there's always younger ones coming along you know. The the the problem. For young people in the business is to get control of the desperation. Because. You're so desperate to get that first gig and then next game and pay the rent. And the you'll do almost anything and some people do more than almost anything and the producers know office. So you are in the worst leverage position. He now. And ended. And and I think the emphasis on on youth for women is so much more extreme than it is for guys I mean Harrison Ford is still playing romantic leads -- thing. That it is it is really really really hard. When you when you if you hit that jackpot if you happen to be one of those lucky people can be a marvelous career. As I said before if you're doing work the -- enjoyed do you think is good he can be very fulfilling if you're just walking around you know. -- exploding stuff. And running away. I wonder about it but but you know for those people money's good. Use a lot of time in London blog and your lifetime ground in the world. When you look back at America would use. The you know I'll take this the first thing that strikes me whenever -- come back years foot pole I I get it I know where I am now. Is this is the place where they have two minute commercials for -- pharmaceutical drugs on television with one minute taken up with the side effects nowhere else in the world does that happen. All of a sudden you're back here in the United States and could -- caution. -- Side effects include memory loss memory loss of that report by -- of the place you can't advertise prescription drugs anywhere else. And you couldn't it advertising here until I think those late eighties in the mid nineties -- and -- -- new world were in and we're starting it. But the idea of in a prescription drugs or something that doctors were exposed to give you that you're not supposed to ask your doctorate problem in his right for you. Ask your doctor he's done free golf clubs for prescribing this I mean it's bizarre that it's one of the first things that that. I looked back I try to explain that the people and in England you know. They efforts these drugs on television you know really at the now. Anything else when it's so different then. That that is the one to always stand out for me I mean you know we we in this country. I think. Live in a bit of the bubble about -- -- we're the only free country in the world were the only ones with a democracy in world and it's you know totaled five. So much about light years very much like life in other western industrialized countries. Every once in a while you run into something it's like -- that's a bit different but. Very much modern life -- motto in life you know go go to Africa for something different but I mean modern western industrial life that is it is. Pretty similar. -- -- and Weaver -- components and there -- producer. About Twitter you talking about social medium ever. The did you find the world a much smaller place because of instantaneous. Communication. I find it it's and I think people that have had this experience with me on the other side but that people I admire or. Respect. Are reachable in a way that they may not have been twenty or thirty years ago and I can just send -- a two putted with a tweet and say a big fan of -- and it gets all through the the filtering process that that famous or accomplished people sometimes have and I've experienced that myself in the other direction people's -- amoeba. I like to tell people I'm that I'm a fan of theirs if I am and I liked the fact that I don't have to figure out their publicist is to get the message that. You what you're gonna talk about often times the media review should include needs to grab these. Negativity needs to grab the stairs needs to grab Armageddon. Does that's probably always been true and yeah within instantaneous communications. What do you think the in game. In three words from childhood made you watch. Made you watch. Made you watch that that's again that's the can make you watch but it it didn't psychologically. Do something to you -- -- in the -- should ultra. Well you you could argue that we get desensitized to stuff I think there's there it's. I'm not big on social science research put that I think I've seen stuff that says that. Kids who watch a lot of violent imagery get desensitized to that. Did the -- crisis every moment. I think. Tends to dull the senses a bit you know and and that's why. You know there's a there's a cry wolf. I think in polls in the public at large tell me something that is gonna happen if. -- -- Do you go away you come back to gore you combat actually changes in New Orleans. I've been here for all of two days this trip. And I am. Ever amazed in the post-Katrina period by the fact that restaurants can keep opening and keep doing business and I'd like is there any limit in the number of restaurants they can open in this town it's absolutely astonishing. Do you see these young people would we see coming into this -- yeah idea and I mean you know I'd I'd I'd participate in the water challenge every piece every march with. The idea village in those people and I see these young people who come in. With ideas. Is in that case for dealing with New Orleans and how we live with water going into the future. And it is amazing is and and thank goodness for tell people -- -- can come talk to you to meet -- apocalypse that's all they can't talk to me Garland can Iman -- the show business. -- -- not a -- auditorium in my -- -- halt. They got -- in the building twice that way. At 5 o'clock for free I'm talking about both the picture comedy and showing three slices of the movies that I really admire and one. Defends that particular style of -- -- hero always a pleasure to see you again have been here and thank you. So much more -- on this thank you and Judith and I will be doing our Christmas show here -- come back and come back and talk about so. We'll be back Debra gill -- seven email moral 53.

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