Could This YouTube Impressionist Replace Harry Shearer on The Simpsons?

Simpsons impressions

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Harry Shearer has left The Simpsons. At least, for the time being. While FOX is still working things out with the beloved voice actor to see if he can return in some capacity, there’s a vacancy in the voice cast for the show — a major vacancy. But can one budding voice actor fill his massive shoes? Well, he’s sure gonna try.

This is Brock Baker, an L.A.-based voice actor who “drives a car all by himself” and sometimes goes by the self-imposed moniker “the man of a kajillion voices.” He wants to replace Shearer on The Simpsons, should he really be gone for good. And to prove his might, Baker has released a video on YouTube showing off his Simpsons imitation skills. Watch and be amazed.

Shearer notably voiced such Simpsons characters as Ned “Howdley Doodley” Flanders, Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, news anchor Kent Brockman and the coolest bus driver in town Otto. Baker runs down 14 characters, also including the Schwarzenegger-esque Rainier Wolfcastle, the elderly Jasper Beardley, Lenny, the Mr. Burns alien, Mr. Largo, Scratchy from Itchy & Scratchy, Reverend Lovejoy, George H.W. Bush (which is just a toned down Ned Flanders, really) and Herman.

These are not all the voices Shearer has provided over the years, and Baker knows this. He didn’t include all of them because, and he’s perfectly transparent here, he couldn’t come to close to imitating all of them. Which probably makes his chances of stepping into Shearer’s role less than likely. That, and not being a comedy legend with decades of professional acting experience.

Shearer recently tweeted that he’s planning to leave The Simpsons after voicing these classic characters for 26 seasons. According to the show’s executive producer Al Jean, Shearer was offered the same deal as the other voice actors and he chose to pass. The producers maintain that his characters will continue on the show, and Jean even told Entertainment Weekly that he hopes something will be worked out to bring Shearer back. For Baker’s sake, perhaps he’ll stay in retirement.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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