I listen to a lot of podcasts each week. It has become the radio station that I can program myself. There are so many shows. Some are truly radio programs – like NPR programs – some are podcast only. Most of us can’t catch radio or TV programs when they are broadcast because of our too-busy work schedule. My laptop, iPad and my little cheapo iPod Shuffle have become my recorders for audio.  A few programs I enjoy have video versions or are video only – those I watch on my laptop since my Shuffle has no screen. Honestly, about half of those video podcasts work just as well as audio-only.

One of those programs that I have been listening to for Le Show

It’s a tough show to pin down with a label, just as it’s hard to label Harry Shearer. Actor, author, musician, director, comedian, satirist, Renaissance man? All fit. Some know his voice from The Simpsons as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders and others.

On the big(ger) screen, you might know him for the mockumentaries like This Is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind. His other film credits include a few of my favorites: The Right Stuff, The Fisher King, and The Truman Show.

He wrote and directed the feature film, Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

Shearer is New Orleans person and also wrote and directed The Big Uneasy. This revealing documentary about Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans won The Golden Eagle Award and The Visionary Award at The DC Independent Film Festival.

On Le Show you get a mix of comedy, satire, political news filtered through Harry and some great satirical songs and impersonations. You can listen online at his site, or on KCRW, or download it on iTunes.

I used to record Le Show on a cassette recorder/radio back in the day. Some of the songs are available now. He picked up a Grammy nominations for Songs Pointed & Pointless and Songs Of The Bushmen. The latter was a “musical impeachment” of the Bush administration.

As a teen, Shearer did some appearances on TV’s The Jack Benny Show, GE Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

He attended UCLA (poli-sci), did graduate work at Harvard University, was a freelance journalist and covered the Watts riots for Newsweek.

He published a novel called Not Enough Indians. It reminded me a bit of The Mouse That Roared. It is a twisted American Dream satire about a town that looks to turn itself around by having themselves declared a sovereign Indian nation to open a casino.

He often does musical collaborations, especially with his wife singer/songwriter Judith Owen. He has his own record label, Courgette Records (hat tip to a scene in This Is Spinal Tap).

We are both big fans of the band Fountains of Wayne and he has played with them.  I also know that we both share a great fondness for the radio days of humorist Jean Shepherd.

This guy does it all. Listen (also watch and read) to him!

Harry’s Store of stuff