Harry Shearer webseries re-enacts Richard Nixon’s troubled final moments in office
Actor and satirist Harry Shearer will “inhabit” moments from former President Richard Nixon’s tenure in office as part of a series debuting on YouTube later this month.
Shearer worked with historian Stanley Kutler in developing Nixon’s The One with the dialogue taken from thousands of hours of audio recorded inside the Oval Office.
“‘In Nixon’s case, this is a self-made man who is also a self-destroyed man,” Shearer told Rolling Stone. “You can’t get better than that.”
One clip from the program shows the moments before Nixon’s nationally-televised resignation speech on Aug. 8, 1974, with the California Republican awkwardly joking with Secret Service members and CBS staffers.
“Ollie’s always wants to take a lot of pictures,” Nixon says, referring to White House photographer Oliver F. Atkins. “I’m afraid he’ll catch me picking my nose. You wouldn’t print that, though, would you, Ollie?”
“No sir,” the photographer responds.
“You need to take a long shot right now,” Nixon says. “That’s enough.”
The material for Kutler’s 1997 book, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes, was taken from Nixon White House tapes that were released following a successful lawsuit by Kutler, including 201 hours of audio concerning the Watergate scandal that were released in 1996, two years after Nixon’s death.
The series debuts on Oct. 21. A clip showing Shearer’s portrayal of Nixon’s farewell speech, as posted online, can be seen below.