Today the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon resigning from office amid the Watergate scandal and dismal public opinion on the Vietnam War. It’s a memorable moment for several reasons, the biggest being it is the only time in history that the President of the United States has resigned the position.
In honor of the anniversary, Harry Shearer from The Simpsons and This Is Spinal Tap, among many others, released this recreation of the speech announcing the end of Nixon’s tenure from the night before. The interesting part is just how lighthearted it all turned out. From Mashable:
It’s an excerpt from Shearer’s TV series Nixon’s The One, which aired earlier this year on Sky Arts in the U.K. and will launch in the U.S. this fall.
Shearer and Nixon historian Stanley Kutler, his co-writer, combed through thousands of hours of Nixon audio tapes, using advanced audio restoration techniques to piece together the dialogue between Nixon and the CBS camera crew before and after he went to air.
He then meticulously recreated the scene.
There’s a lot of heavy makeup, but it’s pretty amazing for a recreation. I’ve included the original television broadcast below for comparison’s sake.
I’ve read a lot of positive looks back on the Nixon presidency over the past day or so, most making me scratch my head. It’s nice to know he wasn’t a true monster or evil genius, but I don’t think he deserves to be given some pass because the guy cracks a few jokes. Just don’t wake Gerald Ford and tell him that.