When we last heard from This Is Spinal Tap and The Simpsons star Harry Shearer, he was high atop a fence made completely out of money, trying to decide whether or not he’d keep on keepin’ on as one of the principal voice actors for the long-running animated television comedy. He announced his departure from The Simpsons in mid May of 2015, but changed his mind two months later after receiving a substantially higher paycheck. Now Shearer has decided to re-enter the public spotlight with a new voice impression — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
Cruz, an unabashed Simpsons fan who showed off a few of his own impressions for BuzzFeed News last summer, doesn’t have too many fans at the 26-year-old series. Yet that didn’t discourage the junior senator from Texas, who name-dropped Shearer’s then-apparent retirement and gave Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and a few other famous faces from Springfield a shot. Almost a year later, Shearer decided to return the favor since Cruz has been “stumbling and struggling in the Republican presidential primary race.”
To be honest, the impression isn’t all that good, but the text Shearer prepared for the one-minute clip is:
“When Donald Trump attacked my wife Heidi, he proved himself to be a sniveling coward. I think I can say without undue modesty that during my 20-plus-year career defending and protecting the constitutional liberties of all Americans, I have proven myself to be, at the very least, a sniveling hero.
“There comes a time in the lives of all great nations when the choice comes down to the better of two snivelers. So I earnestly and sincerely — and yes, snivelishously — seek your vote. If for any reason you cannot bring yourself to help elect me, I urge you to use your God-given right to go elect yourself.”
Shearer’s emphasis on the word “snivel” (and its many possible derivations) originates from Cruz’s calling rival Donald Trump a “sniveling coward,” which was itself a fantastic moment. But now, thanks to Shearer, voters and Simpsons fans no longer have to rely on Cruz himself for such wonderful soundbites. Instead, words and phrases like “sniveling hero,” “snivelers” (plural) and “snivelishously” have been made available.
This more than makes up for what is otherwise a mediocre impression of Cruz. However, Shearer’s appearance has us concerned. Why? Because he looks like he’s dangerously close to pulling a Randy Quaid.