News Service


Pat Miller, Lectures Program, (515) 294-9935
Tracy Griffin, News Service, (515) 294-4777


AMES, Iowa -- Harry Shearer, best known for the voices he provides many characters on the popular animated series "The Simpsons," will be the keynote speaker at Iowa State's Institute on National Affairs: Politics and Humor in America lecture series, Feb. 3- 5.

All Institute on National Affairs lectures, which will examine the use and abuse of humor in a democracy, are free and open to the public.

Shearer will give the keynote address on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. in the Sun Room of Iowa State's Memorial Union. Shearer is the voice of Mr. Burns, Smithers and Ned Flanders on "The Simpsons." He also was one of the creators and co-stars of the cult film "This is Spinal Tap." Shearer is a former writer and cast member of "Saturday Night Live," and has appeared in several movies, including "My Best Friend's Wedding," and the upcoming "The Truman Show," starring Jim Carrey.

"Politics and Humor in America" will kick off at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 3, with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Election," a lecture of Dianne Bystrom, director of Iowa State's Catt Center for Women and Politics. Bystrom will speak in the Pioneer Room of the Memorial Union.

Bystrom will show and discuss television political ads that made use of humor.

Grandma Mojo's Moonshine Revival will perform in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union at noon Wednesday, Feb. 4. This sketch comedy group is comprised of Iowa State students who satirize everything on campus from student government elections to touch-tone class registration. The group regularly performs in the Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union.

Cartoonist Dan Perkins will speak on "Politics, Media Bias and Humor" on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. in the Sun Room. Perkins is the Iowa-born creator of "This Modern World," the weekly cartoon of political and social satire.

Des Moines Register editorial cartoonist Brian Duffy will speak at noon Thursday, Feb. 5, in the Sun Room. His speech is titled "Drawn and Quartered."

William Strauss, co-founder and director of the professional satirical troupe, Capitol Steps, will speak on "Political Humor in America" on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. in the Sun Room. Capitol Steps has performed in more than 4,000 shows, recorded 17 albums and completed a 20-week off-Broadway run.

For more information, contact the Iowa State Lectures Program at (515) 294-9935.


Iowa State homepage

University Relations,
Copyright © 1997, Iowa State University, all rights reserved
Revised 1/21/98