Mr. Burns, Smithers, and the obnoxious Ned Flanders are iconic symbols in television history, and you can thank Simpson actor Harry Shearer for the belly laughs. Shearer received the Ernie Kovacs Award for being one television’s innovators and visionaries, but don’t call him an icon.

“I guess should be sold in stores next to Russian czars, or Russian saints,” said the collaborator of the famous mockumentary, “This is Spinal Tap” and host of the radio show Le Show. “An icon is basically an image and hopefully I’m more than that.”

Outside his Simpson gig, Shearer is a political satirist, political commentator, philosopher and a regular on Saturday Night Live. Any actor hopes to receive the accolades and recognition, but it is luck.

“One has to be particularly mindful of the huge role that luck plays and if anybody doesn’t tell you that they’re lying through their teeth or in total denial. Circumstances so dictate what happens. What gets green-lit and what doesn’t get green-lit.”

After 25 years in doing the Simpsons, Shearer still never finds himself bored, and that’s the reason he’s turned down conventional sitcoms.

“I didn’t want to play just one character--I wanted to play a bunch of characters. That’s what I do and that’s what I like doing. And so the Simpsons gave me that opportunity. As long as they don’t start killing off my characters, I’m happy.” Shearer received the Ernie Kovacs Award from the Dallas VideoFest for being one television’s innovators and visionaries.

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