Harry Shearer described his wife, Judith Owen, as “a Welsh woman prone to melancholia who could not stand the fact that, at Christmastime, Southern California was about 78 degrees and sunny.”
She confessed the truth in all that. “In a strange way, bad weather means Christmas to me.”
I learned that at last year’s New York edition of “Christmas Without Tears,” the annual holiday season pageant, a fundraiser for charity, that the couple hosts each year. There, Shearer, the humorist and actor—whose many credits include The Simpsons’ megalomaniacal Mr. Burns, Spinal Tap’s affably insecure bassist Derek Smalls, and former president Richard Nixon (who was, among other things, both megalomaniacal and affably insecure)—revealed his innate musicality. Owen, a magificently gifted singer, pianist and songwriter, flashed a biting wit that might well cast Harry as the straight man in the family.
The couple’s traveling Christmas show, now in its tenth year, began as a house party in Los Angeles, a way for Owen to “reinvent the joy and fun of Christmas” not long after losing her mother and moving to Southern California (with its oppressive lack of incelement weather). Continue reading “Laugh, Don't Cry! It's Christmas With Harry Shearer, Judith Owen and Their Talented Friends”