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The Simpsons' Harry Shearer's First Film Role Was In An Abbott And Costello Movie

As long-running as it can be confusing, "The Simpsons" has been around for a long time, and many of its voice cast members have stayed on the job for actual decades — some since the show's humble "The Tracey Ullman Show" beginnings in 1987. As such, many of them are considerably older than you'd assume from the characters they're voicing.

Harry Shearer voices many central non-Simpson characters in the show, and debuted in "The Simpsons" in the 1989 series premiere. From Seymour Skinner and Ned Flanders to Mr. Burns and Reverend Lovejoy, Shearer has voiced some of the most instantly recognizable characters in western animation for years and years. Thanks to the consistent quality of his voice acting and the ageless nature of the animated characters, it can be hard to pinpoint just how he's been in the business. However, everything comes in perspective when you realize that the veteran actor has been working so long that his first role was in an "Abbott and Costello" film.

Harry Shearer appears in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars

Harry Shearer was born in 1943, and apart from his lengthy voice acting career, he's also been in the cast of movies like "Spinal Tap" and "The Truman Show."  In fact, he's been at it for so long that his very first film role was all the way back in 1953, when he appeared in an uncredited role as "Boy" in the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's sci-fi comedy "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" — in a speaking role, no less. Shearer appears in the early stages of "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" in a scene where Orville (Costello) is flying a toy plane on a string, and a group of orphanage kids led by Shearer's character are standing around him, setting up the theme of the movie with a discussion about spaceships. 

Shearer's big scene largely serves as an introduction to Orville's character, and it's soon over as the toy escapes from Orville's hands and hits a window, leading to a string of classic Abbott and Costello antics. Still, getting a few lines in the opening moments of a major comedy team's movie isn't a bad way to start your movie career.