Jonah, your semi-conversation with Harry Shearer is a typical progression of events around here. Actors can be very strange animals
– even the ones with terrific senses of humor (like Shearer) can have a hard time knowing when you’re joking with them. And making reference humor can be very tricky. You may think you’re paying them a compliment by remembering their work, but what they are remembering is how much they hated that line you just referenced, or that the director was mean that day, or that they did that movie for half of what they are worth, etc.