Skip to comments.The Many Iterations of William Shatner
Posted on 09/05/2010 10:29:32 AM PDT by Nachum
Hes late. He calls to explain. A mix-up, he says, and then, I read all your stories. Pause. You. Are. A. Grrreat. Writer. Another pause. Whats your name? I tell him. He says, Of course it is. I ask what his name is. MY NAME? I. Am. William. Shatner!
Well, yes, but which William Shatner? The child actor from Canada, descended from Eastern European rabbis? The 23-year-old Shakespearean whom Sir Tyrone Guthrie called the Stratford Shakespeare Festivals most promising actor? The young actor who made his debut on Broadway two years later, in 1956, in Tamburlaine the Great, then appeared in his first Hollywood film, The Brothers Karamazov, with Yul Brynner in 1958 and starred on Broadway in The World of Suzie Wong that same year and A Shot in the Dark in 1961? That actor was mentioned in the same breath as his contemporaries Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Robert Redford until, without explanation, his career faded before it bloomed.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Beam me up, Scotty!
There is always a place for a guy that at least always knows his lines.
I hate the politics of the show, but I can’t help but laugh when I stop for a few minutes of a “Boston Legal” rerun on late nite TV. The character Shatner plays on that show, to me, epitomizes “vintage Shatner”.
He was on early episodes of The Twilight Zone - '60 or '61? - fer cryin out loud.
Got to admire an aging actor who has managed to stay employed all these years.
Ya gotta respect the Shatner—he has spirit, guts, and (dare I say) talent. The guy is a living TV legend and still (arguably) in his prime. I’ll take him over a self-important flake like Robert Redford any day.
You don't even have to agree with me.
Even in Esperanto?
Flashes of brilliance, followed by monumental idiocy. Remember Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, the winner of the title "Worse Remake of All Time"?
Typecast as Kirk, he couldn't work until he reprised his role in the Movie Series. This time he played Kirk as parody of himself, which allowed him to break out and find other roles. Brilliant and then idiotic again. Remember T.J. Hooker?
Because it’s Shatner, that scene makes total sense.
William Shatner is a genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2muxt9uihdI
quote—Flashes of brilliance, followed by monumental idiocy. Remember Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, the winner of the title “Worse Remake of All Time”?-—end quote
How could anyone ever forget The Shat’s version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”?? His cover of “Rocket Man” is truly amazing, also. Highly recommended!
I always felt The Shat is a true superstar. He is constantly re-inventing himself (I hate that phrase, but it does apply here, IMHO).
He tried to do his own versions of classic rock songs,which were laughed at mercilessly, but he made a whole new (and very lucrative) career out of parodying his own interpretations in the early “Priceline” commercials.
God Bless The Shat!!
What a great piece. I like Shatner even more now.
Quite frankly I’m all Shatner’d out.
I could barely get thru the first page of this interview. The reporter is a typical NY Times metro-tulip. I don’tknow why Shatner (who really is a great actor) would subject himself to the snipes he gets from this reporter.
Terror at 20000 Feet... Great Episode.. John Lithgow reprised it in The Twilight Zone Movie “ (RIP Vic Morrow)
As I flipped through the rerun channels one night - On Third Rock From The Sun, Here is Shatner as the Alien Boss .. “The Big Head” being met by Jon Lithgow as he gets off an airplane.. Shatner - “Flying gives me the Willies”... Lithgow, “I know what you mean”... He’s always willing to show acting for what it is, Grownups playing make believe.
You have to respect someone that works as hard as he does.
He’s the essence of a true capitalist, whether he realizes it or approves of it or not.
Somewhere, we have a VHS with this episode on it...same episode that had him speaking a convention telling the Trekkies, "get a life!"
He makes so much fun of himself in Free Enterprise it is hard not to like the guy. The one man rap musical iteration of Julie Cesar at the end performed by Shatner is worth watching all by itself.
I think he’s a great guy - he’s never taken himself too seriously while living in a galaxy of people who’ve made a career of it. He’s also a wise-ass Jew like me, so: what’s not to like?
Here’s the complete SNL skit: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x930vt_william-shatner-snl-skit-get-a-life_fun
I know that he’s been a pompous a$$ in the past, but I’ve always liked Shatner, and my 4 year old son is currently soaking up old Star Trek episodes like I did when I was his age. Heck, my boy is even going trick-or-treating as Captain Kirk this year! So, cudos to Shatner for his endurance and ability to keep working at 79.
That Twilight Zone episode was awesome. A number of actors got their start on that show. Someone here mentioned Robert Redford. He also did an episode...as Mr. Death. He was a good looking guy back then. He hasn’t aged well, which would be all right, except his constant yapping about his politics and penchant for left leaning films annoy me.
It’s actually better than that:
Shatner as the Big Giant Head meets Lithgow as Dick Solomon at the airport
“...so in the 60s, waiting for stardom, he took parts in forgettable movies like The Outrage and Incubus “
The Outrage was admittedly underwhelming, especially given its cast (Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson, etc.), but Incubus was excellent. Shatner’s performance is quite good.
A young actor once asked Jimmy Cagney how to become a good actor. Cagney replied, “Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.”
The Intruder is an amazing movie. Made in 1962. It is filled with so much vile language that it rings perfectly true. It could NEVER be shown today.
Too bad there isn’t a like button ! Hilarious !
BTW, for those who’ve never seen it, here’s a rare gem. William Shatner as Alexander the Great (tv pilot).
Yes, that is Batman with Kirk er, Alexander.
No, the series was not picked up.
I hate the Times. But that was a fantastic profile.
[PS this is a great site with lots of, uh, unique songs and artists (Van Morrison singing you've got ringworm!)]
One of my favorites.
The best reason to watch Boston Legal was to see if Denny was going to pull one of his guns out again.
I think it's because Shatner really doesn't give a rusty rat's ass whether the reporter likes him or not. He strikes me as a very confident person who likes himself and who figures if somebody doesn't like him, so what?
Shatner's response to the questioning was to let loose an obscenity. So Stern and Robyn jumped on Shatner and told him he couldn't cuss on the air. Shatner said he was sorry and Stern started in on the girlfriends again.
Shatner then let out another obscenity. This time Stern explained to Shatner all of the trouble he was in with the FCC and he asked Shatner pretty forcefully to cut it out with the obscenities.
Shatner then said to Stern (paraphrasing here): "So Howard, let me see if I understand this. If you ask me questions I don't like and I then let out a string of cuss words, you'll get fined? Hmmmm." At that point, Stern knew he was in trouble and told Shatner he would stop asking the uncomfortable questions. Bottom line, Shatner is a pretty clever guy.
Have you ever watched "Free Enterprise"? The DVD I rented had edited scenes in the "special features." There was one where he's talking about what it's like to be so famous, how he was going down the street one day and saw a burning house and heard people outside crying that kids were still inside, so he braved the flames and went inside to try to find them. Onlookers oohed and ahhwed, "Captain Kirk!," as if they were looking to him for a solution, for leadership. He goes inside and nearly kills himself looking for the kids, can't find them, and finally comes back out. Turns out somebody else had retreived the kids in the meantime, and he ended up feeling like a first class idiot. It's an interesting and moving scene, and I wonder if it actually happened or if it was just in the script of the very excellent "Free Enterprise." I thought it had a strong ring of truth. Then again, maybe it was just Shatner being a good actor.