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Hangin' Up The Ears
October 4, 2011 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Leonard Nimoy made his final appearance at a Star Trek convention in Chicago this past weekend. Speaking for nearly an hour, Nimoy reminisced about his career and his involvement in the convention scene for many years. He thanked the fans for helping keep Star Trek alive during the "dark years" after its 1969 cancellation until its return a decade later with the first motion picture. Nimoy continues to work, and may or may not reprise his role in the next Star Trek movie, so it's not quite farewell to that green-blooded pointy-eared Vulcan half-breed, but now maybe he'll have more time to eat all that salsa, or maybe just not do anything at all.
posted by briank (38 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
\ /

Live long and prosper!
posted by darkstar at 5:46 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not attending any more Star Trek conventions would be highly illogical.
posted by Renoroc at 5:52 PM on October 4, 2011


\\ // ?
posted by GuyOnABuffalo at 6:04 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


look, the guy's 80 years old - and i don't care how many plastic surgeries you have, at that age, pointy ears are gonna droop

"hey, you look just like thumper's grandfather" is enough to make anyone retire
posted by pyramid termite at 6:11 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


That timeline makes it sound like the Animated Series never happened!
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:15 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


IIRC vulcans live to an age of 200 or more, so he's really giving up early...
posted by Jimbob at 6:19 PM on October 4, 2011


\\//_
posted by Flunkie at 6:28 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aw, damnit! I should have gone.

\\//_
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:40 PM on October 4, 2011


Although I love TOS, I'm willing to admit that a lot of the acting is kind of... campy, cheesy, over the top. From most of the actors, not just from the obvious Shatner.

Nimoy, however, was great. Like he was a real actor surrounded by, well, Shatner. At first glance Spock seems like a straightforward and simple character -- pure unflappable Vulcan -- but Nimoy really did a good job of bringing Spock's internal human/Vulcan struggle to the surface in subtle ways, giving the impression that the human in him was constantly roiling underneath the surface, on the verge of busting out.

I really didn't take notice of it as a child, but seeing TOS now through adult eyes, I have newfound respect for his acting skills.
posted by Flunkie at 6:42 PM on October 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm super-impressed that you dug up that ancient salsa link.
posted by Malor at 6:51 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hope he's taking more nekkid photos of fat girls. That's what I would do if I were him.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:51 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I speak as someone who adored the Trek reboot movie and thought the new, young cast was talented and charming: craggy, elderly Nimoy nonetheless owned every scene he was present in, with little more effort needed beyond that fascinating eyebrow. SPOCK/SCREEN OTP.

His bed of laurels is well-deserved when he wants to rest on it. But I'm torn since I like awesome, charming people to be awesome and charming in front of me as long as possible. (though pushing ninety's really pushing it.) If he just wants to spend the new few decades lounging in a hover-palanquin borne by fans' affection for him, that's fine by me.

I gotta go rewatch neo-Trek now. And Galaxy Quest.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:52 PM on October 4, 2011


"I'm willing to admit that a lot of the acting is kind of... campy, cheesy, over the top." - unlike the the followup TV series? =)

Leonard Nimoy is a fantastic person and looked like he had a lot of fun playing William Bell on Fringe (and Anna Torv playing a lecherous Nimoy/Bell!).

Here's hoping he sticks around (and is able) to enjoy his legacy for a good long while.
posted by porpoise at 7:17 PM on October 4, 2011


The first line of this post made me think he was dead. It was unpleasant.
posted by sgrass at 7:25 PM on October 4, 2011


Star Trek would never have been as popular as it was without Nimoy, his take on a creature with dual identities is what most fascinated original viewers.
posted by Mblue at 7:52 PM on October 4, 2011


"fascinated". I see what you did there!

Also, thanks for the Bruno Mars link; I had never seen that before and it is great.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:53 PM on October 4, 2011


When I was a young teenager and discovered Star Trek, I somehow found an address and wrote a letter to Mr. Nimoy asking for his autograph.

Because I'm classy, I included a self-addressed stamped envelope, complete with signin' paper.

He signed his autograph and mailed it back to me - and reasonably quickly if I recall.

Mr. Nimoy is a good, fine man.
posted by device55 at 7:54 PM on October 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's a shame he's retiring (again?) but if it means he's able to not appear in and thus help legitamise another blight on the Star Trek name by J.J Abrams, I'll call it a win.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:08 PM on October 4, 2011


Nimoy, however, was great. Like he was a real actor surrounded by, well, Shatner.

This was so awesomely sent-up by Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest that I just want to watch that movie right now.
posted by padraigin at 8:17 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hear he's going to go on tour with Bad Brains.
posted by bardic at 8:22 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


um... do you realise that Shatner was the classically trained actor on Star Trek? He was worked at Stratford before going into television. And if you watch him with fresh eyes, you will see that he was never campy - though he could be a bit Stagey occassionally (you are trained to act big for stage, which can read as too much on film).

But something else to remember is that the hyper-realistic acting we often look for today was not in style in the 60s. Instead, a more dramatic form was used; you see this through films of the time and earlier. Put into his context (and particularly contrasted against the rather wooden acting of many action leads at the time), Shatner really was a shining star of television acting.

I love Nimoy and Spock was always my favourite character. But complaining that Shatner was untrained or unskilled just doesn't make sense.
posted by jb at 8:34 PM on October 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Nimoy himself, interestingly, was untrained or (rather) trained by years of bit parts in television and film (and years of no parts). I like his work as Spock, but he doesn't have quite the polish or presentationist flair of Shatner.
posted by jb at 8:37 PM on October 4, 2011


I agree, jb - Shatner was playing to the person in the back seat of the balcony, despite the fact that the camera was in the front row of the orchestra pit.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:37 PM on October 4, 2011


Found a video of JJ Abrams and the Star Trek reboot cast's tribute to Nimoy, screened at the convention.
posted by me3dia at 8:42 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree, jb - Shatner was playing to the person in the back seat of the balcony, despite the fact that the camera was in the front row of the orchestra pit.

A tad overstated ca, perhaps?
posted by fairmettle at 8:54 PM on October 4, 2011


I'm not "complaining", jb, and I'm not saying Shatner's "untrained" or "unskilled". He is, however, a ham. That he "worked at Stratford" is neither here nor there with respect to that.
posted by Flunkie at 9:06 PM on October 4, 2011


I hope he makes more appearances on Fringe, even if it's in animated form. William Bell is a transdimensional badass.
posted by mgrichmond at 9:40 PM on October 4, 2011


This thread is another resource that proves to me that Metaflter is awesome, and all of you, too.

Context, man, context. Thanks jb.

William Bell is a transdimensional badass.

I'm not Spock. I Am Spock. Yeah, whatever his training, Nimoy really found a niche for himself and rocked the *Hell* out of it. I cringed every time I saw him in that stupid Optic commercial, though. Padding that retirement account. Or something more sinister? Stupid smug kid stuck in a dead-end job. I hope he knows it and that Dell-Guy beats the snot out of him one day (and I hate the Dell Guy).
posted by porpoise at 9:53 PM on October 4, 2011


Oh man! I really hope this means In Search Of is coming back on the air.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:04 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


He wasn't exactly untrained. In the late '50s, after he had been working for a while, he took classes for a couple of years with a teacher and blacklisted actor named Jeff Corey, and then went on to teach acting for about five years before Star Trek started, first with Corey and then on his own.
posted by Adventurer at 10:55 PM on October 4, 2011


Shatner was ACTING! I think Nimoy sort of stumbled into the realization that television is a much, much more intimate venue than stage, or even film. It's easy to overact on tv.

Spock was almost emotionless. Nimoy's repertoire for Spock turned out to be the subtle microeexpressions that play so well on TV. Arguably, Nimoy's influence on television acting was seminal and profound, though probably few people realize where they first saw it.
posted by Xoebe at 12:04 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nimoy's repertoire for Spock turned out to be the subtle microeexpressions that play so well on TV.

Microexpressions such as AAGH! PAIN! PAIN! PAIN!

At his hammiest, Nimoy made even Shatner seem like a master of subtlety.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:51 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bostonians will long remember Nimoy's soundcheck at the Museum of Science's Omni Theater, as he asks the eternal question "Who put the bomp in the bomp sha-bomp sha-bomp?"

I don't remember the other person in the pre-show being so flirty with him, though... it used to feature two wisecracking sound techs.
posted by Spatch at 3:28 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Amok Time" is still one of the best hours of television anywhere. Wherever he goes next, this wish goes with him, repeated ad infinitum: peace, and long life.
posted by Errant at 3:28 AM on October 5, 2011


Spock.

\\mm//

TOO MUCH VULCAN FOR ONE HAND!!!!1!
posted by eriko at 6:11 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


\\//_

Leonard Nimoy is all that and a bag of chips. I was kind of freaking out that this was one of those threads and kind of freaked but all is well. He exits one stage and goes to another.
posted by jadepearl at 7:36 AM on October 5, 2011


(and Anna Torv playing a lecherous Nimoy/Bell!)

Nimoy was fantastic on Fringe, but I have to admit that Torv's take on him was one of my favorite parts of the show.
posted by quin at 7:51 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Isn't that the real truth? ...the answer, is no."
posted by Chrysostom at 9:44 AM on October 5, 2011


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