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"You are enthralled, Andrew!"
March 30, 2010 11:36 AM   Subscribe

The Long. Strange. Never-Boring Journey of a National Treasure. Andrew Corsello has a William Shatner interview experience.
posted by The Mouthchew (50 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Regrettably, I am not Shatner. None of us is.

Word.
posted by chavenet at 11:47 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh lord, so excited to read this. Queueing up appropriate soundtrack: Captain Kirk is Climbing A Mountain; Why is He Climbing A Mountain?
posted by Greg Nog at 11:48 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


1) Shatner playing some form of future Shatner as Denny Crane is fantastic. I binged on Boston Legal for a few days, and his insanity was my kind of fun.

2) Has Been is so much more than "a collection of original prose poems set to music by Ben Folds." It starts with a cover of Common People, one track was produced by Lemon Jelly, and another piece was written by Henry Rollins, in which Shatner and Rollins trade lines about things they can't get behind (see here, as acted out by puppets). Some of Shatner's overly. Dramatic ... pauses, but not over-done. In short, it is a very good thing.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:50 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Shatner (and Nimoy) are pretty cool, but let's be honest: We would never have noticed these guys if it weren't for their characters on Star Trek. That's the national treasure.
posted by DU at 11:52 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


William Shatner then interrupts himself. To scream.

"MY GOD!"

The greenroom has a flat-screen television, and something there has caught his eye. I look. Monkeys. Monkeys in cowboy hats. And chaps. With crops. Riding Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas outfitted with saddles.

They're racing.

"MY GOD!" Shatner exclaims again. "IT IS MAGNIFICENT! YES!"


This may be the most sublimely wonderful thing ever written.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:55 AM on March 30, 2010 [16 favorites]


Why fight fate?"

"You felt…a hand at work?"

"I don't think in terms of God."

"A force other than William Shatner, then?"


Holy FUCK, I love this article.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2010


DU, would we still remember Star Trek if it weren't for Shatner and Nimoy?
posted by octothorpe at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


YOU LEFT OFF THE MOST IMPORTANT PART:

(and yes, we know he's Canadian)
posted by GuyZero at 11:57 AM on March 30, 2010


A SWEET CLOUD OF MEAT!
posted by The World Famous at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: This interview with Shatner seems like the fun-loving counterpart to the maic insanity of I'm With Busey.

We would never have noticed these guys if it weren't for their characters on Star Trek.

But they went on to become more than characters on Star Trek (at least Shatner did - Nemoy did more before Star Trek than after, and much of it voice acting in more recent years). Also, Shatner wasn't always the overly dramatic Shatner, even after Star Trek. I like his dramatic work in The Intruder.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


DU, would we still remember Star Trek if it weren't for Shatner and Nimoy?

An excellent point. I guess there's no real way to tell at this point. Neither of them was in enough before ST to tell if they would have caught our eye and the stuff they've been in since then is "tainted".

It's worth nothing that there are plenty of ST "properties" that were very popular without Shatner and Nimoy, but again they are "tainted". Plus I would hate to argue from that POV because I think TNG and the others all suck in almost every way it is possible for them to suck.
posted by DU at 12:03 PM on March 30, 2010


Here. I reviewed almost every film he did prior to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, including television movies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:04 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


But they went on to become more than characters on Star Trek (at least Shatner did - Nemoy did more before Star Trek than after, and much of it voice acting in more recent years).

If you've ever played the bizarre Sega Dreamcast game Seaman, you'd know that the game's narrator is Leonard Nimoy. What's more, he self-identifies as Leonard Nimoy. "I am Leonard Nimoy, and I will be your guide."
posted by JHarris at 12:14 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is impossible to witness James Spader's steady, unapologetic physical bloating over the five-season run of Boston Legal and not suspect that Shatner's emphatic speech patterns aren't his only contagious quality.

Hoo-ha!
posted by No Robots at 12:16 PM on March 30, 2010


If I was Shatner, I would never stop being Shatner-with-the-dial-set-at-10. But then, I'd also team up with Adam West so that we could start our own detective agency.

This would, for obvious reasons, instantly become the best thing in the world.
posted by quin at 12:16 PM on March 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


This reminds me of that epic deconstruction of James Brown from a few years ago.
posted by anazgnos at 12:17 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This was fascinating, thanks for posting it. The author's written interpretation of Shatnerian speech is perfect - I could easily picture the man himself reading the dialogue.
posted by Monster_Zero at 12:20 PM on March 30, 2010


I dunno, quin. They'd have to step sideways into the Axe Cop universe maybe to have enough room for that.
posted by kipmanley at 12:21 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


An article about Kirk with not a word of Ricardo Montalbán? Lame.
posted by digsrus at 12:28 PM on March 30, 2010


Great article. I've always been fascinated with Shatner's ability to take criticism and, instead of shrugging it off or letting it ruin him, turn it around and make it his own muse. He twists it back on itself and himself until it becomes part of the legend. And it must take balls of steel to take the beating he has critically and beat it back into something pretty legendary in the industry. This piece does a great job of examining that.

He has never been a great actor, but, much like Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis and others, he has always been a great William Shatner.

would we still remember Star Trek if it weren't for Shatner and Nimoy?

(...or DeForest Kelly?) I somehow doubt it. Star Trek had a near perfect cast and I don't see many ads in the newspaper for weekly conventions centered around Lost in Space, Space 1999, Buck Rogers or any of the other TV scifi that ran in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:37 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Here, then, is SHATNER: a man who sinks his teeth into even the most pedestrian of moments of any given day, who cracks their bones to greedily suck at the marrow of them, lips glistening and parted, eyes on fire and darting here and there to make sure others are watching—to make sure others are feeling the love, too."

That sentence is worth the price of this whole article by Corsello. It also coveys the incongruent brilliance of Shatner.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:56 PM on March 30, 2010


this was the most joyful twenty minutes of reading i've ever had in my life.

I think, in a lot of ways, Shatner personifies America. Powerful, intense, yet flawed and contradictory. Continually on a quest for glory, aspiring toward the unachievable, but behaving as if he had already been achieved, and only by him.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:00 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shatner personifies America

must ... resist ...
posted by unSane at 1:06 PM on March 30, 2010


Shatner personifies America

Yes, the best parts of it come from other countries.

That's for you, unSane.
posted by GuyZero at 1:08 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is the best thing I have read all year.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:10 PM on March 30, 2010


If I was Shatner, I would never stop being Shatner-with-the-dial-set-at-10. But then, I'd also team up with Adam West so that we could start our own detective agency.

This would, for obvious reasons, instantly become the best thing in the world.


Indeed.
posted by mikepop at 1:10 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Poignant substory about tinnitus. Have the condition but it is not progressed like William Shatner's. Thanks for the link.
posted by polymodus at 1:14 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed Shatner in Judgement at Nuremberg. Seriously.
posted by davejay at 1:16 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not entirely certain how the Buddha ever achieved enlightenment without having experienced Shatner. Logically, it had to have happened, because Buddha came before Shatner, and Buddha was enlightened. Still, I can't get my head around it. Perhaps one day.
posted by Pragmatica at 1:17 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


That whole interview is both transcendent and intensely quotable.

Favorite moment that hasn't been mentioned yet: "And I began to think—are you ready? Bells! Where do they come from? Whence their mystical role in human history? BELLS! They vibrate, Andrew. They vibrate, and the sound leaks out. Into the infinite. And I vibrate. And the vibration of the bell goes through me. BELLS! WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? What is the meaning of them?"
posted by Copronymus at 1:25 PM on March 30, 2010


Lightning STRIKES. It RAINS. You get ILL. You get NOMINATED.

That, my friends, is pure fucking poetry.
posted by Errant at 1:33 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


saying "SHATNER!" instead of "Bless you!" when someone sneezes

I am going to try this.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:51 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. That was truly epic - a word I don't get to use nearly enough.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:58 PM on March 30, 2010


Is "Shatnerian" in the dictionary yet?
posted by chairface at 2:07 PM on March 30, 2010


So this Shatner guy, he's like the Canadian Alec Baldwin?
posted by electroboy at 2:15 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty much in love with Shatner after reading this. Wish I had the balls to live my life like that. And a great article, to boot.
posted by maxwelton at 2:18 PM on March 30, 2010


another piece was written by Henry Rollins, in which Shatner and Rollins trade lines about things they can't get behind

-Henry Rollins on recording I Can't Get Behind That and eating scallops with The Shat.
"Call me Bill, it's very nice to meet you. He's a very nice man. He's nothing like we are — he's a Canadian! Spontaneously friendly. No firearms."
-The Shat performing Common People with Ben Folds band, and Joe Jackson on backup.

-And don't forget Thrillville's annual Bay Area tribute to the man himself, SHATFEST!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:25 PM on March 30, 2010


Seven parody from the MTV Music Awards, starring William Shatner as Captain Kirk; William Shatner as T.J. Hooker; and William Shatner as William Shatner, host of Rescue 911. "What the fuck is in the fucking box?"
posted by kirkaracha at 2:41 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This looks amazingly awesome.

I, myself, have interviewed the Shatner. It was on the phone and part of a day of media he was doing to promote a charity event involving him, at seventy-plus, parasailing into the largest paintball battle of all time. He was subdued, keeping his powder dry, I would say. He still gave with the pauses and emphasized words.
posted by mwhybark at 2:56 PM on March 30, 2010


I always had a soft spot for him because he was KIRK! but now I appreciate the man that is SHATNER!

Also, this bit, "You say Cor-sell-oh, I say Cor-sell-oh" reminded me of this: Sabotaage
posted by exclaim at 3:08 PM on March 30, 2010


Oh, god, it is so easy for me to identify with the section on tinnitus. No more silence. I can hear it right now as I talk on the phone. Fuck.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:17 PM on March 30, 2010


The sabotage/sabotaaaage thing is just cuz he's from Montreal and pronounces it more as a French Canadian would. But that is a great clip. I searched the internet fruitlessly last week for the 300lb black guy whose is supposedly the top Shatner impersonator.
posted by unSane at 7:41 PM on March 30, 2010


Also, it is certainly the best thing ever published in GQ by A GODDAMNED MILE and honestly it may be the best profile of anyone I've ever read.

"I am not a big believer in No."

Long may you run, William Shatner. Long may your run.
posted by unSane at 7:52 PM on March 30, 2010


The article, while cool, is perhaps a little too hagiographic for my delicate sense of snark - but to those who linked to the various I can't get behind that pieces - thank you, because that is an awesome piece of work I am glad I got to see and hear the history of (particularly because I have heard of Adrian Below).
posted by Sparx at 8:31 PM on March 30, 2010


And then the phone rings. It's Conan O'Brien. There's an emergency. Can Shatner come and do this afternoon's taping? Sarah Palin delivered her resignation speech yesterday, and it was…madness. A sublingual splatter. Dangling participles to which dangling participles had attached themselves like barnacles. Will Bill please, please, come onstage and, with a stand-up bassist and a bongo player behind him to frame the moment, deliver select portions of her speech as if it were the most profound stream-of-consciousness Beat poetry ever composed?

Ohhhhhh...I must...SEE...this...

(thank you so much for this link, seriously one of the most entertaining and interesting things I've read in a while)
posted by biscotti at 5:53 AM on March 31, 2010


William Shatner is a can of over-shaken soda that will never stop exploding. I love this article.
posted by Turkey Glue at 9:56 AM on March 31, 2010


Will Bill please, please, come onstage and, with a stand-up bassist and a bongo player behind him to frame the moment, deliver select portions of her speech as if it were the most profound stream-of-consciousness Beat poetry ever composed?

That one was awesome, but to me the ne plus ultra of Shatnerian beatnikitude has to be I Want To Sex You Up. Not only did he have a bass, bongos, AND a marimba, I read somewhere that he'd injured his back shortly before filming that and was quite literally whacked out on opiates while doing it.

He's not perfect. Oh, but he is really fucking cool.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:33 AM on March 31, 2010


I'm impressed with a lot of the writing in GQ, including this piece.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:41 AM on March 31, 2010


correction... marimba instead of bass. But he did have a beatnik chick backup dancer
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:46 AM on March 31, 2010


I got here late, and I can't actually figure out how, but I'm glad I did. This is incredible.
posted by danb at 2:41 PM on April 19, 2010


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