Oh dear god.
November 15, 2004 10:14 AM   Subscribe

While everyone has heard of the legendary 1978 performance by William Shatner of Rocket Man, few have actually had the chance to see it. Now you can in a relatively-decent video file courtest of iFilm. (ASF link, via Mark Evanier)
posted by XQUZYPHYR (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"courtesy." Foo.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:15 AM on November 15, 2004

aaaiiieeee! the split screen part put me over the edge.
posted by whatnot at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2004

i'm a rock. it. man.
posted by whatnot at 10:29 AM on November 15, 2004

Lest we forget, this is the true face of the Shatner. To all of you who praised his new album as 'good', I say BEHOLD and repent while you still can! The taint remains.
posted by picea at 10:30 AM on November 15, 2004

That cigarette just keeps on burning.
posted by rocketman at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2004

I think the best part about William Shatner is that he doesn't take any of it seriously. I heard a track off of his latest album hammers the point home. He's a hack that is aware that he is a hack, but is willing to make fun of the fact that he is a hack.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:35 AM on November 15, 2004

Has Been.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:42 AM on November 15, 2004

Beck re-enacted this video in his video 'Where It's At".
posted by alfredogarcia at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2004

"'Has been' implies failure.
Has been...was.
Has been...might be again."

Shatner rules.
posted by cortex at 10:50 AM on November 15, 2004

Someone I once talked to who worked with Shatner on TekWar said it quite interestingly:

"He's not a stellar talent, and he knows it. He's got a limited range of talent. What he does is to maximize the use of that limited talent at all times, get 100% out of what he's got to work with."
posted by zoogleplex at 10:56 AM on November 15, 2004

Forgive my ignorance, but was this the inspiration for the bit in Family Guy where Stewie is singing Rocket Man?

3 Shatners. Pretty scary thought.

XQUZYPHYR: I feel sheltered that I never heard of this before. I would have been 8 at the time, if that's an acceptable excuse.
posted by smcniven at 11:00 AM on November 15, 2004

smcniven: I think it was one of those things that just went around trekkie culture. After all, it was a science fiction awards show. For most of the world, it was the most obscure of obscure references.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:05 AM on November 15, 2004

You want cool? I'll give you cool.

Weird, Stewie's was much better -- and I realize the paradoxal implications of a cartoon baby parodying this being better then the original.
posted by geoff. at 11:15 AM on November 15, 2004

Oh and this song is about drug abuse right? Right?
posted by geoff. at 11:16 AM on November 15, 2004

For an awesome example of Shatner's playing with the persona he's made for himself, watch the movie Free Enterprise. He plays the Shatner that ParisParamus sees, and that character's quest to produce he musical version of Julius Ceasar (and the medley from it he performs) is a sight to behold.
posted by ewagoner at 11:20 AM on November 15, 2004

They lampooned this on Futurama a couple times. Zapp Brannigan's brilliant "Lola" in "Amazon Women in the Mood" and Shatner doing Slim Shady in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before."

I love when his bowtie comes undone toward the end. Beautiful.
posted by rafter at 11:24 AM on November 15, 2004

And I think it's gonna be a long...



... long time before I forget this.
posted by chicobangs at 11:58 AM on November 15, 2004

Wow. Thanks!
posted by carter at 12:31 PM on November 15, 2004

ewagoner : huh? I love Shatner. He is as a big a star as there is.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:02 PM on November 15, 2004

Three or four songs on Has Been are good or great. The rest? Slit-wrist-depressing....
posted by ParisParamus at 1:11 PM on November 15, 2004

I always figured on "Rocket Man" being Elton's way of addressing the subject of his homosexuality; a coming-out-of-the-closet of sorts. Which, of course, plays into Stewie's ambiuguity on the subject brilliantly.

I think Shatner meant it in the more literal sense, vis-a-vis Trek, in that by that point he was tired of people thinking of him as a space man, when all he ever wanted was just to be an actor.

It is most assuredly going to be a long, long time.
posted by leapfrog at 1:28 PM on November 15, 2004

They lampooned this on Family Guy and I didn't get the joke because I had never seen nor heard this performance. Now I have seen it and I can say that no parody will ever exceed the hilarity of the original. I have to go and watch it again . . .
posted by quadog at 3:56 PM on November 15, 2004

Oh... the album Has Been. Sorry, PP, I thought you were name-calling.
posted by ewagoner at 5:42 PM on November 15, 2004

So, what are Priceline shares going for these days?
posted by arto at 12:30 AM on November 16, 2004

That hair piece is for the ages.
posted by Dagobert at 12:36 AM on November 16, 2004

Ah, yes, Rocket Man as sung by The Three Shatners: Sober Shatner, Drunken Shatner and Wild-Eyed Completely Out Of His Gourd Shatner. Good ol' 70s-style split screen effects.

Also, who could ever forget the 1997 Harland Williams comedy "Rocket Man?"
("A Wacky Comedy!"-- Roger Ebert)

What's funnier than fart jokes? Fart jokes in outer space!

Sigh. Poor Harland Williams.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:58 AM on November 22, 2004

I have to admit that I'm a little sad this is on the net.

I was at a party a few years ago when a half drunken stranger walked up to me with a videotape saying "I'm gonna to play thisss tape and itsss gonna blow your mind". It was "Rocket Man", and it was clear this inebriated gentleman carted this tape around with him from party to party, guarded closely as his most prized possession. And yes, my mind was blown.

He was spreading the Word of Shatner, the way it should be spread-- via an ale-induced grass-roots effort. The net is no place for such a Holy Work.
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:31 PM on December 1, 2004

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