He's mean... He's really mean.
July 8, 2010 2:57 AM   Subscribe

Shatner is so overrated. But Nimoy? He could eat crackers in my bed any day.
posted by Brittanie at 3:13 AM on July 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

I've read this tale in one of those books by one of these guys, or somewhere, but never knew it was from a live event. Very funny the way they tell it.

Also: Spock's Whip
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:31 AM on July 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Dude is wearing the shit out of those stonewashed ankle-swingers.
posted by Jofus at 3:36 AM on July 8, 2010

Obligatory Futurama Star Trek links

Also Family Guy
posted by Phredward at 3:38 AM on July 8, 2010

I want some sympathy!
posted by bwg at 4:16 AM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

The only thing that could make that scene funnier is if we found out that they were improving it on the spot.

Also, that second Family Guy link is gold. It takes pure creative genius to be able to combine Star Trek and Caddyshack and make it work.
posted by gjc at 5:08 AM on July 8, 2010

This made my morning. Thanks for posting... I too remember the anecdote from one of the "making of" Trek books, and this version was, of course, much funnier.

Shatner came to my college in '77 for something called "an evening with Captain Kirk." He came onstage, performed some bits from Cyrano and some Shakespeare, said nothing about Star Trek and then refused to take any Trek questions. The school sued him for breach of contract and won. Good thing Shatner eventually figured out which side his bread was buttered on and learned to laugh at himself.

I've always loved the original Trek series. Got a bunch of cutting room clips from the first and second season, they're hilarious (Roddenberry was selling them for practically nothing at the time). Lots of unflattering views of the stars.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:38 AM on July 8, 2010

Is this before or after Nimoy dried up? He's just so loud here. It's a great story, and there's great chemistry, and I think it's interesting that Shatner--William Fucking Shatner!--actually can't keep up with Nimoy's pace and intensity.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:03 AM on July 8, 2010

You can feel the fake love.
posted by Trochanter at 6:57 AM on July 8, 2010

"...refused to take any Trek questions. The school sued him for breach of contract and won."

That was pretty much coming up to the end of Shatner's 'lost years' when he was fucked up and couldn't get a decent job, pretty much down and out, and I think at the time he was either between marriages, or early into a new one, and hurting from alimony payments.

Either way, all he did during this era was a lot of dinner theatre, where the content was pretty much as you describe, some TV drama and panel shows, and many shitty B movies. There were only a couple of pictures he made during the 70s that were worth a fart, and coming from a background where he was once wealthy and considered a 'good actor' - Shatner was actually originally a Shakespearian whom critics hyped as a new 'big talent' believe it or not - he was full of resentment and there are some indications he was a bit out of it on something or other during this period. Booze maybe.

He seems to have been very angry and uptight at that time, but started to become more at ease with himself and his image during the early 80s. Contemporary accounts of him in this period are not flattering. He hated being associated only with Trek, understandably, as this typecasting had crippled his career, so no wonder he was trying to push the fact he did other stuff.

"The only thing that could make that scene funnier is if we found out that they were improving it on the spot."

I get the feeling this was mostly a 'bit' they had blocked out, but the energy suggests that they were winging a lot of it. It's clear they know each others' beats and are sympatico, so I have the impression its a half-rehearsed thing. It's probable they did this story together at other appearances. Still very entertaining.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:51 AM on July 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

Sounds right, Henry C. I'd seen the guy in "Brothers Karamazov" and knew he had acting chops. Actually I kinda likes me some Shatner now--he's very funny when he pokes fun at himself.

Reminds me of watching Ray Bolger and Jack Haley on the Mike Douglas show back in the 60s. Both men had careers apart from Oz--Bolger in particular had heavy creds on Broadway and starred in many hit shows. It was obvious that while Bolger viewed "Oz" as his ticket to immortality with undisguised gratitude and awe, Haley was sullen and resentful. It was sad to see. I wonder if Haley ever realized his good fortune to be remembered at all. Scores of performers are now forgotten. Being a part of something enduring is literally like winning the lottery.

In 1970 Star Trek was just another canceled TV show. Who could have foreseen its ongoing popularity? I'm glad that Shatner & Co. have become more accepting and embracing of their phenomenal luck in being part of it.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:49 AM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Shatner recounts this story (and lets Nimoy interject to tell his side of it, too) in one of his autobiographies, but it can't compare with seeing the two of them actually telling it on stage. Thanks for sharing this!
posted by Katrel at 10:02 AM on July 8, 2010

You can feel the fake love.

As I understand it, the two actually are friends in life. They do have a lot in common. They're both Jews, they were both child actors, they both speak Yiddish, and they were born four days apart.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:54 AM on July 8, 2010

Henry: you forgot T.J. Hoooker! I can't wait until Hollywood makes a movie out of that old show.
posted by rzrc at 10:54 AM on July 8, 2010

Nothing fake about that love.
posted by rodgerd at 11:11 AM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Fake love:

Real life be damned. The emotional sincerity of that clip was on a par with a Dean Martin roast or the Mike Douglas show. Better than ipecac.
posted by Trochanter at 11:48 AM on July 8, 2010

Trochanter: You can feel the fake love.

I beg to differ, and so would they:

Mind Meld: an 80-minute piece that is simply Nimoy and Shatner talking to one another, at Nimoy's house, about life, the universe, and everything. Incredibly touching.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

They discuss, frankly, Nimoy's alcoholism, the drowning death of Shatner's wife, what Star Trek did, and didn't do, to their lives, and on and on. Each of them comes close to tears at one point; towards the end, Nimoy puts his arm around Shatner and says "You are my best friend."
posted by tzikeh at 4:17 PM on July 8, 2010 [8 favorites]

Argh - my kingdom for an edit window. The cheesy opening narration for Mind Meld goes away quickly, and never comes back.
posted by tzikeh at 4:23 PM on July 8, 2010

My favorite Shatner bit of tape.
posted by ill3 at 7:14 PM on July 8, 2010

I'm a Shatner/Shatner/Shatner Seven parody man myself. "What the fuck is in the fucking box?"
posted by kirkaracha at 8:57 PM on July 8, 2010

...he's very funny when he pokes fun at himself.

Also when he and John Lithgow are poking fun at themselves.
posted by Evilspork at 10:42 PM on July 8, 2010

I love that bit.

"I saw something on the wing of the plane!"

"The same thing happened to ME!"
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:30 AM on July 9, 2010

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