The original Captain Kirk may be 83-years-old, but he’s still gallivanting about the internet like a 20-something with a GoPro stuck to his head. In honour of the sublime silliness he regularly doles out online, here are 25 instances of excellent insanity from the one and only William Shatner. If there are any other clips you feel should be on the list – like this SNL Star Trek convention sketch, for example – do let us know in the comments section below.
Shatner Vs. Gorn Star Trek Game Commercial
The original Kirk vs. Gorn battles are the stuff of Trek legend – all crash zooms and unconvincing hug-wrestling, broken up by the captain’s tried-and-true double-handed rib-strikes and some seriously slow swipes – so to see the two fearsome combatants going up against one another 43 years later was a dream come true for fans of terrible faux-fighting. It’s a shame the game it was helping promote, Star Trek, was a bag of Tribble droppings, but at least we’ll always have Star Trek Catan.
Shatner’s Commodore VIC-20 Commercial
Did you “invest in the wonder computer of the 1980s”? If so, chances are it was because a man who starred in a science fiction TV show told you the Commodore VIC-20 was the typewriter-a-like bloop-bleep machine for you. Note the rainbow effects and the overreliance on the word “wonder”. It’s a wonder-commercial, for sure.
Shatner’s World Of Warcraft Commercial
Five geek-friendly icons – Mr.T, William Shatner, Verne Troyer, Jean-Claude Van Damme and, um, Willy Toledo – teamed up with Blizzard to create some very special World Of Warcraft commercials back in 2008. You can watch them all in a row here to discover how Mr. T can play as a “Night Elf Mohawk” and hear JCVD say the word “Mage” in French. Shatner, of course, is the standout, posing as he does in a massive nightgown and squatting close to the ground like he’s hurt his back.
Shatner And Nimoy’s Western Airlines Commercial
What’s so enjoyable about this 1985 Nimoy / Shatner team-up – aside from the louder-than-your-speakers-can-handle Hawaiian shirts, of course – is how the two Federation veterans play off their sci-fi cred without actually ever directly referencing their many treks among the stars. It does pose a few questions though: why are they going on holiday together, and who orders a bubbling volcano cake on a plane?
Shatner And Nimoy’s Priceline Commercials
Three decades later, and the forever-friends are at it again, this time plugging the discount travel website Priceline. Shatner has done adverts for these guys for a good long time, but The Nimoy Effect makes this series of three spots the best of the bunch. The Nimoy Effect can also be seen in the Zachary Quinto Audi team-up, which features such choice lines as “Prepare to have your wallet emptied by a tractor beam”.
Shatner’s State Farm - Eat, Fry, Love: A Cautionary Remix Commercial It’s hard to put this particular piece of preposterousness into context. In short, making exciting commercials for a thoroughly unexciting product (home insurance) is a tricky thing, so State Farms hired William Shatner to talk about his fondness for frying turkeys in oil. You can see the advert in full here, but we’ve instead selected this remix of said advert, which takes the commercial’s bonkersness and multiplies it multiple times. You may well just have to watch it.
Shatner And Doohan’s Star Trek Powergen Commercial
The Shat teams up with The Doohan – someone you definitely don’t mess with, by the way – for this entirely Team Roddenberry-endorsed commercial that actively enjoys the Trekkiness of it all. Sure, in the TV show you’re not that likely to hear Kirk refer to an umbrella as a brolly, but the rest pretty much stands up: meteor showers, body-swapping, a news-anchor-type person suddenly appearing on the Enterprise to sell you shares in a power company… you know, the usual.
Shatner Sings ‘O Canada’
One of Shatner’s better skits, this combines his genuine love for his motherland with a bit of his highly enjoyable persnicketiness.
Shatner Sings CeeLo Green’s ‘Fuck You’
American chat show host George Lopez wears out the bleep button.
Shatner Sings Several WWE Entrance Theme Songs
“Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, novelist and musical genius William Shatner finally speaks the lyrics to your favourite WWE superstar entrance themes.” Now there’s a sentence.
Shatner Sings Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’
This is from The Science Fiction Film Awards in 1978. Since then, he’s covered it many more times, and even had Family Guy pastiche him for doing so.
Shatner Sings Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
If you love this, you’re going to love his third studio album, Seeking Major Tom, which also has ‘Spirit In The Sky’ and ‘Mr. Spaceman’ for you to ‘enjoy’.
Shatner Sings Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’
If you thought the music just came out of Shatner, think again. He works hard at his craft, as this behind-the-scenes footage from the Seeking Major Tom recording sessions proves.
Shatner Sings Pulp’s ‘Common People’
If you’re wondering why this genuinely sounds good, remember that this song comes from Shatner’s second album, Has Been, which was produced by Ben Folds. You can see Ben Folds and Shatner perform together on Conan here.
Shatner Howls “I LOVE YOU”
In early 2008, Mishka the talking husky dog rocked YouTube with her ability to say the words “I love you” in her own particularly doggy way. She’d go on to rock YouTube a couple more times with a couple more phrases – “Good morning”, “I want my mommy!” and the like – but it was “I love you” that got her over 92 million hits. Needless to say, Shatner was on a TV show where they played a Mishka clip, and even more needless to say, Shatner did a worryingly good Mishka impression.
Shatner’s Mountains Of Madness Remixed
Those familiar with Shatner’s particular brand of BS will be well aware of the avalanche of dung that rolls out of The Man Who Would Be Kirk’s mouth during the DVD extras for Star Trek V. The clip in question is five minutes of the great man talking a great deal about free-climbing, and you can watch it here, should you so wish. Our advice is to forgo that ordeal, and watch this remix instead, which is extraordinarily catchy.
Shatner’s Seven Parody For MTV
In 1995, David Fincher’s Seven was unveiled in cinemas. In 1996, a parody of David Fincher’s Seven was unveiled on TV, with the MTV Awards commissioning Shatner to play almost every role (bar the Orion slave girl) in a pastiche that also took pot shots at everything from T.J. Hooker to 911. It’s almost as good as Thom Yorke’s head in a box. Almost.
Shatner Reads Goldilocks And The Three Bears
Do not show your children this particular version of Goldilocks And The Three Bears. Not only does it contain adult humour, but it also mangles the story something horrible. That’s not Shatner’s fault, of course, as he’s just the narrator, but there’s something about hearing him say “Goldilocks was tired from being such a bitch” that makes you feel that he’s somehow to blame. For more Shatnerian what-the-hellishness from Fairyland, click this way for Little Red Riding Hood.
Shatner On Have I Got News For You
Joyful anarchy ruled the Have I Got News For You set in early 2012 when William Shatner came to town. Going off script at every available opportunity, the episode’s final cut came across like several editors had pulled most of their hair out to bring something libel-free to air, with what did make it past the censors still managing to offend in a distinctly Shatnerian way. He even sings for no particular reason, which makes self-confessed uber-nerd Charlie Brooker lose it.
Shatner Plays Ball At The Red Sox’s Fenway Park
Don’t worry, the crooning you’ll hear once you click play is not from Shatner himself, but from warbler extraordinaire Brian Evans, a big-time Red Sox fan and professional dickie bow wearer. Instead of singing, The Shat instead plays umpire, channeling The Naked Gun’s late, great Leslie Nielsen as he prats about the bases.
Shatner On Kevin Pollak’s William Shatner Impressions
The Paley Center for Media Q&As are always worth your time – their Breaking Bad interviews from 2010 are fascinating, for example – and Shatner’s time in the hot seat is no exception. A particular highlight is when Shatner addresses the “William Shatner impression” comedians like to do, when, as you may already have worked out, Shatner doesn’t actually. Sound. Like. That. For some examples of impersonations Shatner can do himself, click here.
The Shatnerian Origins Of Halloween’s Mike Myers Mask
Did you know that Mike Myers’ mask is based on William Shatner’s death mask from Star Trek? Well, now you do, and for more details, click play, because there’s no way the story can be told any better than by the man himself.
Shatner Meets Koko The Gorilla
Shatner’s YouTube page is a treasure trove of glorious oddness. Formally dubbed the “Official William Shatner Page”, it’s got rare Priceline spots, music videos – ‘Ponder The Mystery’ is a must – and this, an audiobook recording of Shatner’s autobiography, Up Till Now, which tells the tale of when he met Koko the gorilla. Make sure you have a handkerchief to hand, as it’s rather touching.
Shatner Stand-Up Presentation: ‘I am Canadian!’
As everyone knows, William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931 in Côte Saint-Luc, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This makes him Canadian, and also inherently funny. Helping the funny in this instance is a handy slideshow, which lets Shatner take the mick out of himself in almost every conceivable way. The official Comedy Central Shatner roast uses all the inconceivable ways, incidentally.
Shatner Ice Bucket Challenge
Spoiler: he gets very wet and very cold (and doesn’t die).