William Shatner, everybody’s iconic Captain Kirk and overly hammy actor is on tour showing the re-release Star Trek 11 The Wrath of Khan and telling stories about his life. I happened to see him Saturday night at the Community Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. And I must say he has lots of spunk and energy for a guy who is 80.
I first saw The Wrath of Khan when it first came out in the early 1990’S and it was a pleasure seeing it on the giant screen and enhanced sound. Riccardo Montalban is so excellent as Khan – chasing after Kirk for abandoning him and his crew 15 years ago and causing his wife’s death. It is a parody on Moby Dick with Captain Ahab obsessed with chasing the white whale who bit his leg off. In fact at the beginning you see a copy of Moby Dick on Khan’s bookshelf. The audience applauded at seeing the names of the cast and when each one appeared.
After the film, Shatner was introduced by an emcee who asked him questions submitted by audience members previously. Shatner is very humorous and fascinating telling stories from different times in his life. He is interesting in the fact he starts out telling a story and then goes off on a tangent remotely connected to the original story then ties it on with the original story. The only other person I’ve seen do that so effectively is folk singer Arlo Guthrie and I love it when he does that too.
One question asked of him was did he get any negative feedback from the first interracial kiss with him and Lt. Uhura. He replied, “No it was fine with me,” to some chuckles in the audience.
Another asked him who he liked the best of the Star Trek cast and he said he really liked Leonard Nimoy and they were the best of friends. When another question asked who he would play if he wasn’t Captain Kirk he replied, “I would choose Sulu then I wouldn’t have to put up with George Takei,” to which the audience responded with a loud “OOOOOOO.”Shatner and George Takei who played Sulu are known for their long lasting feud and hating each other.
Shatner told stories about this last TV show “Better Late Than Never” with him, Henry Winkler, Goerge Foreman and Terry Bradshaw where they go to different places around the world. They are hopefully waiting to be signed for a third season. Shatner told how when they were in Europe and in Sweden and how the Swedes love fermented cod. Mr. Shatner explained how when you open the can it explodes so most Swedes open it under water. He said Terry Bradshaw opened it up and the gasses exploded and he had fermented cod all over him. The stench from it is so bad that even tough cops that he knows who are used to being around dead bodies and have to endure the smell of rotting flesh are repulsed by the smell of fermented cod. He told of chasing Terry Bradshaw around with it and Terry screaming from the stench.
Shatner also told about his love of horses and how he raises them and shows them in various shows and races them. He has a charity where all proceeds go to veterans and children’s diseases.
William Shatner is always a joy to watch and listen to. He said he has two albums coming out where he doesn’t sing but recites poetry to background orchestra and with other people. He has a country western album coming out this summer with such country singers as Brad Paisley and a Christmas album coming out. If he comes to a town near you and you want to have an enjoyable evening check out William Shatner.