You know, making fun of William Shatner lost its appeal some years ago — around the time when the ersatz Kirk began to understand the jokes and embrace his own absurdity. When did that happen, exactly? 1973? 1985? 1992?
I am no shatnerologist, but I believe the video below is strong evidence that his date of self-realization came after 1978, when he performed this (apparently irony-free) version of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” (Introduction by Bernie Taupin!) Trust me — it rewards an extended listen, particularly around the 2:00 and 3:50 marks.
Apologies for the lack of posting lately (and the absence of MP3 Monday). I was in New Orleans for an education writers convention and have been running around. Regular posting to resume shortly.
Wow, you add a laugh track and this could fly on Comedy Central right now. This performance may also represent a crossroads, not only of Shatnerealizationism, but also the down fall of people's support for the Space Program. ("Um, Helen, I don't know if I like the idea of the boy becoming an astronaut anymore... Thems computers may be a better path.")
Joshua Benton is the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, among other things. Before that, he was a staff writer and columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (More.)
Any opinions expressed here are solely mine, and not those of my employer. In many cases, they may not even be mine.