Co-stars, Friends Roast Shatner For Comedy CentralBy Lynda Foley
Posted at August 15, 2006 - 9:21 PM GMT
The Trek Nation's Lynda Foley attended the taping of Comedy Central's roast of William Shatner, which will be aired next Sunday night at 10 p.m. "I came home and threw up," she explained, noting that the cause might have been food poisoning or the general vulgarity at the event, which she found rude even by her own "rude and vulgar gal" standards. Many of the comments made at the roast will not be aired by Comedy Central (and are unprintable by The Trek Nation) because of their lewd nature. People who are offended by strong language and coarse wit may wish to skip the remainder of this article.
Hosted by Jason Alexander (Kurros), the Comedy Central roast dais had seats for Greg Garcia, Betty White, Jeffrey Ross, Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), George Takei (Sulu), Farrah Fawcett, Artie Lange, Andy Dick (EMH2), Kevin Pollock, Fred Willard, Patton Oswalt and Lisa Lampanelli, while in the audience sat Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Brent Spiner (Data), Rene Auberjonois (Odo), Adrian Zmed, Fran Jeffries, Carrie Fisher, David Carradine, Brad Paisley, Scott Hamilton, Alan Thicke and the cast from Reno 911 among others. Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Sandra Bullock, Clint Howard ("as a grown Balok drunk on tranya"), Ben Stiller and Jimmy Kimmel with Sarah Silverman (Rain Robinson) appeared via videotape.
Among the clips aired during the event were some of Shatner's commercials, including the new Commodore computer and Promise margarine; Shatner singing "Mister Tambourine Man", "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Rocket Man"; Shatner and Mike Douglas professing "We're so gay" in a song; footage from Shatner's episode of The Twilight Zone, shooting at a creature outside a plane window; and bowling with friends. The show opened with the video segment of Nimoy, whom Shatner begged to attend the roast, only to be told that the Spock actor did not wish to insult his friend. Nimoy told him to live long and prosper, then overheard Shatner's insulting him for refusing to attend and broke into an argument with him.
Shatner then rode in through the audience on a horse - much of his humanitarian work has centered on charity events involving his horses - and sat in his original Enterprise captain's chair for his roast, borrowed for the event from the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. "Bill is a s___ actor and an arrogant f___," declared Alexander at the outset, "But you're not gonna hear that from me, because we're friends and I love him." He went on to explain that Shatner was born in Montreal, Canada in 1931, the son of Jewish immigrants. "Thatís right folks, Captain Kirk is a Jew! You can tell Mel Gibson to shove that photon torpedo right up his ass!" Alexander joked. "Spock? Leonard Nimoy? Also a Jew! Very closely tied: Vulcan men and Jewish men are very similar. They both only have sex once every seven years...Vulcans by choice."
Alexander explained that Shatner "is a man who has millions of fans all around the world...all of whom continue to live with their parents." He also claimed that Shatner had never taken a job solely for the money, not even Incubus, "a movie filmed entirely in the language of Esperanto." Shatner has also written "dozens of books, none of them any good", according to Alexander, and is "an accomplished director...his masterpiece, of course, Star Trek V: The Death of a Franchise." As for Shatner's humanitarian work, "He is a giver, and never stops giving unless it involves him actually giving his own money." Numerous jokes were also made about Shatner's expanding waistline.
Alexander introduced Nichols by saying that she broke racial barriers in the 1960's on a show that gave her not only her own dressing room, but a separate drinking fountain, entrance, and toilet as well. "In the 1960's, African-American actors were often treated poorly and paid less. But [Shatner] made sure everyone who worked with [him] was treated poorly and paid less!" joked the actress, who as Lieutenant Uhura shared television's first interracial kiss with Captain Kirk - an event that Alexander claimed made her throw up. "I'm very happy about it, because until that day, I'd never pressed my lips to an asshole before," Nichols insisted. "And I'll never forget what Bill said to me after that kiss," imitating Shatner's acting style, "He said, 'Sulu...uses...more...tongue!"
Takei was good-natured about being the butt of numerous gay jokes and claimed that he had never met fellow roaster Andy Dick (who claimed to be the love child of Kirk and Spock) until that evening...at least not face to face. Nichols initially criticized other comedians for poking fun at Takei, whom she called brave for having asserted his sexuality in public. "This man was a hell man - uh - helmsman on the starship Enterprise!" she said. "Well, all right, so he was more like a rear admiral." She joked that Shatner wanted to know whether male prostitutes gave senior discounts and said that the roast itself made Shatner "the biggest whore in Hollywood...successfully knocking Betty White down to second place...but then, Betty White was paid to play that role!" In spite of all this, Nichols added, "Unfortunately, Bill, no matter how many jokes I make, I really love you...for your humor...and your humanitarianism...and for the countless times your stood up for me on the deck of the Enterprise."
White talked about her time on Boston Legal with Shatner and said, "I've been a huge Trekkie ever since the show first aired. That's why I'm so thrilled to see Nichelle and George Takei here tonight. Because let's face it...we all know Shatner's NUTS!" she said. "Where's Spock? And James Spader? And Bones? And Scotty?" she then demanded. "Oh, Bill, all your friends are either dead for they hate you! To be fair, I'm a little of column A and a little of column B." White further claimed that she had had sex with Shatner before the show, made crude comments about Takei's genitalia and declared, "I really should wash my mouth out with soap. Not because of my language...I accidentally drank out of Bill's water glass backstage." She concluded by saying that she was very excited when she learned that she would be working with Shatner on Boston Legal "until I worked with you on Boston Legal!"
Foley was able to speak to Takei for several minutes at the roast; his comments will follow in a separate article shortly. Additional coverage of the taping of the Comedy Central roast is available in The New York Sun and The Trek XI Report among other sites. As for Shatner, he announced that nothing that was said bothered him except that none of it was funny, since all of it has been said already.
Lynda Foley Lynda Foley is a writer who lives in Los Angeles who has contributed features to the Trek Nation in the past.