Shatner Enjoying Wave of PublicityBy Michelle
August 21, 2006 - 8:24 PM
Just in case he wasn't receiving enough news coverage about his roast on Comedy Central or his expressed wish to appear in Star Trek XI, with all the attendant rumours speculating on whether this is or is not a possibility, William Shatner is keeping up with his horse charities, participating in paintball events, waiting to see whether he will win another Emmy Award and celebrating the 40th anniversary of the franchise that made him a household name.
ABC Online has photos of Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) at the Las Vegas convention, as well as Kate Mulgrew (Janeway) and several fans. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the event, reporting that Shatner and Nimoy were set to appear together onstage in Las Vegas and again in in Chicago and Sacramento at conventions later in the fall.
Shatner told People Magazine that Jason Alexander (Kurros) was chosen to host the roast because "hHe's funny...but most of all, he's shorter than I am. That's absolutely the key point." He said he agreed to be roasted because he gets to give back as good as he gets, and "I don't have to buy air time, they bought it for me." He did warn that viewers should expect no nudity, unlike at Pamela Anderson's roast, when Courtney Love flashed the audience; Shatner insisted that he would only get naked if the roast was not offensive enough.
Some fans were disappointed that Nimoy was not present at the roast, but Shatner said that, just as Nimoy stated in his videotaped opening, "he was reluctantly to go on because he didn't want to say anything mean to me. I had no such compunction." As for whether Nimoy is always such a gentleman, "He teases me about my height because he's taller than I am. He teases me about my clothes because he dresses better. He teases me about my sense of humor because he's funnier than I am. He's actually all around superior to me...and he can do the finger thing" (presumably the Vulcan V-shaped salute).
The key to success, Shatner explained to People, is that "you just have to be extraordinarily handsome and talented." But asked about his odds of winning an Emmy this year, he said, "The chances are 1-to-5 that you will not win. So if you are a gambling man, don't write a speech...writing an acceptance speech gives you the expectation of winning, and you are therefore devastated or hurt if you didn't win."
The Mercury News has an article about Star Trek's 40th anniversary in which Shatner explains that Captain Kirk "was the typical leading man" when he first read the role, based on C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels, "so I read several of those."
He and Nimoy both explained that they were frustrated trying to work in the 1970s when there was growing hunger for more Star Trek. "I was doing a stage show and I was earning a living, but not with the same elan that the series had," Shatner explained. "As happens to me and series actors, they go through a phase where they don't work on television. So Leonard filled his career with these wonderful moves and I did the same thing, but it wasn't national television."
Even so, both men said that they are not in the least sorry to be so closely associated with Kirk and Spock. "I think regret is the toughest word in the English language, and one should try to live one's life so you don't feel regret," Shatner noted. "You commit yourself totally to an action realizing that what you're doing at this moment - which you may not do in the next moment - is only a result of the forces acting on you at that moment, forces that might change should there be a knock on the door."
The producers of the Canadian Awards for the Electronic and Animated Arts are offering up an evening with William Shatner to the highest bidder, noted the CAEAA web site. "The package, dubbed “The Shat Pack” will include all the Hollywood glitz a person could dream of, along with worldwide magazine, newspaper and television cameras focused on them as they walk the red carpet with Shatner," declares the web site.
For a donation of at least $10,000 to a Canadian equestrian charity - a cause in which Shatner has long been involved - a fan will accompany the actor on September 14th in Richmond, British Columbia to the first annual Awards Show at the River Rock Show Theatre where Shatner will be Master of Ceremonies. Awards will be given in gaming, animation and similar categories; businesses looking for an association with Shatner and the electronic arts are encouraged to bid.
Of course, not everyone is a Shatner admirer. Heckler Spray joked about his recent kidney stone problems and scoffed at the idea of Shatner as Kirk again, saying he would never live down that role nor his recording of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." However, for fans wishing to play with Shatner, Jungle-Island Paintball is now advertising an all-day event with the actor on September 17th at Lake Elsinore, reenacting the World War II North Africa campaign, "Project: Sahara." Pre-registration closes September 1st and offers a $25 discount on the $100 fee.