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May 25 2024


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Shatner Plays Kirk Opposite Tony Danza

By Michelle
November 9, 2005 - 10:52 PM

William Shatner appeared on television as Captain Kirk once again, allowing Tony Danza to fulfill a long-time fantasy of appearing on the Enterprise bridge, though Shatner dashed the hopes of many Star Trek fans when he revealed that Leonard Nimoy (Spock) had declined a guest spot on Boston Legal.

On the November 7th episode of The Tony Danza Show (video courtesy, Danza pulled off his button-down shirt to reveal that he was wearing a Star Trek uniform and handed Shatner a script, asking him to help him fight the Klingons. The two men were already seated in replicas of Kirk's chair from the Enterprise bridge, though Shatner broke a button off of his almost as soon as he sat down.

Danza imitated Shatner's famous speech pattern (which the actor claimed he originated because he couldn't remember the words) and played a clip of Lost actor Naveen Andrews, who lost the Emmy to Shatner, saying, "But who can forget his rendition of 'Rocket Man'?" Shatner protested that his recording of 'Rocket Man' was very well-received and objected to Andrews' beard. He said that he had won the Emmy in part because "David Kelley is a genius, he's the guy that for decades has been so successful on's really amazing to be connected with such great talents."

Asked by Danza about co-star James Spader, Shatner said, "I have to cuddle him all the time." Spader also won an Emmy, he admitted, "but I helped him a great deal." As for the rumour that Nimoy might appear on the show, Shatner said, "Lenny is my dear friend. He's a wonderful actor, so we talked on Boston Legal about getting Leonard there and, just the other day, Leonard said, 'You know, I've retired. I put it all behind me,' because they offered him a part. So Leonard is not going to do it. I was so disappointed."

Nimoy, added Shatner, has gone on to photography and other things. "Acting requires a discipline," he explained. "It requires memorization and you've got to spend your time acting as opposed to traveling in Italy." When Danza asked why there were no new Star Trek shows currently on the air, Shatner said, "Because they weren't good enough." He added that he is writing books about the adolescence of Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest which he hopes Paramount will consider for the next Star Trek series. Danza, who discussed the Star Trek parties he used to attend during the run of the original series, asked who would play young Kirk, to which Shatner replied, "I thought if I got some Botox..."

Though Shatner called the host's plan to make him play Kirk opposite Lieutenant Danza "disgusting", he went along with the scene, joking when Danza said his sensors were picking up a strange object that it must feel wonderful and expressing alarm when a red-shirted crewman ran across the stage. In Scotty's accent, Danza announced that he did not think the ship could take anymore, to which Shatner responded, "No, I can't take anymore! The ship is old and so am I!"

To watch the clip, including the sad fate of the red-shirted crewman, visit

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