"Shatner Rules": William Shatner's new book tells readers how to live as he does(Read article summary)
In "Shatner Rules," William Shatner dishes on his "Boston Legal" role, his feud with George Takei, and more.
Ever wondered how to play a starship captain, become famous for your spoken-word renditions of well-known songs, amass more than 750,000 Twitter followers, and then win the part of a clueless dad on a new sitcom?
William Shatnerâ€™s here to tell you. The sci-fi iconâ€™s new book is titled â€śShatner Rules: Your Key to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large.â€ť The book details his life rules, sharing along the way stories about â€śStar Trekâ€ť and other Shatner experiences as well as some serious reflections on life. There are also a few barbs directed at his â€śTrekâ€ť co-star George Takei, in addition to asides from Shatner labeled â€śNotesâ€ť and â€śFun Factners.â€ť
Shatner soared to fame playing Captain James Tiberius Kirk in the first iteration of the science fiction TV series â€śStar Trekâ€ť (and he points out in his new book that no one ever actually said the phrase â€śBeam me up, Scotty,â€ť on the show). He also became famous for his pause-inflected speech patterns on the show.
â€śTheoretically, it's dramatic," he said about his well-known halting speech cadences in an interview with ABC. "Did you receive that information? Hang on a second. Here. Comes. Another."
He later became known for his unusual takes on famous songs, including â€śLucy In The Sky With Diamondsâ€ť and the Bob Dylan song â€śMr. Tambourine Man,â€ť which he performed on â€śThe Johnny Carson Showâ€ť to confusion from the audience and Carson. Shatner says in an interview with ABC that the song was supposed to be a two-part piece about drugs and that the song as he performed it doesnâ€™t make sense without the second part.
â€śYou need to hear the two pieces," he said. "[People] don't get it in context.â€ť
After he became the face of Priceline, a website that gives users discounts on travel expenses, Shatner's wacky personality in the commercials inspired TV producer David E. Kelley to cast him as â€śBoston Legalâ€ť and â€śThe Practiceâ€ť character Denny Crane, Shatner explains in the book.
Of his feud with â€śTrekâ€ť co-star George Takei, who played Sulu in the original series, Shatner writes in his book that Takei has been â€śsaying mean things about me for nearly forty years now.â€ť Shatner says in the book that he wasnâ€™t invited to Takeiâ€™s wedding (Takei says he sent an invitation) and that the only reason Takei asked Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on â€śStar Trek," and Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, to be in the wedding was for publicity.
Shatnerâ€™s book is out now and he will also be releasing another spoken-word CD, titled â€śSeeking Major Tom,â€ť which explores what Shatner thinks happened after the David Bowie song â€śSpace Oddity.â€ť It will also include the actorâ€™s rendition of â€śBohemian Rhapsody.â€ť
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.