With the opening lines of, “Hello, I’m William Shatner, and for some reason, unknown to me, people impersonate me,” William Shatner takes us on a tour through muliple eras of comedy legends taking a crack… at… the delivery… of Star Trek legend… William Shatner. It loses something without you being able to see my hand gestures to my screen and head tilting, but was that any good? Get it from the horse’s mouth, who does it best.
In 1966 two things started: Star Trek and Captain Kirk impressions. I believe I remember a few other things happening that year, ‘Rubber Soul’ came out, Mike Tyson was born, Soviets landed on the moon… let’s focus. When Star Trek hit the TV waves in September of ’66, the world changed and would never be the same. All generations born since would have in their lexicon such phrases, as “Beam me up, Scotty,” “Live long and Prosper,” “May the force be with you.” Gotcha!
And even if you’ve never seen a second of the thousands of hours dedicated to the epic saga, when someone busts out their Captain Kirk impression, you know what they are, at least trying, to do. It’s unique to William Shatner. The delivery permeates everything he does. His new spoken word album, ‘Bill,’ dropping September 24 is further proof. I am now going to gift you with an earworm. Not that kind from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where the guy from Fantasy Island does this:
This kind of earworm. It’s a new track he recorded with none other than Joe Jonas. You’re welcome.
The tracks on ‘Bill’ were co-written and produced by Grammy Award-winner Dan Miller of They Might Be Giants, and the lyrics were a collaboration between Shatner and his friend and writer Robert Sharenow. Country singer Brad Paisley even slides in for a duet. What a line up!
Shatner described the process of cutting the album, saying, “Through a series of phone calls, texts, and emails, music and words flew back and forth across the country. The [Covid-19] crisis created an urgency and quickly unleashed a candor between us that allowed us to peel back layers that sat on the surface of a subject to reveal the depth of truth buried underneath. What better time to contemplate life’s biggest questions than during a global pandemic? Some songs touched on painful or beautiful moments, while others turned into elliptical philosophical explorations about the very nature of existence and death.”
He continues, “BILL blends long-form autobiographical poetry and prose, music, spoken word performance art, and philosophical exploration. Toggling between passion and despair, reflection and yearning, this collection explores my life journey during a pivotal and chilling moment of history.”
I would like to think Bill appreciates that the impressions are all flattery. He seems to be in on the joke. Disclaimer: Of course I know Ricardo Montalban. My childhood Saturday nights would not have been complete without the mysterious Mr. Roarke joined by Tattoo hosting a grand assortment of guest stars at their unique resort island in the Pacific Ocean that can fulfill any fantasy, yet they rarely turn out as expected. This news come from Vanity Fair.