A few weeks back, I posted a story about the worst music video I may have ever seen, although I still thought it was catchy. I didn’t think it was possible, but David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff has been topped. The depths of entertainment got even deeper while I was watching Comedy Central’s roast of William Shatner. They showed some of his musical clips and through the never ceasing wonder of the internet, which I shall henceforth term Wondernet, I can share it with you. It is William Shatner’s rendition of Elton John’s Rocket Man, and believe me, using the word rendition is being very polite.
The performance was done at a 1978 science fiction awards show hosted my Shatner. I hope to high heaven that this video was done tongue in cheek! Any credence it might have had as a legitimate muscial number was helped by the fact Bernie Taupin, the song’s writer, introduced the performance. When watching it I could almost swear I heard the audience beginning to laugh as they did not know what they were witnessing, but Shatner kept a straight face. He did laugh a little at the end suggesting it might have been done as a joke. If it wasn't meant for a laugh, Captain Kirk takes himself way too seriously.TJ Hooker (or Kirk or Shatner, whatever you prefer) was known for his spoken word “interpretations” of songs like “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “Tambourine Man” but there were some neato special effects that accompanied this unique star ship wreck of a performance. It features two digitally super imposed Shatners singing with the real one. This was before the weight gain and toupees, so it’s easier to tell which one of them is real. It was also long before anyone knew what digital special effects were so it made it that much easier to spot which were the super imposed versions, too. The low point, or comedic high point depending on your preference, is at the 3:50 mark. Trust me, you’ll know what I mean.
Although I am embarrassed to say it publicly for the first time since the 8th grade, I was a big Star Trek fan. Every episode of the original series and every movie are familiar to me. But, just as I dissed The Hoff, I must now bow my head in shame at Shatner’s performance. To say he boldly went where no one has gone before (which I have to do because this post is about William Shatner) is a big understatement. He went way past where anyone had gone before and where no one will try and venture to again.
For anyone wondering if there is a singing course taught at the often referred to William Shatner School of Bad Acting, the answer is a resounding: yes…there…is…