December 2, 2008
William Shatner: One Man Hyperbole
William Shatner has a new talk show.
It's kind of unbelievable that he's gone all this time without having his own show to share his own intense, self-aware, detachedly-cool and possibly insane personality with the world, unfiltered through any fictional character. Maybe he had to go through all the 20 or 30 careers he's already had before getting to this level.
The show, Shatner's Raw Nerve, is on the Biography Channel at 10:00 tonight, and is automatically the most interesting thing that channel has ever done. His guests will include Jimmy Kimmel, Judge Judy, Valerie Bertinelli, and Jenna Jameson. I don't understand it either, but I think it's going to be great.
When people try to describe Shatner and the kind of celebrity he's made for himself, they often talk in expansive, hyperbolic terms, and end up some place that's almost mystical. In the Times review of the new talk show, Ginia Bellafante writes:
And later she really nails that ability Shatner has to operate on many different, progressively complex levels of comedy at once: he's serious; he's absurd; he knows he's absurd; he's in on the joke; he's become the joke and also somehow surpasses it.
And of course the Fametracker Fame Audit of William Shatner from back in 2005. An excerpt:
Some celebrities think they've got this whole image thing figured out, they can have fun with it, and they can make it their bitch. Sure, we like John Malkovich, and, sure, we thought it was cool and funny when he starred in Being John Malkovich. But for William Shatner, every day is Being William Shatner. Some celebrities get it, but Shatner so thoroughly gets it that "it" no longer exists. He's consumed "it." He's crawled up inside celebrity and made it explode, the way that Neo finally crawls into Agent Smith and makes him explode.
TrackBack URL for this entry: