A Poet and Doesn’t Know It

Via Sullivan, this is simply genius. Every now and then someone does something that is so perfect that you have to watch it several times, and this is one of them. William Shatner reading Sarah Palin’s speech:

For me, it was the bongo in the background.

I challenge you to only watch it once.

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129 replies
  1. 1
    Crashman06 says:

    Wow… Just, wow. I’m in awe. Thank you, William Shatner, you national treasure.

  2. 2

    Ahahaha! I just re-twittered that from Chris Hayes!

  3. 3
    gwangung says:

    Totally genius.

  4. 4
    ellaesther says:

    Ok, see, I hear stuff that leads me to believe that the man may in fact be a smidge bit of a dick, and then he does stuff like this, or that Brad Paisley video, and dude.

    I still have to love him! He gave me Star Trek, and “So Much Cooler Online,” and this. How can I not love him?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GcVnhNjWV0

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    Oh! found poem! Truly one of the greats. I have long loved Shatner, but now I know why. Also.

    aimai

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    So wrong, yet so right…

    -dms

  7. 7
    Kathy says:

    Such riches! I though Gawker won the internets yesterday with the Peggy Noonan/Jack London/William Faulkner line, now this. My head spins.

  8. 8
    MMM says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRPa0GhxGUs

    The man can do oral interp……

  9. 9
    Lee says:

    I can hear the laughing on the floor as the video makes it around.

  10. 10
    Joshua Norton says:

    Sarah Palin. Our Word Salad Queen!

  11. 11
    Sputnik_Sweetheart says:

    When you put Palin’s speech in this context, it almost makes sense. Almost.

  12. 12

    It makes so much more sense this way.

    aimai,

    Did you ever see my found haiku from the Elliot Spitzer affair?

    Ahem.

    I’d be like, look, dude:
    Do you really want the sex?
    Ya know what I mean?

  13. 13
    Crusty Dem says:

    It could only be better if Color Me Badd was doing background vocals…

  14. 14
  15. 15
    chopper says:

    that is so full of win.

  16. 16
    Lee from NC says:

    High. Stairical. You betcha.

  17. 17
    Fulcanelli says:

    TriCorder readings Bones…

    Tweet…boop…tweep…bzzzt.

    She’s dead, Jim.

    Palin is finished as any sort of electable political entity. Happy, happy, joy, joy. That was brilliant.

  18. 18
    Comrade Mary says:

    Not as great as I had hoped it would be. I still prefer Shatner’s cover of Common People. But hey, this thread still brought Steve M.’s link to Shore Leave, so I’m happy.

  19. 19
    Hugh says:

    It’s meta, baby.

  20. 20

    And this is EXACTLY why she should be in the lower 48, makin’ the speeches. Also

  21. 21
    ** Atanarjuat ** says:

    Admiral James T. Kirk and the Federation have arrayed forces against Our Lady of the Great Tundra.

    I’m appalled.

    Viewed another way, Shatner’s an actor, which means he’s one of those evil emissaries from Hollywood that Palin mentioned. Indeed, Hollywood is such a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    Forget it. I can’t pull off the Palin Word Salad. Too much wharrgarbl, even for me.

    -A

  22. 22
    JR (not the other JR) says:

    Move over, Maya Angelou. You betcha!

  23. 23
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I hadn’t watched any of her speech, so I was shocked that Shatner was actually going verbatim from the transcript. It’s hard to believe someone not under the influence of a strong hallucinogen actually composed that paragraph.

  24. 24
    The Moar You Know says:

    Another Hollywood starlet trying to destroy the traditions of the Great State Of Alaska.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    That was perfection. Thank goodness for William Shatner.

  26. 26
    adolphus says:

    I can’t wait to see this at home (don’t tell me how it ends). I still don’t care for his original Kirk and can’t watch 5 minutes of Boston Legal, but watching him clap like a girl in Dodge Ball, his rendition of Rocket Man, his appearances in early SNL, and now this. A national treasure indeed. (but which nation? Isn’t he Canadian?)

    As a counter to this, I wonder how the speech would sound being read by James Earl Jones?

  27. 27
    gizmo says:

    I wonder if psychologists have a term for people like Palin? Maybe there is some sort of neurological syndrome that intervenes between brain and mouth and scrambles the signal?

  28. 28
    Zandar says:

    Rocket Moose, burning out her career up here all alone.

  29. 29
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    When I saw this post, I didn’t immediately start the video- I instead emailed it to a co-worker who hates Palin even more than I do, then sprinted down to his office to watch it, dancing like an excited schoolgirl.

    Palin mockery + Shatner = so win.

  30. 30
    A Mom Anon says:

    @gizmo:

    Moose hoof in mouth syndrome?

    I got nothin’ sorry.

    Shatner is normally rather obnoxious,but that shit was teh funny.

  31. 31
    slippytoad says:

    My fiancee brought some Shatner stuff to listen to on our vacation this summer. We drove 3600 miles, and we spent a lot of time listening to his stuff. It was hilariously bad.

    I cannot wait to get home and watch this.

  32. 32
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    A new high point for Shatner!

    With the previous IMO being “Even your leopard-skin capris. …well, maybe not the capris.”

  33. 33
    slag says:

    @Zandar: She’s a rocket. Man.

    Beautiful! Just beautiful!

  34. 34
    ellaesther says:

    @J.W. Hamner: (I’m sorry that I have to say this, but I am compelled, because I am apparently a glutton for punishment and also a buzz kill, and I say this fully admitting that I loooooved what Shatner did here [see earlier comment!] and really have nothing but contempt for Sarah Palin — but. But, I suspect that this particular paragraph made a lot more sense to her audience, people who live in Alaska, and experience 150 degree temperature extremes and complain [I’m guessing?] about “Sourdoughs,” who I can only assume are non-tough people…? Just, you know, sayin’. Don’t mind me, I’ll let myself out.)

  35. 35
    Pangloss says:

    Sarah Palin is to government as celebrity news is to television.

  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    LOLZ! And you just know that even that I-love-Alaska word salad was complete BS. If that passage were translated into both English and Honestspeak, it would be condensed into, “I can’t wait to GTFO of this godforsaken wasteland of an icebox and down to L.A. where I can start my ‘Everybody Loves Sarah’ media tour. And you poor slobs are all stuck here. HA HA! Also.”

  37. 37
    zmulls says:

    So, he might be a bit of a dick, I’m sure a lot of popular folk are. What saves him here is a real sense of humor about himself.

    I had to go look up the real speech — it was five paragraphs and Shatner is going two from the middle. Verbatim other than a line flub in the middle (follow along, you’ll hear where he couldn’t quite make out the cue card and kept going).

    This is even better than the Rumsfeld poetry from a few years ago.

  38. 38
    T Paine says:

    “When Shatner over there in Canada rears his head and enters our airspace, where do you think he does that thing with the rearing head? It’s Alaska, the state within the executive that I used to be.”

  39. 39
    WereBear says:

    I have always loved William Shatner. There, I said it!

  40. 40
    Et Tu Brutus? says:

    I’m givin’ her all she’ll take Captain, but she still won’t make any sense!

  41. 41
    Shinobi says:

    Now all that remains in life is to get a video of Shatner saying “FOR THE HORDE! Lok’tar ogar!”

  42. 42
    Bill H says:

    The man gets better with age. Better and better. My wife and I agreed that he might have been paying the network to allow him to perform in Boston Legal. He clearly had fun doing that role.

  43. 43
    ChrisB says:

    Ah, yes, the bongos. Loping along like a moose before dramatically introducing Denali in all its grandeur.

    OK, I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to the next Palin rally, wherever it may be . . . with my bongos.

    Fulcanelli said it best @17: “She’s dead, Jim.”

  44. 44
    DBrown says:

    What really scares me is this speech by Palin makes far more sense than most of what bushwhack said about Iraq (and most subjects) and that asshole bloody murdering lunatic was voted into office twice!

  45. 45
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @ellaesther:

    You are in fact correct… I googled Sourdoughs and Cheechakos as soon as I heard it, and apparently they are Yukon terms for old hands and people new to the area respectively… and it’s also true that the spoken word often doesn’t scan well when transcribed. So it’s probably more than a little unfair to her… but still, reading that section remains mind bending.

    Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun. And then the extremes. In the winter time it’s the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty, the cold though, doesn’t it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs? And then in the summertime such extreme summertime about a hundred and fifty degrees hotter than just some months ago, than just some months from now, with fireweed blooming along the frost heaves and merciless rivers that are rushing and carving and reminding us that here, Mother Nature wins. It is as throughout all Alaska that big wild good life teeming along the road that is north to the future.

  46. 46
    some guy says:

    For all you fans of The Shat, you should check out Free Enterprise if you haven’t already.

  47. 47
    DBrown says:

    @DBrown: Sorry- terrible mistake – I mean voted into office once and stole an election the first time. My bad.

  48. 48

    Man are you trying to get me fired. Hard to stealth BJ surf with that total WIN.

    @Comrade Mary: Oh and don’t think Bad Horse hasn’t noticed your moniker change. There’s been some whinnying under his breath about what to do about you. ;-) Something about sending Dead Bowie to ‘take care of you’ or something like that. But I start to ignore him when he goes all “thorough-bred of sin” on me.

  49. 49
    harlana pepper says:

    @adolphus: Don’t care for the original Kirk?????? There IS no other Kirk, please. For many reasons, but perhaps this is the most profound, I weep for those born after 1980.

  50. 50
    TheFountainHead says:

    I’m William Shatner, and I’m a Shaman.

  51. 51
    gnomedad says:

    It seems the resolution on the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood passed unanimously, including Michelle Bachman’s vote.

  52. 52
    Jason says:

    When I shared this on my Facebook, and watched it go around, there were a lot of people who hadn’t actually seen the speech and didn’t believe it was verbatim. So they googled up the speech itself. Not a good end result for Republicans.

  53. 53
    Ned R. says:

    Keep an eye out for honestly outraged reactions to Shatner’s brilliance around the Intertrons. Because that’s going to be even *funnier.*

  54. 54
    JenJen says:

    I can’t wait until Erick Erickson composes a sternly-worded twitter about this.

  55. 55
    RSA says:

    Bill, no one will ever compare you to Adam West again.

  56. 56

    Another Hollywood starlet trying to destroy the traditions of the Great State Of Alaska.

    Very talented?

    Very tiny?

    I think not.

  57. 57
    Uloborus says:

    Uh… honestly, guys, I assumed it was deliberately poetry in the first place. It sounds more like bad poetry, which she’s obviously got a high enough opinion of herself to think she can stick into a speech, than rhetoric.

  58. 58
    inkadu says:

    Shorter Shatner: Let’s see Patrick Stewart do this!

  59. 59
    Fern says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    But he’s not tiny and fragile, so it doesn’t count.

  60. 60
    Left Coast Tom says:

    You are in fact correct… I googled Sourdoughs and Cheechakos as soon as I heard it, and apparently they are Yukon terms for old hands and people new to the area respectively… and it’s also true that the spoken word often doesn’t scan well when transcribed. So it’s probably more than a little unfair to her… but still, reading that section remains mind bending.

    It’s hardly unfair…she’s quitting before her first term is up. She didn’t make it into an “old hand”. Also.

  61. 61
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Jason: Not a good end result for Republicans.

    Palin railroading (frozen-roading?) herself IS good for the republicans. I can only hope and pray the backlash effect mobilizes her minions and makes up the lost ground.

  62. 62
    gnomedad says:

    @Uloborus:

    Uh… honestly, guys, I assumed it was deliberately poetry in the first place. It sounds more like bad poetry, which she’s obviously got a high enough opinion of herself to think she can stick into a speech, than rhetoric.

    I think you’re right. It would have been more obvious if her “normal” speech were somewhat intelligible.

  63. 63
    KRK says:

    It’s fitting for Shatner to take on Palin’s “rhetoric” since there were comparisons last fall between Palin and Shatner’s Adam Kramer character in The Intruder from 1960: a young John Bircher comes to a small town and stirs folks up against school integration with fiery speeches and lies; things get out of hand. Highly recommended if you can take the subject matter; Shatner is quite good.

  64. 64
    BerkeleyMom says:

    OK. Sarah’s speeches now make sense :-)
    But wtf is up with those corsages? Can someone explain those butt ugly things the likes of which I haven’t seen since prom night in the mid 70’s??

  65. 65
    adolphus says:

    @harlana pepper: I was born in 1965 and have not seen the new Trek movie and probably won’t. Considering the new movie I probably phrased that poorly. There was just a style of acting in the mid-60’s to early 70’s that is just atrocious. Emoting with no real emotion. You saw it in Shatner in the shows, but not in Shatner’s earlier TV appearances or in later Kirk roles in the movies. You also saw it in Robert Conrade in Wild Wild West, McGoohan in The Prisoner (especially that last episode jumping jeebus on a pogo stick), a number of actors in all those Irwin Allen shows. Broad gestures, loud voices, comically inappropriate facial gestures, and over reacting to just about every plot development. I guess they made scenery back then out of cake or red meat because so many actors enjoyed chewing it. It was a transient style of acting I can’t stand and makes otherwise excellent shows unwatchable for me.

    That’s what I meant.

  66. 66
    El Cid says:

    I remember the brilliance of Saturday Night Live in getting Jesse Jackson to read “Green Eggs & Ham”.

  67. 67
    Martin says:

    Uh… honestly, guys, I assumed it was deliberately poetry in the first place. It sounds more like bad poetry, which she’s obviously got a high enough opinion of herself to think she can stick into a speech, than rhetoric.

    See, the problem is that when my dog starts barking out poetry, I can’t tell either – even when he’s thoughtful enough to arrange for the bongos. It turns out that making sense to the listener is actually an important component to the various literary and spoken word styles.

  68. 68
    ellaesther says:

    @J.W. Hamner: No argument from me! I wouldn’t even say it’s being unfair to judge her words when transcribed — I mean, either they make sense, or they don’t. I just could tell that my lower 48 privilege was showing on that one graf…

    Indeed, like many here, I’ve found the entire Palin phenom mind-bending from day A. Also.

  69. 69
    Comrade Jake says:

    I assume some of you caught Colbert last night, where he followed in Palin’s footsteps by drawing random words out of a hat and reading them into a speech. Stewart was pretty brutal as well.

  70. 70

    […] all the cool kids are posting this. And because during these troubled times, what the world truly needs is William […]

  71. 71
    PurpleGirl says:

    What made the bit even better was the setting as a bohemian beat coffeehouse thing with the bongo drum and the bass, a very late 1950s and 1960s Greenwich Village beat poet vibe. Shatner in trousers and big overshirt, as he if just wandered in for a coffee and began reciting his latest poem. Brilliant. Also.

  72. 72
    Napoleon says:

    @El Cid:

    I had totally forgotten about that. It was hysterical.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPxPciXcJvc

  73. 73
    aimai says:

    I don’t think its wrong to laugh at this because “it would make more sense to an alaskan.” It made perfect sense to me–I didn’t even blink at the “cheechachko/sourdough” line. Its just bad writing *for a resignation speech* –as a tone poem it reads like a really bad version of the intro to a travelogue. Its not that we don’t “get it” or don’t “love Alaska” its that Alaska and its beauties are worth more than this pathetic verbal sludge.

    I thought Palin’s speeches were naturals for this kind of spoof from the moment people started using the phrase “word salad” because that is what so much modern (ist) poetry sounds like. Palin is and always was a post literate speaker–that is, she is barely literate herself and she has probably always been fed what to say, both as a sportscaster and as a political figure–when she has to write her own stuff she writes it as she speaks it. That’s great if you have a wonderful ear for the poetry of the spoken word. Less great if you don’t.

    Also, Joe from Lowell–that is a fantastic found haiku. Brilliant.

    aimai

  74. 74
    gnomedad says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if she’s deliberately goading the evil liberal media into mocking her so she can use it to rally the troops. For them, she’s an icon; it barely matters what she says.

  75. 75
    ironranger says:

    @ellaesther:
    I live in Minnesota. Granted we have don’t have mountains or grizzly bears but we do get terrifying, life threatening winter storms, extremely cold temps and remote, sparsely populated areas with no cell phone coverage if you get lost or your vehicle breaks down. We also have a lot of hunters, fishermen, hikers, campers, independent personalities, free spirits, rednecks & so on. Many Minnesotans have moved to Alaska because northern MN even though it has similarities was too tame.
    I would say Minnesotans understand the Alaskan references better than most americans. Unless one is a hardcore R Palin groupie, most people here roll their eyes when her name is mentioned. Aside from her complete unsuitability for any kind of office, her attempts to present herself as the ultimate Alaskan frontier woman draped over a bear skin rug, donning hip waders, hunting moose & yada, yada make people here groan & snort with laughter.

  76. 76
    binzinerator says:

    @gizmo:

    I wonder if psychologists have a term for people like Palin?

    Yes. It’s called Idiocy.

    But I think I’ll go with Shannyn Moore on Countdown, describing Sarah Palin:

    “Her political ambition combined with her intelligence is much like putting a jet engine on a golf cart.”

  77. 77
    gnomedad says:

    @ironranger:

    I would say Minnesotans understand the Alaskan references better than most americans. Unless one is a hardcore R Palin groupie, most people here roll their eyes when her name is mentioned.

    It’s really wonderful having people like ironranger pop up at just the right time. Go lurkers!

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Comrade Jake says:

    I’m not sure there was anything much more damaging to Palin during the general election campaign than when Tina Fey repeated one of her Couric responses verbatim. When late-night comediennes are mocking you using your own words, your campaign is pretty much in the shit.

  80. 80
    Tax Analyst says:

    I happened to catch this last night…can’t remember if it was on Conan or Letterman (I was surfing between the two), but it was great.

  81. 81
    gwangung says:

    Shorter Shatner: Let’s see Patrick Stewart do this!

    For.

    The.

    Win.

  82. 82
    gwangung says:

    There was just a style of acting in the mid-60’s to early 70’s that is just atrocious. Emoting with no real emotion. You saw it in Shatner in the shows, but not in Shatner’s earlier TV appearances or in later Kirk roles in the movies. You also saw it in Robert Conrade in Wild Wild West, McGoohan in The Prisoner (especially that last episode jumping jeebus on a pogo stick), a number of actors in all those Irwin Allen shows. Broad gestures, loud voices, comically inappropriate facial gestures, and over reacting to just about every plot development. I guess they made scenery back then out of cake or red meat because so many actors enjoyed chewing it. It was a transient style of acting I can’t stand and makes otherwise excellent shows unwatchable for me.

    A certain amount of it was in the times, and a certain amount of it, I think, is in the medium–broadcast TV oftentimes was snowy and not very sharp or clear. OVerly broad gestures and facial expressions can register on even the snowiest TVs.

  83. 83
    Redshirt says:

    Protip: I find that whenever I’m feeling a bit glum or down, talking like SuperHammy Shatner is an easy way to pick my spirits up. Try it! Give the next five minutes over to the Shat.

  84. 84
    Tony J says:

    [blockquote]Shorter Shatner: Let’s see Patrick Stewart do this![/blockquote]

    “Sarah, in the North, with the twitters.”

    “What?”

    “Sarah, in the North, with the twitters.”

    “Sorry, I just don’t understand what you’re trying to tell me.”

    Sarah, in the North, with the twitters

    “Ohhhhh, I get it. You mean you quit?”

    “Sarah, in the North, with the twitters, also.”

    “I get you now.”

  85. 85
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    This could represent the discovery of the “Irony Warp.” I mean, this functions in so many dimensions simultaneously it’s in danger of freezing time or folding the universe back onto itself.

  86. 86
    Theron says:

    Reading it, it reads like a suicide note, in the style of “Seasons in the Sun.” “Goodbye my friend it’s hard to die, when all the birds are singing in the sky, now that the spring is in the air….” etc. It’s actually kind of creepy.

  87. 87
    jenniebee says:

    Oh noes, NBC has shut down the vid before I got to see it!

  88. 88
    jenniebee says:

    Huffpo still has it.

  89. 89
    jenniebee says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if she’s deliberately goading the evil liberal media into mocking her so she can use it to rally the troops. For them, she’s an icon; it barely matters what she says.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if the evil liberal media wasn’t double-secretly pushing her to goad them into mocking her so that she can rally the troops because Jesus, man, she’s the Comstock Lode of Democratic politics.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    gnomedad says:

    @Tony J:
    Tony J, in Balloon Juice, for the win!

  92. 92
    Emma Anne says:

    May I also recommend Shatner in Miss Congeniality. Funny and kind of charming.

  93. 93
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I watched it twice to get the full nuance of the poetry that is William Shatner. Man, that was absolutely brilliant. I busted a gut each time. Nicely played, William Shatner, William Shatner.

  94. 94
    chopper says:

    @gizmo:

    I wonder if psychologists have a term for people like Palin? Maybe there is some sort of neurological syndrome that intervenes between brain and mouth and scrambles the signal?

    yeah, they call it ‘whatever the hell george bush had’.

  95. 95
    gex says:

    @Emma Anne: I thought he was fun as the Big Giant Head in 3rd Rock from the Sun.

  96. 96
    TechMonkey says:

    The vid’s not on Youtube any more, but it is on NBC’s website: http://www.tonightshowwithcona.....9/1139665/.

  97. 97
    Chinn Romney says:

    I’m givin’ her all she’ll take Captain, but she still won’t make any sense!

    Ah brutus, that was most excellent!

  98. 98
    vacuumslayer says:

    Wanna hear a classic snark? Norah Odonnell was updating Contessa Brewer on the Palin speech and mentioned that Sarah said they “hunt because they eat.” Without missing beat, Contessa says “Sarah Palin eats wolves?” Those two are must-see TV in the afternoons. Also really enjoy Tamron Brown and David Schuster.

  99. 99
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    Maybe we do need Patrick Stewart’s take on this as well. Palin’s speech as Beat poetry? Yeah, maybe…. To me it was much more like: “Darmok and Jalad, at Tanagra, when the walls fell.”

  100. 100
    tess says:

    I’m hoping Conan will have the cast of Heathers act out the part of her speech about the media makin’ stuff up.

  101. 101
    bwono says:

    Too late, it’s been pulled for a copyright problem, at least on my machine.

  102. 102
    vacuumslayer says:

    @tess:

    I’m hoping Conan will have the cast of Heathers act out the part of her speech about the media makin’ stuff up. I thought the cast of “Heathers” was making the speech.

  103. 103
    LD50 says:

    @chopper: I always assumed that what Bush had was low intelligence combined with dry drunk syndrome. Our Sarah has never been a drunk, far as I know, so I guess that’s proof that this pattern of verbal expression does not necessarily depend on a history of substance abuse.

  104. 104
    BruceK says:

    “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NBC Universal.”

    KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

  105. 105
    Egypt Steve says:

    the fucks at YouTube have taken it down. Is it cached anywhere else???? Send alternative link urgently!

  106. 106
    gex says:

    Posted up thread, but here it is again. This is the Hulu link – officially blessed by NBC and not at risk of being shut down.

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/8583.....does-palin

  107. 107
    Tim P. says:

    Temba, his arms wide.

  108. 108
    Tony J says:

    @gnomedad:

    If, like me, you’ve ever caught the episode of Ricky Gervais’ ‘Extras’ (After many blockquote fails, I fear any attempt to link) where Stewart plays himself as a deeply disturbed pervert obsessed with writing nude-scenes into everything, there’s no getting around it – Patrick Stewart is a funny, funny guy.

    “She starts to say something about the Media insulting the troops, and the music soars, and everyone is listening, but then her clothes just – fall off – and she’s stuttering, and she’s trying to hold onto her shirt, but it’s too late. I’ve already seen everything.”

    “You saw..?”

    “Everything. You understand? All her bits. She’s nude. I see – everything.”

  109. 109
    vacuumslayer says:

    yeah, that was a hilarious episode. I can’t think of that wasn’t, though.

  110. 110
    RedKitten says:

    Thank goodness one of my friends posted it on their Facebook, as those bastards at Hulu don’t allow access from Canuckistan.

    That was absolutely delightful, and the bongos certainly added that extra soupçon of win.

  111. 111
  112. 112
    Brachiator says:

    @Crashman06:

    Wow… Just, wow. I’m in awe. Thank you, William Shatner, you national treasure.

    Shatner’s an old hand at deciphering gibberish, and he probably didn’t even have to use the Universal Translator. True fact:

    Shatner starred in the 1965 Gothic horror film Incubus, the second feature-length movie ever made with all dialogue spoken in the constructed language Esperanto.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shatner

  113. 113
    Charon says:

    Always loved Shatner. Looking back at his cultural legacy, don’t forget “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” That was the Twilight Zone episode where a passenger (Shatner) sees a gremlin destroying the plane that he’s in, but can’t convince anyone else of its existence.

  114. 114
    LD50 says:

    @Brachiator: Ah, but Shatner’s linguistic skills may not be all that transcendent:

    Most English speakers have given [Incubus] good ratings and reviews, likening it to the work of Ingmar Bergman, while Esperanto speakers are generally disappointed by the actors’ dreadful pronunciation — in particular, Shatner’s dialogue was delivered with a very noticeable French accent (Shatner grew up in mainly French-speaking Quebec, although he lived in a largely English speaking part of Montreal, and came from a community where many families spoke Yiddish).

  115. 115
    Blue Raven says:

    I got to a copy of the poetry reading by searching on “shatner palin” in the YouTube embedded player in the post. Someone else’s hadn’t been yanked yet.

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    Brachiator says:

    @LD50:

    Hah! I don’t know which is funnier, the stuff about Shatner’s pronunciation, or the fact that there were actual Esperanto speakers.

    Looking back at his cultural legacy, don’t forget “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

    There’s also the Zone episode “Nick of Time,” where Shatner plays a guy who’s afraid to leave a cafe because he has become hooked on the seemingly infallible predictions of a fortune telling machine.

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    steve davis says:

    Thank you, NBC Universal….I’m sure protecting copyright there was critical, as you consider building a series around this. Anybody got a different link to this?

  118. 118
    YellowJournalism says:

    There’s also the Zone episode “Nick of Time,” where Shatner plays a guy who’s afraid to leave a cafe because he has become hooked on the seemingly infallible predictions of a fortune telling machine.

    I always love that episode, especially when you (spoiler) see the other couple at the end and see what Shatner’s fate might have been.

  119. 119
    Josh Huaco says:

    Set phasers on WIN

  120. 120
    littlesky says:

    @Blue Raven:

    Thanks for the tip – I’ve been waiting all day to see it and was disappointed to find it had been pulled.

  121. 121
    DaBomb says:

    That was hilarious. Why the hell would she write a poem into a speech!’

  122. 122
  123. 123
    HRA says:

    Amazing!

    The truth is I did not hear Palin’s speech. I read some excerpts here and elsewhere. This part is new to me. Poetry is the first thought I had on hearing her in this video – like what the — is she doing reciting poetry as a speech?

    On a daily basis all poetry material that is put into our data base goes through me first. So now I see a connection of Sarah to some of the more way out material I handle presented as poetry. To be more exact about it I offer a small vial of mustard seeds, a miniature matchbox I refused to open, etc.

  124. 124
    Anne Laurie says:

    A certain amount of it was in the times, and a certain amount of it, I think, is in the medium—broadcast TV oftentimes was snowy and not very sharp or clear. OVerly broad gestures and facial expressions can register on even the snowiest TVs.

    True, on both counts. I’ll add that William ‘Trained Shakespearan’ Shatner came up during the post-WWII period when Lee Strasberg’s interpretation of Stanislavski’s “Method” was hitting the classicists like a semi hitting a freight train — some professionals never quite recovered from the trauma.

  125. 125
    Steve T. says:

    You know, this is rather interesting. You want to watch it? I won’t attempt a link because of the weird formatting things that have been happening, but just paste this:

    http://www.tonightshowwithcona.....9/1139665/

    That’s the website for the Tonight Show, for the Shatner clip. Enjoy. But what strikes me is the grumbling & muted outrage that NBC should ask a repeater site like YouTube to please not spread around THEIR PROPERTY without permission.

    But NBC doesn’t want to keep it from you. They’re saying, if you want to see clips like these for free, great, but come to US for it. Is that really so outrageous?

    (OK, OK, you might have to sit through a 15 second ad first. But my computer has a mute button for the audio, doesn’t yours?}

  126. 126
    Steve T. says:

    P.S.: Interesting. The site went ahead and made a functioning link from the URL anyway. I guess whatever was wrong has been fixed.

  127. 127
    RedKitten says:

    But NBC doesn’t want to keep it from you. They’re saying, if you want to see clips like these for free, great, but come to US for it. Is that really so outrageous?

    It’s not outrageous, per se, but sometimes it’s damned inconvenient for those of us who don’t live within the United States. In this case, the clip IS available, but on more than one occasion, I’ve tried to find something on NBC but was unable to view it due to not being within the U.S., and Hulu isn’t accessible from here at all. YouTube was good that way — no residency requirements.

  128. 128
    JackieBinAZ says:

    In the same vein,this interpretation of the Larry Craig police report by Cliff Schecter is pretty hysterical.

  129. 129
    Remuŝ says:

    Shatner has not a horrible French accent, but a very pleasant English accent… for those familiar with English… The subtitles are very helpful to understand him, also in the Esperanto version.

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