Takei Dishes On Shatner

George Takei appeared on Conan O’Brien last night and immediately Conan asked George about his ‘hate’ for William Shatner and how he got a chance to roast bill on Comedy Central. Takei talked about how Shatner never got his name right and how he thought Bill’s acting “sucked.” The original Sulu also talked about the Stern show, dubbing Godzilla, and appearing on a new talent show…check out video below.

Shat Roast
Takei started off talking about the Shatner Roast, below are clips from Takei’s segment…and my favorite part…the drinking of the Tranya.

More clips at Comedy Central.

The uncensored DVD is available at Amazon

Takei Country
George was on Conan to promote his upcoming appearance on the CBS show Secret Talents of the Stars…and if you missed it in last week’s Celeb Watch…here is the promo for that…watch Takei sing if you dare.

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April 3, 2008 1:22 am

I hope they got him to do another edition of “Takei — SECRETS…”

Mickey MET
April 3, 2008 1:43 am

>>Takei talked about how Shatner never got his name right. . . . <<

What’s so hard about ‘George’?

April 3, 2008 2:23 am

Yeah we get it. Shatner was a dickhead. Not really important. He was a great leading man and in large part his acting talent, such that it is, helped make Trek iconic.

April 3, 2008 2:29 am

That roast was genius. The swear-tastic one is so close to the bone. Love it.

April 3, 2008 2:34 am

Wah…wah…”He never got my name right”… The complaints from the jealous supporting cast remain as pithy and shallow as always. Just because between them they couldn’t muster even 1% of the charisma Bill carries in his little finger doesn’t justify decades of whining and character assassination. They really are fairly pathetic.

April 3, 2008 2:38 am

While some have a career, others still have their jealousy.

April 3, 2008 2:39 am

Re: 6… Bill not only had charisma, he had CHAIR-isma, as in the center seat!

April 3, 2008 2:43 am

Yeah, it’s pathetic how so many people can hate this one guy.

Personally, Bill Shatner probably is as bad as they say, but he wasn’t hired to be a nice guy. He was hired to act. And his Kirk is a legend.

Takei doesn’t have much to be jealous of. I bet you he’s doing just fine.

April 3, 2008 2:44 am

Um, apparently I meant Re: 5…

April 3, 2008 2:59 am

Takei makes Shatner look humble.

April 3, 2008 3:06 am

So William Shatner was a leading man and Kirk was the charismatic central focus of TOS – get over it, George!

Your campaigns for an “Excelsior” show makes it obvious you were gunning to be the same.

I really don’t believe Trek would have been around today without Shatner as the main star. His ego played a huge part in that.

Still, I love ’em all!

Harry Ballz
April 3, 2008 3:31 am

Takei criticizing Shatner’s acting style is like a turd telling an air freshener that it stinks!

I would point out that Takei’s acting is wooden, but that would criticize trees everywhere!

April 3, 2008 3:44 am

– And his Kirk is a legend. –

Exactly. And in the end, that’s all that counts.

April 3, 2008 3:55 am

but, hey he IS belly achingly funny! Surely the most entertaining of the orignal cast as himself….the Shat being a close runner up, and that may be something to do with the exaggerated rift between them, they play it up a tad!?

I Love My Moogie
April 3, 2008 4:14 am

OH MY!!! George, give it a REST already! Howard Stern gave you a new career, be grateful & stop the all too public sour grapes against our beloved Shat.

April 3, 2008 4:20 am

This guy Takei is funny! But I said WTF! This guy just kissed another man. What is this?? I almost dropped my coffee.. Then started licking his lips. I am sorry, I am not trying to get personal, but I can never LOOK at Sulu the same again. And yes, I know he is openly homosexual.

Love the part when he says its Takei as in toupee or 2 GAY! Yikes. LOL!!

#12 Harry Ballz
I like those lines.

April 3, 2008 4:24 am

2 things. 1. If Takei didn’t “hate” Shatner he would have little, if anything, to talk about. 2. Takei’s ego is at least as big as Shatner’s, the difference is Shatner has more talent and charisma.

April 3, 2008 4:29 am

Shatner’s look on his face is priceless when he saw the kiss!! I dont believe this BS! But in all seriousness, I wondered was Takei’s sexuality ever really known back in the 60’s. If so, were there others of the cast?? Were they all sworn to secrecy?? I still admire his Sulu character and even Takei’s sensitivity towards ethnicity.

But that Comic Roast, Whoa!! He must have been drinking Tranya. LOL!
Now what would happen if Shatner ROASTED George on TV?? (Hint: Phaser Rifle) LOL!!

April 3, 2008 4:36 am

Takei is the the last person to be calling anyone else a bad actor. Here’s a newsflash for George: Shanter, Nimoy and Kelley were the stars of TOS Trek; he was just a supporting actor who’s name didn’t even appear until the closing credits.

Takei’s sour grapes against Shatner got old years ago, and all his appearances on other shows like Stern and the Shatner roast have turned him into an embarrassing buffoon. He’s become a walking joke who is ridiculed by the very people who’s shows he appears on. Too bad he’s too blind and egotistical to realize it. It’s really pathetic to see him humiliating himself like this. I’ve lost all respect for the man and shudder to think of the depths he’ll sink to in the years to come just to stay in the limelight a little longer.

Stanky McFibberich
April 3, 2008 4:37 am

As someone said above, “Pathetic.”
I could go on, but most of it has also been said.

April 3, 2008 4:54 am

I know Mr. Takei may have a few issues with Shatner in one way or another, but it takes the better person to “make like a duck” and let it roll off of your back. Besides, if it weren’t for Shatner’s popularity in Star Trek, George Takei’s acting career may have never seen any light of day past the 1960’s. Star Trek is what made George Takei (Sulu) a household name, even if it was cancelled.

What Mr. Takei said and did was in very poor taste, and I’m saddened to see he has such little class.

April 3, 2008 4:55 am

You know, I think it’s funny that Takei continuously talks about how much he hates Shatner, yet, I remember in a interview right before the roast, him talking about how he and Shatner had “buried the hatchet”. Shatner made similar statements.

What happen, did he bury so he could roast Shatner, then run back out and dig it up again?

April 3, 2008 5:08 am

Actually George’s opinions of Shatner pale in comparison to what Walter Koenig and James Doohan thought of him. James Doohan refused to even talk to Shatner when he was writing his Star Trek Memories books. I think Shatner and Koenig finally came to an understanding.

This always puzzled me because the two of them got way more screen time and lines than the rest of the supporting cast.

Most of the cast will claim their adoration for Leonard Nimoy who says Shatner is his best friend.

Paul B.
April 3, 2008 5:10 am

Having watched these clips, I am now officially disgusted by Takei. I can take crude humor as much as anyone, but this is just disgusting. I like plenty of vulgar comedy (“Blazing Saddles” anyone?), but Takei seems to think being vulgar IS comedy. Now I see why he’s on the Howard Stern show: like minds…

The more I see and hear of Shatner these days, the more I like and respect him (except his whining about the new Trek film–get a life, Bill!).

But the more I see and hear of Takei, the less I like him.

April 3, 2008 5:11 am
# 19 I completely agree. I’m guessing its his last name that Shatner never got right – he’s always seemed rather anal about it as I cannot remember an interview or article with him that he *doesn’t* whine and moan about how people don’t pronounce it correctly and say how ‘easy’ it is to pronounce. Yeah. Whatever. Conan is clearly uncomfortable with Takei’s attitude. I thought it was great that he questioned him about the hand sign mess, too. I’ve never seen him do anything where I thought he was a good actor. Outside of ST, Takei has no “Intruder” he has no great “Twilight Zone” or “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episodes. Takei’s acting is largely unmemorable – he’s attached to the legend of shows, not his own. Unlike Nimoy, Shatner, Kelley, Stewart, and probably a few others I’m forgetting…Takei is known for being Sulu, not known for being a great talent. He’s on Heroes and people think its cool BECAUSE HE WAS ON ST. Not because Takei is some awesome actor. Takei is like those idiots who still whine and moan about high school 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 years on. He’s had how many years to try and make an impression on people with his own name…and the only way he’s done it is by hanging onto Sulu…oh, and finally going, “Btw, I’m gay!” I honestly think he only ‘came out’ because Enterprise had been cancelled and there was talk of ST being ‘dead’…at least for a good… Read more »
star trackie
April 3, 2008 5:21 am

….funny how these supporting cast members often forget that their names were in the closing credits…if they were there at all.

Having said that, I applaud George for taking a page from Shatner’s playbook. He’s certainly learned how to take just about any paying gig and use the media coverage to stay in the public light.

Hat Rick
April 3, 2008 5:37 am

There are, I think, better ways to publicize one’s career than to resort to vulgar humor. I haven’t watched the clips, and, given what has been described of them, I don’t intend to.

On the other hand, O’Brien probably appreciated the hell out of it; his core audience appreciates irreverence, and the more of it, the better.

1701 over Gotham City
April 3, 2008 5:44 am

I’ve about had it with Shatner bashing… I’ve listened to it for years. Maybe he is arogant, or pompous, or stubborn, doesn’t matter… the Emmy’s say he’s a great actor, and I agree.

You either get Shatner, or you don’t.

I still think a lot of the hate stories came from a particulary bitter source, one that played an engineer. His hatred was infamous, and it apparently spread farther than Shatner. Making a career out of complaining about how a person spoke to you once 40 years ago is sad. I like Takei a LOT, but really, aren’t there better things to do?

Feh. Whatev. Shatner rocks.

Trek Nerd Central
April 3, 2008 5:46 am

If you go back and look at earlier interviews with the original cast (in the 70s, I’m thinking), they all had *much* nicer things to say about Shatner. Very generous and admiring remarks, in fact. It wasn’t until the late ’80s or early ’90s or so that they all collectively decided he was a bodily orifice of some kind. Sort of a mass hypnosis.

Hat Rick
April 3, 2008 5:57 am

For all the bad things that were said about Bill Shatner, I think that few if any would deny that he has brought credit to Trek if only because of his position. This is despite the fact that he once participated in an SNL parody of Trek fans and may even have shown a bit of frustration in that respect. Thus, we can either focus on the positive or the negative.

I, too, am tired of Shatner-bashing and wish that more people in the public eye and positions of influence would simply look at the up side of things. An optimistic and supportive view of the world is what Trek is supposed to promote, and frankly there’s too little of it in the world already for me to contrbute to negativism about Shatner, or any other Trek cast member, in any way, shape, or form. Absent sufficient reason, of course.

Captain Otter
April 3, 2008 5:58 am

I get the feeling that have of Mr. Takei’s hate of the Shat is half real and half a bit to get interviews. In that regard, it isn’t just sour grapes, it is a smart way of getting publicity.

For instance, CBS’s crappy celebrity talent show is hard to promote. Most of the has-beens the will have one will have next to zero appeal. But if you roll our Mr. Takei, Trekkies and Trek haters alike will tune in because both camps, for what ever reason, cannot get enough. So when he goes on, playing up this “I hate Bill” bit makes for a good interview which, in turn, means the difference between this show getting promoted on Late Night with Connan O’Brian or getting a 30-second mention on Good Morning Nebraska.

As far as the crudeness of the roast, don’t you imagine his buddies on Howard Stern’s crew helped him write some of that? Besides, most roasts are nothing but foul mouthed bashing.

At least Dana Jacobson wasn’t there.

April 3, 2008 5:58 am

I watched “Galaxy Quest” again the other day and realised just how on target it is about practically everything Trek. That is one under-rated movie. And it nails the way the hero treats the secondary actors.

But for George to keep harping makes him look bad. He should show some grace and he’d come off better.

April 3, 2008 6:06 am

Shatner admitted (in his Trek and Trek Movie Memories books) that his behaviour toward other cast members was insensitive, and he corroborated their accusations that he would plead with the director to “steal” other cast members’ lines from the scripts.

None of this excuses George’s inability to lest the past be the past.

George has appeared in several movies, he grew up in an internment camp and has held public office as an elected official. He has nothing to be embarrassed about (other than crude behaviour on Howard Stern).

April 3, 2008 6:06 am

Comedy Central clips not working…probly can’t access them cuz I’m in Canada. Sure, you guys will send us your acid rain and your fast food restaurants, but do I get the privilege to see your comedy clips? nooooooo. We demand you return Shatner, Pamela, Jim Carrey, and all our NHL players this instant!

Paul B.
April 3, 2008 6:17 am

#32 – I agree that Takei should “show some grace,” and that’s what I used to like about him. Along with Nimoy and Nichols, Takei seemed to be a smart, classy, graceful guy in the way he spoke and acted. Now he’s just a foul-mouthed hater with a chip on his shoulder.

And yes, Galaxy Quest is underrated. I like it more every single time I see it!

#31 – I think you’re right, Takei’s playing up the Shat-hate to get attention. I’m sure it’s real, but it’s exaggerated. As for the foul-mouthed roast/bashing, you’re right, roasts are usually vulgar, but Takei went beyond. By the time he got to the line about Farrah, I was glad he never got a “Captain Sulu” show after all. It wasn’t Shat-bashing, it was high-school level “crotch humor” at its worst.

Still, Shatner gets the last laugh: after all, he’s the one they were roasting, not the bit-player Takei. Still, after the smoke clears, I still think Sulu is one of the coolest Trek characters ever.

April 3, 2008 6:27 am

The whole idea of the Shatner roast was pathetically sad in my opinion. The idea is to give everyone license to be hateful and mean, but it’s ok because it’s the shatner roast.

The only good part about that show was Clint Howard and his Tranya

April 3, 2008 6:29 am

I would love see if Takei can pronounce my last name! EVERYBODY gets it wrong the first time. In fact I always make people say my last name just to hear what they come up with.

One time when I was in college I mispronounced some guy’s last name and he got all offended and in my face about it. I took out my school ID and asked him to say my name. He couldn’t. He mellowed.

April 3, 2008 6:37 am

I’m not convinced Takei hates Shatner.

I think it’s all just a cheap attention getting ploy.

April 3, 2008 6:39 am

Ironically, Takei’s best performance as Sulu came decades after TOS wrapped. In the New Voyages/Phase II episode, “World Enough and Time.” As for the bad feelings between Takei and Shatner, there may have been some legitimacy to that whole thing early on, but now it’s just to generate cheap laughs and ratings for Howard Stern. Rise above it, it’s petty. Not to mention ancient history.

David L
April 3, 2008 6:39 am

Takei is showing absolutely no class. I have had people in my past who were rude, or nasty to me. I do not, years later, look to bash them. Sometimes you have to be the bigger man. I guess that’s not part of George

April 3, 2008 6:44 am

I gotta say I don’t care about maybe real, maybe not, petty feuds between actors.

But, I’ve also gotta say that when I watch TOS reruns these days, I find Kirk to be a pretty insufferable guy. Not charismatic, not inspirational. Just hammy and hamfisted. And loud. And histrionic.

Shatner was much easier to take in the movies, but by then I assume he was playing “Shatner”, as he has ever since.

April 3, 2008 6:47 am

This is really turning my damn stomach! Shatner looks shocked! I thought Takei had a measure of class, but this homo overtones is sick!! IMO Keep what you do in YOUR closet, cupcake!! Him giving Nichelle herpes from the kiss joke! They are looking at George in disbelief!! I cant believe he’s going there??

I think Shat should call Nimoy and they re-enact the bridge scene from “Naked Time” and drop George on his ass!! Shatner is the MAN after all of these years and yes I agree that Star Trek probably would not have been where it is if he was not cast as Kirk. But, this in NO WAY downplays Nimoy, No way in HELL! His Spock was shining brighter than Kirk and that bothered old Billy Boy.

April 3, 2008 6:48 am

I’ve heard Takei is a class act in person. The Shatner hatred is such a Hollywood legend, he was just taking the piss.

Shatner as Kirk IS legend, and all the impressionists’ love him for his amazing performance (Kevin Pollack, Jim Carrey), and the animated spoofs (Family Guy comes to mind) are over the top.

But he wouldn’t be spoofed so often if he weren’t so memorable and so good. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I hold nothing against Takei when he gets ribald and silly. Shatner can handle it.

ensign joe
April 3, 2008 6:50 am

Man George just needs to get a reality check… No Bill really is a jerk!

Ugh… Really? … Really?

April 3, 2008 6:50 am

I couldn’t watch the whole roast. I admit that Takei’s segment made me laugh… but this (on the whole) wasn’t a roast, so much as a crude, vulgar lambasting. A celebrity roast should be clever and fun … full of double-entendre and witty humour. Not rude & crude. In short, it was a bucket-o-fail…

star trackie
April 3, 2008 6:55 am

#41 “But, I’ve also gotta say that when I watch TOS reruns these days, I find Kirk to be a pretty insufferable guy. Not charismatic, not inspirational. Just hammy and hamfisted. And loud. And histrionic.”

Shatner really is quite good in the role … what rotten luck, you seem to be catching Turnabout Intruder everytime you tune it in.

April 3, 2008 7:00 am
Oh good lord, I’ve never seen so many nasty comments in one thread. There is not one person in the cast of Trek who can be called an angel. They have all said or behaved badly at some point during their careers. Shantner comfirmed he did some nasty things during his tenure as Kirk. Actors who have line stolen away from them consistently have a right to be upset and bitter when it happens week after week during the run of a show. So they are not politically correct by today’s standards. 20 years ago any of these comments would be a non-issue and today everyone has to get on here and pst there two-cents about Takei said this… Doohan said that… Koening related such and such. Does it really make that much difference to any of us? We are not actors. We did not have to go through what they did and I’m pretty sure that all the accounts we know forward and backward are still highly watered down versions of what actually happened to all of them due to some level of face-saving on all fronts. Whether the star or a supporting actor… everyone deserves some level of respect in this business. The star stealing dialogue from a supporting actor is not respectful, its ego. I’m the star… I get more words or lines of dialogue then anyone else or I’m leaving. Well isn’t that the adult attitude. People wonder why things ar being said now about all… Read more »
April 3, 2008 7:02 am

My posts at #16,18,42

I just watch that Conan clip and Conan’s look at George’s remark about if his partner can suck as hard as Bill’s acting, we might have something!! C’mon, I bet if Nimoy was watching that he would have puked in disgust!!

I am trying to keep it clean here, But Takei’s envy for Shatner kind of tells me one thing!!………..Yea, that’s it!! He probably wanted Bill to use his phaser rifle on him.

Jorg Sacul
April 3, 2008 7:03 am

You guys are spoiled on the Don Rickles-era roasts of yore. In reality, the roast was just that– a vulgar, purile verbal assault on the man of the hour.

Not justifying, just testifying…

I loved the Balok part. Genius!

April 3, 2008 7:06 am


I cannot imagine my opinion of TOS performances changing in reruns.

To a certain extent, I still watch through the eyes of the 6-year-old I was when I first watched and became enthralled. And as someone once said, “I’m not a drama critic.”

I find Shatner in the first season to be perfect, second, almost as good, and third, doing his best with the material, and slightly hammy. But Kirk is Kirk is Kirk is Shatner, and in those 79 episodes, he can do no wrong..