Shatner Talks Rocket Man

One of the interweb’s most popular viral videos is of William Shatner singing Elton John’s classic ‘Rocket Man’ at an awards show from the 70s. Now in a new video, Bill talks about (and shows) this legendary performance

UPDATE: Matt found this ‘alternative version’ 

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See what happens when your narcissistic like the Shat?
You do stupid things in front people and cameras and you think its good, then it haunts you. God thats hilarious.

Shatner’s performance of ROCK-IT-MAAAAAAN™ is mac mercedes of mac in the pants. I don’t care what anyone says.

I bet he scored major poontangwich™ after he did this. Be certain of that.



Kirk doesnt suck, Shatner does.
Yeah his daughter is a hottie.

It NEVER crossed my mind Shatner was trying to do a Sinatra impression in this. The knowledge adds a whole new dimension of amazement.

Shatner has more talent and accomplishment in his left ass cheek than 9 out of 10 people posting on this website, myself included, it’s easy to attack and ridicule success, especially by those who possess no success. James Doohan, George Takei, and Walter Koenig have made a quasi-career of it.

Shatner has achieved a level and degree of cultural relevance unprecedented and if he had done nothing BUT Star Trek could have rested on his laurels for time immemorial- BUT imitation as they say is the greatest form of flattery, ask Christopher Walken, and few personas are mimicked to the degree the Shat is.
What some percieve as narcissism others percieve as tongue in cheek self parody, playing on ones own success.

The Shat’s legacy is MOST secure.

You know what that song needs? More cowbells!

Well.. you brought up Walken.

Personally, I’m glad virtually nothing I did in 1978 was recorded. And I agree, Josh, Shatner is talented. Whether you love him or make jokes, you must watch him. He owns the scenes he’s in. That’s one, not the only but one, of the reasons we’re talking about Trek today and not talking about My Mother the Car. (anyone?)

Don’t step on the Shat!

Of course… he claims not to have known that anyone was taping this, that it was just for 100 people. So… the two other Bills who pop out of him?? That happened live, without 1978 pre-taped effects? William, who are you kidding?
K’. Now I’ll just hush.

The rehearsal Shat is referring to was for Star Trek: Judgment Rites the video game where he pronounces “sabotage” one way and the director tells him it should be pronounced a different way. Shat loses control and let’s loose on the guy.

At least he can admit it was a pretty stupid interpretation. But I love it nevertheless. It’s like that portrait of the Kramer. “It is an ugly, loathsome thing, yet I cannot look away.”

Well, as a fan of Elton John and having this song appear in various planetaroum shows I producd in high school, I have to say that this is an “interesting” performance. It won’t go down as one of my favorites by any stretch of the imagination, but I can at least admit that its nice to have it around to see for whatever value anyone viewing it derives from it.

“I’m a …. ROCK… IT… MAN!”

I’ve got to change my handle from Spock’s brain to “Mr Atoz “. I saw someone post under “Spock’s Brain” and I had to change.
Can’t have the same handle as someone else.

The Shat has had several moments like this. Living in Colorado I once saw him skiing in Aspen in a charity race and he wiped out so bad it took him 10 minutes to get up and take the chair lift back down to the lodge!
That was at least 25 years ago!

I have to say even if Shatner is nearly killing this song its still memorable that he did this. I remember always liking this song. If memory serves me correctly I remember when Family Guy spoofed this…Almost the same way as Shatner does it LOL. This has to be one of his best funniest moments.

I remember this airing during the Science Fiction Movie Awards originally…and it was HILARIOUS!!! This is the first time I have seen it since….and it’s still as funny today as I remember it.


Hey THEETrekMaster (#13) — I was just about to say I too remember seeing this when it originally aired. I honestly can’t remember my feelings about it. That’s probably because I’m still in a state of shock. When the Science Fiction Movie Awards never aired again, I was disappointed. I just knew it was going to become a viewing tradition. Now I have to wonder if Shatner’s performance killed it a-borning.

Long live Shatner!

Scott B. out.

I cranked this up… and several birds, small animals ,even a rabbit, threw themselves against the glass of my window, pelting it repeatedly with their small bodies until most died. The survivors drug themselves away… blood trailing from their ears.

oh……. my.

I cant believe the quality of this is as crappy as any other copy found on the internet

Hi #14…

In my town I think they showed the sci-fi movie awards maybe one or two times more…but I could not forget Shatner doing Rocketman…I thought he was on drugs or something. It was just hilarious!

LMAO!!!! @ #15…yeah, I can see where the vid would have caused such behavior…hahahahha!!!


#12 — It was actually Stewie spoofing Shatner’s version. It was copied from his Science Fiction Movie Awards performance almost exactly. Stool on the stage, a smoke in hand, crappy video effect fades, and all.

For some ungodly reason….I sort of like this. I haven’t or most likely won’t watch the entire video….BUT what I did see was so darn quirky – different
queer and off the wall strange (funny) that this MIGHT become a cult classic of sorts over time. Too bad the resolution and sound isn’t any better. Oh well!

The Family Guy spoof is just genious… :)

Right, now I can post again, this video is wonderful for fans of the evolving Shatner hairline and wig culture. A true classic of the sit up and beg style he wore at the time.

Rock-it-man is a modern masterpiece….TheShat has nothing to be ashamed of….this is legendary

Ya gotta love “The Shat”. It’s amazing that this redention can still generate such errrr…….feelings? Heck, when the wildlife reacts (see # 15), you know it’s gotta be special!!!! lol


I remember seeing Chris Elliot do a spoof of this on the David Letterman show back in the mid-1980s when I was in college. I had no idea at the time that he was spoofing Shatner’s version…I thought that Elliot had originated it :) !

I also remember laughing my AS$ off at Elliot…it was only several years later that I found out that Shatner did this first.

It’s still absolutely hysterical!


# 3: His daughter is a hottie? Hmm…..must be you don’t get out much or that she has a certain look that you prefer. Overall….shes nothing special. You can actually find much better hotties and coochie – cutters at any bar at night and thats not saying much now is it? Better yet….head for your near College campus – you’ll find more then you can do with there. Well…anyhow. C-Yah!


I actually quite liked his performance. Before I just liked how the song sounded, but Shatner’s take makes you consider the meaning of the words.

JohnnyMoo, not only can one appreciate the words, for the first time ever, I can UNDERSTAND all the words.

Apologies, Sir Elton.

Scott B. out.

I was fortunate enough to be at the Science Fiction Awards in 1977 when William Shatner was doing ‘Rocket Man’. At the time I was in high school, a trekkie and I thought it was cool at the time. It still is fun to watch and relive a moment in my life. I can honestly say…..I WAS THERE.

#29 and you still have your hearing… I SAID, AND YOU STILL HAVE YOUR HEARING!

Let me say for the record, Bill:

That was awesome! We love you for it…

Re: #28

Yeah, I always thought it was “Rocketman, burning like a piece of taragon.” Which never made any sense.

I think it’s a legitimate and interesting interpretation of the song. I think people find several reasons to mock it. 1, Dis’ing Shatner is an accepted cultural pastime. 2. Anything that doesn’t have slick 21st century video effects is considered pathetic by the ADHD generation. 3, There are (omg!) cigarrettes involved.

Listen to the words, and consider that Shatner’s interpretation comes closer to personifying the lonlieness, isolation and inner angst of the Rocket Man (technological Man) than even Elton John’s rendition.

The cigarette as prop has something in common with Serge Gainsbourg’s stage presence, although the comparison ends there.

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