Wednesday morning William Shatner was the guest on the Howard Stern Show promoting “Up Till Now“. The interview went on for almost and hour and ranged on a number of topics from the book, to problems with the Trek cast, to the Abrams movie, to the death of Kirk and much more.
Excerpts and AUDIO below.
Excerpts from the interview
Shatner: I was probably an angry man…may have mistreated Trek co-stars
Stern played an infamous audio clip of Shatner mocking a director while recording a voice-over. Although Stern and his sidekick Robin Quivers thought it was justified and hilarious, Shatner admitted he might have gone too far and it was ‘bad behavior’ on his part. Stern then noted that many of his former Trek co-stars ‘hated’ him and asked if he might have treated his Trek co-stars poorly:
Stern: Did you treat these people like you treated that [director]?
Shatner: Looking back I may have, it was terrible of me. I took that too far and I very well may be guilty of all this.
Stern: Do you think you are an angry man? Have you been to a psychiatrist and been diagnosed…
Shatner: No, no, I have not been to that kind of therapy, but I probably was a very angry man.
Shatner was specifically asked if he deliberately ‘tanked a scene’ where Sulu was promoted in Star Trek II (as contended by George Takei), therefore denying Takei’s character the promotion (until Star Trek VI). Shatner replied “that’s absurd.” On Nichelle Nichols, Shatner denied he slept with her, but noted “she had enough activity on her own.” Regarding Leonard, Nimoy Shatner admitted that he had “a couple of disagreements” early on but that they became friends, noting “Leonard took me under his wing when my life took those turns and he is my dearest friend.”
Shat has a message for Geroge Takei
Much later in the interview the subject of the Takei feud came up again and Stern asked Shatner if Takei passed away, would he even go to Takei’s funeral
Shatner: Here is my feeling about those poor people. There is something pathological (laughs) about forty years later…I am supposed to have done something. Maybe I did. I have no recollection. But hey, isn’t it time to let go>? Let it go. He’s seventy something years old, he’s going to die soon, I’m going to die soon. Hey man it’s a long journey, forget about it. Come on George have a good time. Move on.
Shatner on not being in Abrams Trek: I think they had story problems
Of course the subject of the new Star Trek feature came up.
Stern: You still are peeved they are going to have a new Star Trek movie without you?
Robin: …and Leonard is in it.
Shatner: Leonard is in it and I am not. They are making a Star Trek movie without Captain Kirk, without the old Captain Kirk. There is a young Captain Kirk. So I think they had story problems and didn’t know how to solve it. But I am not peeved, just disappointed. And JJ Abrams is such a great movie maker that I would have love to have done something.
Stern: You would love to work with him
Shatner: I would love to work with him, but I got a lot of things to do.
Stern: ….So when they make a new Star Trek movie and put Leonard into it, is it jealousy? Professional jealousy?
Shatner: No, no. Leonard got most of what he asked for and I think that is really good.
Stern: He is getting a lot of money for it?
Shatner: Oh my god.
Stern: Do you know what he is getting?
Shatner: I have no idea but it is a lot of money.
Shatner on Berman: He wanted to kill me off
Shatner also talked about how his character was killed off in Star Trek Generations
Stern: You do claim in the new book that you are upset how they killed your character off in Star Trek
Shatner: Thinking back, they were going to kill him off anyway. They said ‘you can be in the movie and die or don’t be in the movie and we are still going to kill you.’ So I was kind of hung up, so I said I am going to be in the movie. But looking back I wish they had done it with more tympanies and trumpets.
Stern: Of course they should make something dramatic there…
Shatner: They did, but in a way I think the producer [Rick Berman] was trying to kill the character off because it was a legacy of the old guard and this guy was head of the new guard with Patrick [Stewart] and The Next Generation. So I think he was trying to kill as many antecedents, like a lion killing the cubs
Audio Book editing skits – Shatner amused, Parton not
During the interview, Stern ran a number of ‘clips’ which edited together parts of previous Shatner audio book clips, turning them into extremely rude statements. This is a regular feature of the show, and they have done the same with George Takei (who is a regular on the Stern show now). However one celeb is not amused. Dolly Parton tells Reuters today “”I have never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated in all my life” after getting the Stern treatment. So there you have it…Shatner and Takei can take it, Parton cannot.
Listen to Audio
The entire 53 minute Shatner interview (WARNING: Contains MUCH adult material):