The Rise and Fall of William Shatner


(Toronto Star)

Last night, Eye caught the preview of ABC’s new primetime game show, Show Me the Money, produced by Endemol USA. The details of the game are too long and complicated to relate, but in short: the dancers are hot, the contestants are Bob Barker cast-offs, and the stage is Vegas meets Billy Graham revival. Glazed audience members gaze at the Jumbotron screen for salvation and answers to questions written for an extremely slow child.

Scoring William Shatner as the host of the score was the real coup here. In a quote given to Eye, Endemol USA President David Goldberg raved, “William Shatner was the guy we wanted from day one . . . . He has a naturally warm and witty presence that allows him to embrace the fun, dramatic, and outrageous moments of the show.” Dancing Shatner’s so-uncool-I’m-cool schtick and ability to play along is no doubt the highlight of Show Me the Money, but Eye couldn’t help but wonder what all this did for Shatner himself, starring in a show that will probably last two episodes.

Is Captain Kirk slumming? You tell Eye:

1966: Stars as Captain Kirk on Star Trek. On a 1968 episode, participates in the first televised interracial kiss on U.S. TV with Nichelle Nichols. Controversy ensues, even though the kiss takes place through telekinesis.
1982: You know what year this is. Airplane II: The Sequel.
1982-1986: Plays veteran cop T.J. Hooker on T.J. Hooker. Forced to ride in a cop car with Adrian Zmed.
1998-present:’s little angel.
2004: Records his album Has Been, which includes a duet with Henry Rollins and a cover of Pulp’s “Common People.” Eight million hipsters rejoice.
2004-2005: Racks up two Emmys and a Golden Globe for roles in Boston Legal and The Practice.
January 2006: Sells his kidney stone to A Shatner kidney stone is apparently worth $25,000. Donates the money from sale to Habitat for Humanity.
March 2006: Produces and stars in Discovery Channel’s How William Shatner Changed the World. Without Star Trek, there would be no cell phones.