It was Forbidden Planet International that tipped us off to this great day, and we couldn’t let it pass unnoted. (Comics content: Shatner is the author of many fine comics over the years! And no one is to say otherwise.)
Shatner is a gift that keeps giving.
While searching for some still for this tribute, I found the great Shatner’s Toupee blog, a site devoted to a tireless, dogged investigation of that single topic — the kind of thing that made the internet great, by God! — and found these stills from a very early Canadian tele-production of Billy Budd, with Shat as Billy Budd!
For those unfamiliar with Melville’s original, it involved Budd, a cheerful, innocent youth pressed into service on the Royal Navy; when confronted with a false accusation, frustration over a speech impediment leads Budd to do something quite rash and out of character. which destroys his life.
You can see the entire story line in Shatner’s wide stance in just this one still!
Here’s the famous Shatner-is-a-dick advertising outtake.
And here’s the great “Sabaataage.”
Shatner also famously said “Get a life!” defining the pitfalls of the fannish life forever
And for your listening pleasure, TWO versions of the great “Common People” single.
Here’s a Lego take on the same song. Choose your poison.
Let we forget in the long list of his other great achievements, Shatner also helped birth “Slash” fiction — it’s believed Kirk/Spock homoerotic fan-written tales, or K/S, led to the term “slash.”
Oh and you knew this was coming.
Happy birthday, William Shatner! You have enriched our lives and made us smile and laugh…mostly without meaning to, but once you figured out you were doing it anyway, you took it on like a good sport. You are The Shat, and you are great.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.