Captain Kirk is 20 years older than my father, but 20x as tech savvy.

William Shatner Joins Reddit, Answers Fan Questions


A while back, we reported on that brief, shining moment in pop culture history when Megan Fox joined Twitter, dropped a bunch of Star Wars references, and then disappeared from the social media network.

Well, last night saw something arguably more momentous, and definitely more interesting: William Shatner joined Reddit and promptly held an ad hoc AMA in the /r/startrek area of the site.

First, he introduced himself:

So I’ve been reading the AMAs. First off whomever told me on Twitter that they were easier to follow LIED! ;-) They ramble and ramble off on a plethora of bizarre trails.

It seems like it always comes down to this question: “Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?”

My answer: I’m a lover, not a fighter.

So that means I’ve done my AMA and I’ve done it without any questions so that has to be a world record, right? ;-)

I see the value of an AMA for someone who is never coming back here again but really, is an AMA for someone who is going to stick around necessary? I would much rather just do it more of a grass roots style. Answering things as I go along.

Then he proceeded to engage the fans in conversation and, along the way, answered a number of questions, some quite funny and some more work-related. He also managed to completely misunderstand what it means to sleep with a fan.

And, lest anyone be concerned that this isn’t the real T.J. Hooker, the actor took to his (verified) Twitter account to say that he’d been spending some time on Reddit was was beginning to get the hang of it.

Some highlights from Shatner’s first night on Reddit:

How did you cure your tinnitus and is it a method people who aren’t rich can use? And speak up please as I can’t hear well over the ringing.

I haven’t cured it. I live with it and have been able to deal with it by habituation. When you learn how to habituate the environment it all but goes away.

[It's at this point that a Redditor suggested, "Sleeping with a fan helps, too, I find." Shatner responded, "And blocking someone who suggests that helps me," prompting a series of responses, the best of which was the original commenter clarifying that "Whoops! I meant an actual fan! I've had tinnitus for years and years and sleeping drove me nuts. A fan, with spinning blades that is, helps." Other fans made jokes about "sexually oblivious Trekkies" and said, "It's not every day you accidentally hit on" Shatner.]

When you guest star on shows like Psych, is there any “Holy crap, we’re on set with William Shatner!” mood/air from the other actors or crew? You’re pretty iconic, and though I’m sure they’re professionals, I can’t help but wonder if a bit of fandom sneaks through.

It happens but most younger actors need to personify that stoic attitude. Then I get an email or message that’s a total fanboy gush.

How often are you back in Montreal? I believe my dad’s lawyer is your brother.

Well, lawyers lie. I don’t have a brother.

Out of curiosity, what’s the weirdest thing someone asked you? Besides the 100 ducks question.

There’s so many bizarre questions. Time travelers who need a part for their damaged time machines and for some reason NEED to contact me…Some have sent me the cure for cancer (I checked with experts – it wasn’t.)… the list goes on and on.

Now doesn’t that make you feel better about the questions you ask?

Well who else are [the time-travelers] going to contact when Leonard Nimoy isn’t available?

They should continue to try to contact Leonard. He needs their brand of love too! ;-)

What is you favorite Star Trek book?

Any one that I’ve written.

'Star Trek' Actor William Shatner Calls Astronaut in Space


Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise called up an astronaut in space today for a cosmic conversation that began on Twitter and warped all the way into space.

Actor William Shatner, who famously portrayed Kirk in the original science fiction TV show "Star Trek," called the International Space Station today (Feb. 7) to ask real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield what life is like on a spaceship.

"I'm so moved to be able to speak to you for this brief moment," Shatner told the astronaut via phone.

You can see a video of Shatner's call to the space station here.

Hadfield, representing the Canadian Space Agency, is serving a five-month tour on the football field-sized space station orbiting Earth. Last month, he and Shatner struck up a virtual conversation on Twitter when the actor wrote, "@Cmdr_Hadfield Are you tweeting from space?"

Eventually, their conversation pulled in other "Star Trek" notables like George Takei (who played Hikaru Sulu), Will Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock).  

Today, Shatner and Hadfield connected in real time for a chat about life in space, and life on the stage.

"You've been a test pilot, the utmost example of courage," Shatner said. "How do you deal with the fear, which is also applicable to space?"

"I read somewhere that you always knew your lines whenever you had a job in the acting profession," Hadfield replied. "I have tried to always know my lines. What I'm scared most of is not knowing what to do next … After years of training, you practice everything down to the details so you have the confidence that comes with that."

"The fear comes from something unexpected happening, like forgetting your worlds or an audience reaction that was unexpected," Shatner said. "In my case, your face flushes, in your case, you burn up. It's a little different."

"Well, in both cases you go down in flames," the astronaut shot back.

Shatner also got philosophical, asking whether flying in space helped Hadfield contemplate the enormity of the universe. "Are you able to see the unifying parts of it so that you become at one with the universe?" he asked.

Hadfield said that in between the everyday engineering problems that occupy his mind, he does think about how humanity is poised on the cusp of exploration, looking toward a future of living out in the solar system. 

"I feel hugely connected to that," he said. "It's what inspired me as a kid. Now I'm doing my absolute best to help people see that, to help us understand where we are philosophically and historically in our increased understanding of where we are in the universe."

The fictional and real-life space travelers had a lot to talk about, but limited time, so the two made plans to continue their conversation at Hadfield's cottage in Ontario, after the astronaut returns home in May.

"It's a pleasure Chris, I look forward to meeting you in person and siting down with a whiskey and a cigar," Shatner said.

Source: 1, 2,
  • Current Mood: amused amused
  • Current Music: Snow Ring-Ami Suzuki