All Right, Now You’re Overacting…

You want to know why fans of the original Star Trek such as myself love William Shatner so much? It’s because of stuff like this:

This has been making the rounds today and I found myself laughing as hard on the sixth viewing as the first. You don’t see Patrick Stewart doing this sort of thing. I’m just sayin’.

(Actually, from what I know about him, Stewart probably would do a good-natured, self-deprecating advertisement like this. It’s just that his show — Star Trek: The Next Generation, for my non-Trekkie Loyal Readers — never produced a scene as iconic — or, admittedly, as corny to modern eyes — as the legendary Kirk vs. Gorn confrontation from the original-series episode “Arena.” Which, incidentally, is one of my favorites, despite the obvious shortcomings. Great message and, in context, surprisingly tense storytelling.)

But you know what’s really cool about Shatner doing this ad? Besides his willingness to poke fun at his age, I mean? The game he’s shilling for isn’t even based on his version of Trek. The characters and scenery are obviously modeled on the Abrams reboot. And unlike his costar Leonard Nimoy, Shatner didn’t even have a cameo in the reboot flick. (It probably says something about Abrams-Trek that an ad for a tie-in game is trying to cash in on the good will fans have toward the original Star Trek, rather than using actors or scenes from the rebooted series. Or am I just being churlish?)

Finally, speaking of Shatner’s age, does he look great for a man of 82 or what? We should all age so gracefully…