90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
William Shatner!

The legendary actor joins us to talk about “Star Trek,” Denny Crane, his new show — and William Shatner.

Actor William Shatner started in Shakespeare in the 1950’s. He went huge in “Star Trek” as the immortal Captain Kirk.

Then he went all over. “Hollywood Squares.” The cop show “TJ Hooker.” Acting and ventures large, small, and obscure. Priceline pitchman. Tales of the weird. Then back again as the weird and wonderful Denny Crane in the TV series “Boston Legal.”

Deep in his 70s, William Shatner became hip. An icon. A one-of-a-kind persona.  Now he’s out in a new sitcom, “Bleep My Dad Says.”

-Tom Ashbrook


William Shatner, legendary actor, director, and entertainment personality whose shows have included “Star Trek” and “Boston Legal.” His new show is “$#*! My Dad Says” on CBS.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • joshua

    I loved him in Boston legal. I felt he has so much more potential. Perhaps, this new spin-off will be a good show, but I feel he is too often type-cast. i want to see him do deeper more meaningful films and shows. i think he has far more talent than he has been credited. he is more than Kirk and Crane. He could do so much more. I hope we see some real depth in Denny Crane, not just sexual innuendo.

  • Lou

    William Shatner is the poster child for bad TV.

  • Kathryn

    William Shatner?! You would Tom Ashbrook, you would…

  • cory

    Mr. Shatner,

    Thank you for countless hours of escapism spanning five decades. When I was a boy, Captain Kirk was THE man. As I grew older, I was able to appreciate your comedic talents. Keep on keeping on… I and many others will be watching.

  • John

    William Shatner is a comedic genius.

  • Charlie Mc

    Dear Mr. Shatner,
    I am not a “devoted” fan, nor do I see you except accidentally; but I laugh heartily and really enjoy your portrayal of every presentation I’ve seen.
    If you ever have the opportunity, I’d really like to see you portray that most wonderful and very human being, “Good” Pope John XXIII in his Vatican II battles with conservative Cardinals and Bishops. He, like you, attracts loving supporters and generates angry opponents. And his common sense of humor was unique.
    Just a thought.

  • Clifford Sobkowicz

    How does Mr. Shatner feel about having
    a building named after him at McGill

  • jim thompson, fort mill,sc


    Would you ask Mr. Shatner aboput his experience working with Spencer Tracey, Montgomery Cliff, Richard Whidmark, Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland in Stanley Kramer’s Judgment At Nuremburg?

  • http://Google Rachel Fried

    I suspect Mr. Shatner will not appreciate this but to me, he will always be Captain Kirk, USS Enterprise!

  • Carolyn

    I still carry with me the image from a National Film Board of Canada short I saw in High School. You were a young soldier blown away while sharing your chocolate with seagulls.
    The most powerful anti-war image in my head.
    I often see you in this role, even though I am an original Trekie.

  • amanuensis


    Among Shatner’s credits is a wonderful portrayal of the prosecutor in PBS’s The Andersonville Trial. What was the filming of this like–I’ve read it was done very quickly, few takes??

    Does he have any interest in pursuing these types of roles again, given his more recent departures from

  • BHA

    Mr. Shatner, you look great. For someone nearing 80 you look REALLY great. MANY years younger than your chronological age.

    Perhaps too personal a question but:
    Have you had cosmetic surgery?
    - If so, can you please give the doctor’s name to people like Joan Rivers who swear by it and look worse after every ‘enhancement’.
    - If not, please give them your ‘beauty’ secrets :)

  • Elden in VA

    Now that you are in front of a live audience, do you have that moment when you look into the crowd and there is a trekkie? One person standing out because she’s green from head to heels?

    And I gotta ask, do you miss TJ Hooker or Tekwars?

    Thank you for a very interesting career!

  • Lon C Ponschock

    Another attempt for On Point to be “with it” for seniors which is most of this audience.

    A look at the reason for Shatner being on here– ‘stuff my dad says’ is based on a blog. Feh.

    A google will give you the 20 best things ‘stuff my dad says’ says. This is Archie Bunker for the Facebook set.

  • Valkyrie607

    “Be one with the horse, Mr. Spock!”

  • Greg

    He released an album a long time ago. I wonder if we could ask Mr. Shatner about his musical ambitions.

  • Annie

    I had such a crush on him when I was 8 and he was Captain Kirk. I gained a whole new respect for him after eading his book “Get a Life”. I love his books, his CD and especially loved him in Boston Legal but my favorite Shatner “bit” is from Saturday Night Live; Sweeney Sister’s Christmas and S.T. Convention – Get a Life – loved that book too by the way.

  • John

    Tom, please ask Mr Shatner the correct pronunciation of “sabotage.”

  • michael

    Jean-Luc Picard is the superior officer

  • gemli

    So glad you’ve lived long and prospered.

  • Annie

    I wonder; listening to Mr. Shatner talk about Twightlight Zone, how his experience with TV then compares to the business of making a television show now.

  • http://www.whatmatters.tv Danny Epperson

    William Shatner gave me my Jeopardy story— Mr. Shatner used my cellphone.. twice in days when cells were few.. 1993 or so.. you see, my phone went off while he was on stage at a convention and he called me out for talking on it while he was on stage… he then took my phone and spoke to my sister who was on the other… end.. then at another convention about a year later, I had the chance to interview him for our local TV station as a news producer here in Norfolk and when he went on stage my phone went off again and this time my mom was on the other end… thanks for the story Mr. Shatner and memory! –Danny Epperson, producer WHRO, Norfolk, VA

  • Jason

    This is such a coincidence that Mr. Shatner is on the radio today. Last night before bed, I watched the first Star Trek movie. While watching, I was thinking about how underrated this movie was. It was done so well, even by today’s standards, and I thought that of all the movies, this first one achieved the best acting performances of all of the cast. Great work!

  • Jemimah

    I, too, have had a crush on William Shatner ever since Star Trek. What has kept that crush alive is the fact that he keeps evolving. Sure, there’s the same voice, the stature, the demeanor–all easily recognizable–but he hasn’t just rested on the Laurels of Star Trek, it seems. He’s actually an interesting person!

    Oh, and Lon C Ponschock…man, if you don’t like it, don’t listen. Simple!

  • Greg

    Question for WS: What was it like to work on “Wild Wild West?” Just a joke.

    Real question: Did you ever go a Tekkie convention and are the people who attend as bizare as they way they are portrayed on shows like Saturday Night Live?

  • http://www.youtube.com/arttoegemann Art Toegemann

    What was it like working in Esperanto?

  • Judy Siler

    How great to listen to W. Shatner. He is an example of american spirit. Always happy to work, always recreating himself, able to laugh with us. Have always wanted to hear him talk about horses. Back in the 80′s I was watching fron the practice ring at Devon and in come William. Ironically many years later I made a friend who was riding against him and I had just vivid memories of the event I remembered watching her. Does he support any foundations that use riding for therapy or for kids in need. He really understands the valure of riding. Judy Siler

  • Wendy von Zirpolo

    Love Boston Legal’s portrayal of human beings as their perfectly imperfect selves. I particularly enjoyed watching the evolving relationship between William Shatner’s and James Spader’s characters. My question to Mr. Shatner is whether playing that role, in that evolving relationship, has altered him in hist understandings of relationship and sexuality.

  • Elden in VA

    Why in the bloody blue blazes did Tom spend so much time talking about HORSES??!?!!?!?

  • Dale Coykendall

    What a bore, Tom, you were your usual gracious self

  • http://karlv.net/ Karl Voelker

    The really great thing about Boston Legal was that it wasn’t just a sitcom: it had real drama, too, not just drama for the sake of making a joke. The jokes made me enjoy the show ten times as much, but the drama made me come back to see every next episode.

  • Michael Warren

    Mr. Shatner,
    What did you think of the nods to your legacy in the most recent “Star Trek” (Chris Pine). Especially the make-out scene with the green chick and the Shatner impression at the end, “Bones….)

  • Chuck Bagg

    I have a really cool screenplay pitch that I would like to send to William Shatner. Can you give me his contact information, of if I were to send it to you, could you forward it to him?

    Thanks, love your show!

  • joshua

    William Shatner–please do some Shakespearean work or other thought-provoking in depth drama in production.

  • Helen Shaw

    I would’ve enjoyed this interview so much more if Mr. Ashbrook had curtailed his interrupting a bit. It seemed to me that Mr. Shatner was getting a bit peeved. I don’t blame him.

  • Lazlo

    Say, anyone know what was that cool song they played before the 1st break? Something about listening to Metallica in the backyard drinking? Love it! Help!

  • http://www.onpointradio.org Eileen Imada


    The song played at the end of the first segment of the show was “Your Dogs” by Ben Folds. It’s the theme song to “Bleep My Dad Says”.

    Ben Folds also collaborated with William Shatner on the 2004 album “Has Been”.

    Thanks for asking and for listening.


  • Lazlo

    Thanks Eileen!

  • BC Armstrong

    I generally admire Tom Ashbrook’s work, buy my God, this was such a condescending interview. What was all that nonsense about Paul Newman? Shatner handled it gracefully, but you could tell he was mystified.

  • g
  • John

    I admire Mr. Shatner’s ability to reinvent and progress. He is also one hell of a good sci-fi author as well.

  • Pingback: pronounce sobkowicz | BUSINESS GUIDE BLOG

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.teal.391 David Teal

    Was in a hotel elevator with him once in Wellington, New Zealand. He was drunk and totally ignored my wife and me. I still enjoy his work, however.

Jul 31, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  (AP)

The US and Europe face off against Russia. Are we looking at Cold War II? Something hotter?

Jul 31, 2014
A comical sign suggest the modern workplace is anything but collegial . (KW Reinsch / Flickr)

When the boss is a bad apple. How some pretty dark traits can push some to the top.

Jul 30, 2014
Janitta Swain, Writer/Exec. Producer/Co-Director Dinesh D'Souza, John Koopman, Caroline Granger and Don Taylor seen at the World Premiere of 'America: Imagine The World Without Her' at Regal Cinemas LA Live on Monday, June 30, 2014, in Los Angeles, CA. (AP)

Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

Social media is changing how the world sees and talks about Israel and Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll look at the impact.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Criticism, Conservatism And Dinesh D’Souza
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

Best-selling conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and On Point host Tom Ashbrook disagree about what makes America great…or do they?

More »
This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

More »
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

More »