William Shatner Treks to Comedy
William Shatner Rambles About Doing $#*! My Dad Says
William Shatner stars in the new series on CBS, $#*! My Dad Says, but admits, “I didn’t want to do this comedy. It’s a whole new thing, playing in a sitcom, but I didn’t know what else to do.”
The Star Trek icon says he didn’t want to retire, and he loves a challenge. That’s what the new show has given the 79-year-old performer.
In all, Shatner’s had more than 50 years in show business, with most of his credits mainly for television. So he said “Why not?” to a new chapter in his life.
“It’s a whole new learning process– in front of the cameras,” the veteran actor explains about doing the sitcom in front of a live audience. “The ‘music’ is when everybody (the audience) starts to laugh. It’s stunning. Enthralling. Exciting. Totally chaotic. I had never before experienced anything like that as an actor. I was part minstrel, part actor.”
Shatner says he likes playing a funny dad in the show. “There’s a genuine warmth and relationship between father and son here, and to sustain a character like that over weeks to make it palatable so people will watch and learn to love the character even through his idiosyncrasies. You’ve got to be careful that you’re not overbearing, overwhelming people.”
He points out that he started as an actor doing live television. “I was there when the cameras were as big as a table. Now we are talking about ‘green screen’ and putting us in locations we’ll never visit. They put us in Paris, and we never left the warmth of the Warner’s Studio. It’s a miracle. The miracle of inventiveness.”
The show is about a somewhat bitter old man and his son (Jonathan Sadowski), based on a Twitter feed with a profane name, $#*! My Dad Says.
Going on about $#*! My Dad Says, the actor says, “This show was born in a Twitter. It is a virtual show. It is an electronic miracle. It is the first show that stems from the culture of now, not yesterday. This is the first show built out of the electronic age.”
He adds, “But truthfully, I have a problem with electronics. I hired a young man out of college and he Twittered for me for awhile. But now I use Twitter.”
Getting back why he signed on for the show, he reveals, “I didn’t want to do another series, but I wanted to be connected to these talented people [costars Jonathan Sadowski, Nicole Sullivan and Will Sasso]. I’m trying to get another dynamic as an actor, and make a character that comes from a different place.”
“My own dad was taciturn, so maybe I’m channeling my father. He was good with actions. As for me– I brought up three girls, and they’ve all got kids, so now I’ve got grandchildren.”
A man who is known for his wry humor, which is often laced with humorous sarcasm, Shatner says he’s been a success in the entertainment business because “I’m lovable and charming.”