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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 08/18/2006

For Bill Shatner, Phasers Set to Roast

By Liz Kelly

William Shatner poses for photographers ahead of his Comedy Central roast. Browse a gallery of the night's attendees. (AP)

William Shatner. His very name bespeaks of the past tense of, umm, something bears do in the woods. It suggests that he was once hot something but is now the past tense of that something. True enough, though he has found a post-Trek life on ABC's moderately successful "Boston Legal."

It's "Star Trek," though, that made him a cultural icon and, tapping into this, Comedy Central wisely chose him as the latest honoree in their too infrequent roasts (The last roast, of Pam Anderson, is worth catching in re-run). "Star Trek," coincidentally, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

There's no shortage of rich material (expect jokes about Shatner's halting speech, his "music" career, his status as a Trekkie god, his girth) or of quality roasters (Carrie Fisher, Betty White, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Artie Lange, Fred Willard, an out of control Andy Dick and host Jason Alexander).

Since the show was previously taped, we have some hints of what to expect: zingers targeting everyone present ("Betty White is so old, that on the first game show she ever did, the grand prize was fire."), a funny exchange between Shatner and an absent Leonard Nimoy and Andy Dick claiming to be the Shatner-Nimoy lovechild (though Dick's onstage antics were tame compared to his offstage hijinks, which reportedly culminated with biting a New York Post reporter.)

Visit our gallery to get a sneak peek at attendees, upload your own video roast to Shatner at Comedy Central and share your thoughts about Shatner below in the comments section.

Finally, any mention of William Shatner is not complete without a link to this video, which I now worship as a diety.

Set your DVR to record "Entourage" -- the roast airs Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.

p.s. If you're looking for comedy of the more organic variety, K-Fed makes his performance debut on the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

By Liz Kelly  | August 18, 2006; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Pop Culture, TV  
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The biggest revelation about William Shatner's acting talents, for me, came a few years ago when I was watching a re-run of STAR TREK with my brother. Shatner was chewing scenery, and as I looked at my brother, he said "You know, for anyone else, I'd call that overacting. But in STAR TREK, I just say 'Oh, that's just the way Captain Kirk is!'"

If that's not great acting, I don't know what is.

Posted by: Max | August 18, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"Shatner was chewing scenery, and ..."

What episode was that??

Posted by: Kirky | August 18, 2006 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The Rocket Man video is what the expression "OMFG" was invented for.

Posted by: EddieC | August 18, 2006 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I have never seen a more talented, charismatic actor than William Shatner. He puts Sir Laurence Olivier to shame. His hairline is incredible, he's grown more hair since his Star Trek days. What a guy!

Posted by: Not William Shatner | August 18, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

William Shatner instinctively new that he was embodying the grandest aspirations of Everyman, and he played it for all it was worth. We owe him and the creators of Star Trek a great debt of gratitude for the act of generosity that gave us an unashamedly overt morality play. It tells what being an American is all about.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2006 10:09 PM | Report abuse

pmorq [link]test4[/link]

Posted by: John S | August 19, 2006 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Bill Shatner is a resilient person and I admire him for that. At one point he slept in the cab of his pick up truck ... and that was AFTER Star Trek's original three years. he has written successful books, he has a passion for horses, his has arisen again as an actor (on Boston legal), he dealt with his wife's death ... I mean, how much can one person do? And through all of it he has been roundly ridiculed for his acting on ST, his hair, and now his bigger size. I an sincere in saying I respect Mr. Shatner greatly and wish him well. And now that I have seen the roast, man ... that was vicious. And yet he goes on. Good for him.

Posted by: Ottis | August 21, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

K-Fed on Kids Choice is not a comedy, it's a tragedy.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

when will you run a rerun of wm shatner roast?

Posted by: | August 21, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

That clip of Rocketman was a riot, but what about the Bilbo Baggins song that Leonard Nimoy performed?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure you meant "deity."

Posted by: mamabunny | August 21, 2006 10:35 PM | Report abuse

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