Tag Archives: Colbert Report

Don’t pull on Superman’s cape, and don’t mess with Bill Shatner

11 Mar

William Shatner is funny, very funny. But there is a tendency to laugh at him, not with him.

This happens to some people. With Shatner, it somehow is related to his role as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek. So many people loved that show, but with time it and the Kirk character became the butt of jokes.

The post-Trek work of Shatner, a one-time Shakespearean actor, has consistently stood out, winning top awards. I especially liked him in the TV show “Boston Legal” in the character of Denny Crane. But he remains haunted by Star Trek and appears quite sensitive about it.

Shatner has a one-person show that was on Broadway and is now on a national tour. It’s called “Shatner’s World,” and he wrote it. He recently went on the Colbert Report to plug it. Colbert opened the show saying Shatner would appear, mentioned the Kirk character and made a lame joke about Star Trek. Shatner came out later and was hostile. Really hostile.

Watching performers, I often wonder what is real and what is show business. The audience loved it when Shatner, in defensive mode, ripped apart Colbert, blunting all the attempted humor of the normally agile comedian. So it was a good bit; good for business. Maybe Colbert and Shatner worked it out ahead of time, but I doubt it.

Shatner so much as said he did not like Colbert, came on the show only for a plug, and wanted to get off as soon as possible. It was great theater. Colbert, unfortunately, came off looking like an amateur.

Shatner’s message was clear: It’s time to stop laughing at him and take him seriously.

I’d like to hear what people think of the Colbert-Shatner interview, if they agree the host was indeed an unwitting victim. Please watch the episode (linked above) and comment.

The 16th Century’s version of the Colbert Report

27 Jan

“A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.”
Niccolo Machiavelli


I’ve made a lot of assumptions in my life, like thinking a rich man can get into heaven. Then I do something as simple as reading the Bible and learn he can’t.

Another assumption of mine was that Niccolo Machiavelli, author of “The Prince,” was a heartless cutthroat who would do anything to get ahead. “The ends justify the means” is how high school teachers summarize the book’s message. I recently read it (way too late) and don’t think that’s in there. To me, Machiavelli is a man whose spirit is wounded and disappointed by humanity’s inability to be human.

He recommends extreme harshness as a way to attain and keep power, but this comes across as a combination of satire and sarcasm. Machiavelli was the Colbert Report of his day, but no one seems to have gotten the joke.

At the end of “The Prince” the writing turns true and the author sadly pleads, begs even, for a savior who can unite and free Italy from foreign rule. Tears practically drip off the page.

I would love to hear from one other person who sees this great man as I. Without some small affirmation I’ll have to assume I am wrong.

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