... A Sour Apple Tree

Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.

Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I think it's gonna be a long, long time...

Today ...ASAT is going to take a look at one of my all-time favorite moments of pop culture kitsch of the past 30 years, William Shatner's "interpretation" of the classic Elton John tune "Rocket Man."

In 1978, Shatner wasn't yet in on the joke that he is indeed prone to overacting. Before becoming the cultural personality that we all love today, he kinda had something of a swollen head, releasing several albums worth of truly terrible covers. The zenith of his musical ego trip had to be at the '78 Science Fiction Film Awards, when Cap't Kirk gave this (no pun intended) spaced out performance:

Since that fateful moment, there have been several parodies. One of my favorite comedic character actors, Chris Elliot, paid homage to Officer Hooker on Letterman:

Beck also referenced the performance in his video for "Where It's At" (click for video, embedding has been disabled).

Family Guy parodies the scene, too, as Stewie (correctly) believes that specific moment to be the pinnacle of cool:

While it is hip to rag on the moment for being uber-cheesy, I say thank you, Mr. Shatner. American popular culture is richer thanks to you and your post-Star Trek hubris.

BTW, be sure to check out Elvis Drinkmo's blog for all things Kirk.

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Blogger The Film Geek said...

This may be my favorite all-time ...A Sour Apple Tree post! Thanks, Chris.

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger The Film Geek said...

Dude, I can't get off this page!! ROFL.

I've watched this at least five times today...and can't stop laughing.

Elliott's rendition is better. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger Spike Nesmith said...

Our kids just won't understand that once, a long time ago, you had to get up to change the TV channel, video games had no more than eight colours and that Shatner had no idea that he was funny for all the wrong reasons.

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger Chris James said...

In the first vid, you can tell that Taupin is just there for the free trip to LA and the modest appearance fee.

As for Chris Elliot, I'm not sure why he isn't celebrated as one of the great comedic actors of all time. Judd Apatow needs to cast him in something, stat.

I'm also diggin' the other pop culture refs in the Beck video, including Cool Hand Luke, Candyman, and 70s sex ed films.

I know it is in style now to bash on "Family Guy" these days, and admittedly the plotlines of most episodes are tedious at best and craptastic at worst, but the one-off jokes and cut-away gags are usually great.

TFG: I downloaded this clip a few years back and my wife was oh so very tired of me watching it like 10 times a day for a month.

Spike: I think it is funny how he acts like he was in on the joke all along, but I don't think it was 'til those Priceline.com ads that he was clued-in.

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger jedijawa said...

You know, I once saw Shatner at a sci-fi convention and this topic came up. He went on to claim that he was trying to do a dramatic interpretation of the song and he was totally serious about it. I guess he doesn't get the joke. :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger Elvis Drinkmo said...

I love it! That Shatner clip is as good as the old tape I used to have with him singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" and Leonard Nemoy singing "If I Had a Hammer".

Thanks for link and may our beloved Starfleet Captains bless you always.

Friday, August 10, 2007  
Blogger The Film Geek said...

I agree with you Chris about Elliot's being one of the funniest comedic actors of our time. I thought his first sit-com was funny as hell, and he had some pretty good turns in some decent movies. I think Cabin Boy did him in, though.

Saturday, August 11, 2007  
Blogger JDB said...

That is too funny. I'd never seen the original (only Stewie's homage). It's more craptastic than I could imagine (the way too high in the mix warbly Mininoog part doesn't help, either).

Saturday, August 11, 2007  
Blogger Chris James said...

jj: I can see where Da Shat is coming from, as I like to give interpretive readings of the lyrics of English-language pop songs by Swedish bands, because life is indeed "demanding without understanding."

Elvis: Nimoy's warbling makes Shatner sound like Andrea Bocelli...

TFG: "Get A Life" is totally on my to-buy list of DVD on TV. Personally, I hope that Elliot gets the "Late Night" slot in '09.

JDB: You've hit upon the risk of using cutting-edge special effects without any substance to back it up, cause in 20 years, folks will be able to spot whatever glorified fishing line you used to hold up your spaceship.

Sunday, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Chris James said...

From deven:

"Hey Great Blog. As much as Family guy used to rock in the first few seasons, it is getting down every season with same stale comedy and jokes. IMO Souht Park and SImpsons are also going down the hill."

(rest of comment removed for possible link spam)

Saturday, December 01, 2007  

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