William Shatner’s spoken-word performances

The spoken word, I’ve always felt, is music,” William Shatner told The Times, using his infamous dramatic rhythmic pauses he saves for his performances. Regardless of how critics have felt about his music, the Emmy Award winner has been emotionally reciting lyrics since 1968, with the release of his first album, “The Transformed Man.” Here are a few of Shatner’s performances over the years.


He's got something inside him! Shatner gave Harry Chapin's song "Taxi" a spin on Dinah Shore's daytime television talk show "Dinah!" in 1972.

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'It Was a Very Good Year'

Shatner takes us back to his teenage years and beyond in the Sinatra classic "It Was a Very Good Year." Shatner performed the tune to an audience on "The Mike Douglas Show" in the early 1970s.

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'Rocket Man'

In a performance that generated several parodies, "Rocket Man" was Shatner's attempt to wow the crowd during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards.

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'My Way'

Leaning on Sinatra once more, Shatner performed a reworked rendition of "My Way" at the presentation of George Lucas' AFI Life Achievement Award in 2005. The act was complete with a chorus line of dancers in Imperial Stormtrooper costumes who ultimately hoisted Shatner and carried him offstage.

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'O Canada'

After being honored with the Governor General of Canada's performing arts award for lifetime artistic achievement in May 2011, Shatner performed a comedic routine of "O Canada," poking fun of the fact that he can't sing.

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Taking pop for a spin, Shatner delivered a performance of Rihanna's "Umbrella" on the late-night talk show "Conan" in 2011. The act was a gift to contestants from the audience on Valentine's Day. Very romantic.

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'Sarah Palin Poetry'

On "The Tonight Show" with Conan O'Brien, Shatner recited Sarah Palin's resignation speech in 2011 in the form of poetry. Palin returned the favor -- on the same show -- with excerpts from Shatner's autobiography "Up Till Now." Laughs ensued both ways.

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WWE Superstar entrance theme songs

Shatner made wrestling fans grin in 2010 when he dramatically read the entrance theme songs of WWE's most famous wrestlers like John Cena, Rey Mysterio and Triple H.

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'I'm Too Sexy'

On the CBS sitcom "$h*! My Dad Says," Shatner plays a father eager to undertake some karaoke. In the scene, a waitress asks Shatner if he wants to sing "Rocket Man" and he answers "Not tonight!" before choosing Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy."

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Video from YouTube / Produced by Christy Khoshaba