Celebrate ‘International Talk Like William Shatner Day’

Originally posted March 21, 2009:

In honor of William Shatner’s birthday, voice actor and impressionist extraordinaire Maurice LaMarche (Futurama, Pinky and The Brain) has declared March 22nd, 2009 the first-ever “International Talk Like William Shatner Day.” To celebrate this event, Maurice has recorded a video tutorial explaining how to do a proper Shatner impression. Originally posted as an exclusive to Maurice’s officially-endorsed Facebook group The Genius of Moe: Fans of Maurice LaMarche, Moe has now made the video available via YouTube:

Update: 3.22.2010: Maurice has posted a video for the second annual “International Talk Like William Shatner Day,” performing with “premiere” Shatner impressionist Kevin Pollak:

[Caution: Adult language.]

You’re also invited to join the original “International Talk Like William Shatner Day” group on Facebook, for which Moe serves as a group admin.

And of course there would be no “International Talk Like William Shatner Day” without the man (or “The Shat”) himself.

And so, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to actor William Shatner, born March 22nd, 1933, and famous the world over as Star Trek Captain James Tiberius Kirk… and also known for his trademark style of dramatic pause-acting.

In addition to his long career in film and television, Shatner has also been performing voice-overs since Star Trek: The Animated Series aired in 1973 (which also gave us Shatner’s infamous “sabotage” outtakes). He has gone on to lend his distinctive voice to many other animated projects: Futurama, Eek! The Cat, Osmosis Jones, Over The Hedge, Atomic Betty, and video games from the Star Trek franchise.

Shatner’s 1968 recording The Transformed Man is my favorite spoken-word/Shakespearean/pop music/disco album. Years ago, when I finally tracked down a copy at the now-defunct Warehouse Music, the cashier tried to prevent me from purchasing the album — informed me that it was “absolutely not for sale.” When I asked why, he said, “Because it’s the last copy we have. And if we sell it, we won’t have anything else to play to chase customers out of the store at closing time.”

And of course, here’s the obligatory link to Shatner’s official site: WilliamShatner.com.

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