Back in 2011, I was won a gig to be William Shatner’s on-stage straight man in a production called How Time Flies. The show tour ran for six shows across the country before Shat took it to Broadway and an extended North American tour. I was replaced by an empty chair and could only watch from the audience.
Still, it was a fantastic experience. I learned more about performance and presentation from Shatner in those few weeks than I had in the previous five years. He was quick to criticize (ALWAYS respectfully and constructively) and just as quick to praise. We still keep in touch, too.
But back to the tour. As everyone knows, Bill likes to, uh, sing. In fact, his performances have gone down in pop culture history as being among the most…interesting.
He wanted to close each show on this tour with a song. But what song?
“Well, if you’re doing a Canadian tour in November, there’s really only one choice,” I said. “It’s gotta be ‘The Hockey Song’ by Stompin’ Tom.” He agreed to give it a shot.
During rehearsals for the first show, Bill gamely went through the song but couldn’t get the rhythm right. I couldn’t take it.
“No, no, no, Bill. Like this.” And I proceeded to teach him what he needed to do.
After about sixty seconds of this, it dawned on me: I was trying to teach William Shatner how to sing.
The Shat has a plenty of records to his name and occasionally stages gigs where he performs live.
What could possibly be left to do? Well, there hasn’t been a Christmas album yet.
This is a bit odd given (a) Bill’s vocal style; and (b) he’s Jewish. But then again, he’s big on the holidays–there’s always a massive family gathering–so why not celebrate the season? Plenty of non-Christians do that.
And so comes this tease of a William Shatner Christmas album.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) August 26, 2018
And if that’s not strange enough, look at the guest appearances in this tracklisting. Henry Rollins? Iggy Pop?
1. Jingle Bells Feat. Henry Rollins
2. Blue Christmas Feat. Brad Paisley
3. Little Drummer Boy Feat. Joe Louis Walker
4. Winter Wonderland Feat. Todd Rundgren & Artimus Pyle
5. Twas the Night Before Christmas Feat. Mel Collins
6. Run Rudolph Run Feat. Elliot Easton
7. O Come, O Come Emmanuel Feat. Rick Wakeman
8. Silver Bells Feat. Ian Anderson
9. One for You, One for Me
10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Feat. Billy Gibbons
11. Silent Night Feat. Iggy Pop
12. White Christmas Feat. Judy Collins
13. Feliz Navidad Feat. Dani Bender