William Shatner only hosted SNL once (with musical guest Lone Justice), but it was a memorable episode for what long-time writer Robert Smigel called “maybe the most resonant sketch I ever wrote there.”
In the 1986 sketch, referred to as “16th Annual Star Trek Convention” on the invaluable website SNL Archive, Shatner tells die-hard Star Trek fans at a convention to “get a life” and that “it’s just a TV show. I mean, look at you. Look at the way you’re dressed. You’ve turned an enjoyable little job I did as a lark for a few years into a colossal waste of time.” Shatner turned “get a life” into a book and a documentary and the sketch is a classic (Alan Siegel’s article for The Ringer is a great read), but even 35 years later, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry does not find it funny.
“I never really appreciated that skit because I think it was demeaning to the fans,” Rod Roddenberry told the Hollywood Reporter. “I think it was disrespectful, especially for a character who was an open-minded, intelligent leader.”
Although now in vogue with enormous mainstream popularity, comic and sci-fi cons were once an easy target to bash nerds (a term now worn as a badge of honor). So Shatner using SNL to poke fun and perhaps further ostracize the group was disheartening, Roddenberry says, adding, “But I don’t condemn it in any way. It’s Saturday Night Live, and it’s all fun.”
Maybe the Futurama parody is more his speed. #JusticeForWelshy
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)