Monday, January 31, 2011

Requiem for tough guy month.* or: William Shanter is the best actor in every possible language.

I had a couple ideas about how to end tough guy month, but I managed to forget them all.

Fortunately, I was reading about William Shatner today and relearned the following awesome facts I had forgotten about him:

1. Shanter is french canadian and the students of McGill university in Montreal voted to name a building after him but the school wouldn't do it.
2. Shatner's spoken word singing produced the greatest version ever of any elton john song:

3. Shatner also used his same singing style to make the poignant song "What Have You Done?". Once you get over the fact that he is still talking in his StiltedShatnerStyle and realize is a true account of his wife's death, the short song becomes possibly some kind of world record for most tragedy and beauty per second. (Ignore the hokey clip art added to the youtube video.)

(Sorry for the downer of a bullet point there, but Shanter illusrated the important point that tough guys also have a sensitive side.)

4. Shanter did the film "Incubus" a foreign language film which was filmed entirely in the universal language Esperanto. From the clips of him speaking Esperanto in this 1999 daily show clip, Esperanto appears to be a language even more suited for Shatner's style of dialogue delivery than english or French-Canadian, making him the world's most talented actor in both English and Esperanto.  Sorry for the ultralow video resolution of this clip. Comedy Central apparently used to film the Daily Show using a Fisher-Price PixelVision2000 camera.

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*Lets say that instead of that title being a reference to "Requiem for A Dream" that it is actually a reference to the film "Requiem for a Heavy Weight", since that film was written by total badass Rod Serling, and "Reqium for a Dream" has Jared Leto in it. Jared Leto isn't allowed anywhere near tough guy month. Anyone who sucker punches Elijah Wood in the face and then runs away** is only allowed on this blog in the virus type context usually reserved for Katherine Heigl.

**Seriously, Leto did this once to "punish" elijah wood because he had heard second hand that Wood was not a fan of Leto's awful band 30 Seconds to Mars. Wood had never met Leto before the incident. If Leto punches everyone he happens upon whom he suspects doesn't like 30 Seconds to Mars, he must not have time to do anything else ever.


  1. Some corrections to your footnotes:

    Leto only *grabbed* Wood and had a few choice words for him. There were no punches thrown whatsoever. And the two had met years earlier as they worked on a film, Black and White.

  2. Bill Shatner was not the first Hollywood star to use Esperanto in their films. Charlie Chaplin used it in "The Great Dictator" on all the shop signs, and Laurel & Hardy used it their film "The Road to Morocco".

    Parts of Charlie Chaplin's Esperanto contribution can be seen on

    Perhaps I should add that Esperanto is still thriving and going forward. The Esperanto study course is now receiving 120,000 hits per month, for example.

  3. @ Logopogo, thanks for the correction, I wrote that from memory based on an interview with Elijah wood I read around the time "Everything Is Illuminated" came out.

    Regardless of which type of assault Leto committed, I still think he is a dick for roughing up someone because he had heard through the grape vine they were not a fan of his music.

    Thanks logopogo for reading and keeping my facts straight, I strive to make this blog as factual as it is silly.

  4. @Brian. Sorry if I seemed to imply Esperanto was a thing of the past. I don't know much about it beyond reading a few articles about its founder, but it seems let an admirable concept, one which I hope gains traction with the web, I was excited to see while researching this article that wikipedia has Esperanto as a language to read the site and post entries with.

    That's really cool that Esperanto was used in "The Great Dictator," Chaplin is one of the most talented filmmakers of any era, and his silent films especially show that great comedy can transcend all language and cultural barriers.