Monday, January 27, 2014

Report from Comic Con: William Shatner Says He Can't Guest on Big Bang Theory

Our family attended Wizard World's Portland Comic-Con this past weekend. On Sunday, we attended the William Shatner panel. I was very surprised that Mr. Shatner was doing a free panel. Tickets for an earlier meet-and-greet session had been sold for $500 (and had originally been announced as including both Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, but Nimoy cancelled).

Mr. Shatner was friendlier than I expected. He started out with a story about when he had been to Portland in the past, which was to see a doctor about his crippling tinnitus, and his subsequent work with the Tinnitus Association as their spokesman and fundraiser.

He then opened the floor up to questions. He was clearly having trouble hearing some of the questions. We weren't sure if it was because of his age, or because one of the microphones wasn't sending the sound correctly to the stage. He sometimes had a lot of trouble thinking of the right word. But really, he's not doing too bad for an 82-year-old man. And when he described his schedule for the past week, I got tired just hearing about all the places he'd been traveling to. We were fortunate that he was able to get here from the frozen East Coast.

One of the audience members asked a question about a possible appearance on Big Bang Theory. Mr. Shatner reminded the audience that this question had been asked of him at a September Comic-Con, and that he had promised that he would call and check into it. He then told us that he did call Chuck Lorre, and Chuck was thrilled with the idea.

But then the bottom dropped out of our hopes. Shatner said, that in the end he couldn't do it, because they "couldn't meet his price." Many audience members were shocked at this, and Shatner attempted a clarification, saying, "Look, you've gotta have a price, and your price is your price. If you come down for something, then that's your price." He also mentioned that he'd been in talks with J.J. Abrams about a cameo on the third new Star Trek movie, but that they also had been unable to meet his price, and that he'd had a hard time imagining what his part in the story would be.

At that point, Shatner lost some of his rapport with the audience. Once again he has shown that he is a bit of a diva, even at age 82. Or, that the new Star Trek franchise and The Big Bang Theory are incredibly cheap in what they want to pay. I can't figure out which. How is it that he could do a series, just a couple of years ago? How is it that Psych could afford to have him guest star in an episode, if he is so expensive that a blockbuster movie and the most popular tv show on television today, can't afford him?

I'm not sure which is the bigger issue, but I'm surprised that I can't find information about his inability to do BBT or the new Star Trek movie somewhere on the internet. Since I can't, I decided to report it here.

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