|Shatner shilling for Miss USA|
His resurgence in popularity since the late 90s (as embodied by the Priceline Negotiator character) is rooted in a fearless willingness to poke ironic fun at his own public image.
Nevertheless, it’s the sincere early commercials that deliver the most entertainment for me. For your viewing pleasure I herewith present this collection of Willam Shatner’s greatest appearances as a company pitchman...
[Click to watch. Some videos may open in a separate window on YouTube.]
See also: Another Loblaws Shatner commercial.
Promise Margarine (1974):
See also: Another Promise Margarine Shatner commercial (1975).
See also: Another Commodore VIC-20 Shatner commercial
Inevitably, corporations attempted to capitalize upon Shatner’s most famous role as Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek...
Western Airlines (1985):
See also: this footage.
- MCI Commercial with Leonard Nimoy, TOS Cast and Jonathan Frakes
- Oldsmobile commercial -- William Shatner with his daughter
Shatner’s campy, knowing portrayal as the Priceline Negotiator from around 1997 onwards signalled a new era in his career as a commercial spokesperson. Audiences loved that he seemed in on the joke, able to maintain a straight face while delivering the most absurd lines of dialogue...
Priceline Negotiator Death:
The Priceline Negotiator Lives!:
- Priceline Shocker: The Negotiator's Secret Daughter Revealed!
- Priceline - Shatner Fired (Shatner and Nimoy)
- Priceline - Two Spokesmen (Shatner and Nimoy)
- Priceline - Shatner and Nimoy 3
- Priceline - William Shatner Busts A Move
Miss USA Pageant (2001) (a result of his role as Stan Fields in Miss Congeniality?):
All Bran Challenge:
See also: All Bran Challenge Day 1 Shatner commercial
World of Warcraft:
Dial Direct Insurance (Piggy):
See Also: Dial Direct Tennis with William Shatner
Shatner also pitched for various legal firms, perhaps a derivative benefit from his role as Denny Crane on The Practice and Boston Legal:
Miscellaneous AdvertsRescue 911 (1989):
State Farm: Eat, Fry, Love (Shatner & Turkey Frying):
(In my opinion this overlong piece sadly fails to capture the Shatner magic. It’s bad, but not quite bad enough to be funny...)
Desperate Crossing: “I’m Jewish; You’re Probably Not”
- 1985 CARES California National Horse Show
- Shatner’s World
- Shatner speaks about Tinnitus [a downer to watch, but for a good cause]
- National Friend Unfollow Day Announcement (joke ad)
- William Shatner’s Get a Life official trailer
- NASA Spinoff PSA
- William Shatner Asks YOU to Save Kipper & Protect the Bering Sea (Greenpeace)
This excellent NY Times profile of Shatner provides some illuminating context to his career and to these advertisements. I recommend reading it!
Hat tipA few weeks ago, +Joey DeVilla wrote a post about the highly amusing Star Trek video game promo with William Shatner vs. the Gorn. It was his article that prompted me to assemble this compilation.
Incidentally, Mr. deVilla is well worth following online. I’m not even sure how to describe him—Local tech personality? Bon-vivant? Pop culture critic? Gentleman adventurer? Blogger? the Accordion Guy? At any rate he is determined to live and document an interesting life.
Bonus LinksShatner dancing on $25,000 Pyramid:
Common / People - a William Shatner, Kirk & Spock slashup:
- A rather manic (possibly sped up?) track from the 1977 William Shatner recording, Captain Of The Starship (William Shatner Live!)
- Shatner performs It was a very good year.
- Bohemian Rhapsody. No, really.
Did I miss any great commercials of Mr. Shatner’s? Post ’em up & discuss your favourites in the comments!