Funny. After watching that amazing Saturday Night Live sketch about a billion times, we figured Big Shat would be the first one off the Star Trek gravy train. Nope. It’s Nimoy. Consider us shocked.
Nimoy and Shat cut a sharp contrast. While Shat was known for scenery chewing, over-the-top acting and overall histrionics, Nimoy turned out more subtle, cerebral performances. It’s almost like no one told him he was on a show dedicated to Shatner smirking and boning down with green-skinned babes throughout the galaxy.
But even if they had, Nimoy, being the consummate professional that he is probably wouldn’t have cared. Compare his resume to Shat’s. Both have the requisite Western credits that basically all actors of their generation had. Nimoy, however, also has the original Mission: Impossible series to his credit, as well as Galvatron in Transformers: The Movie (no, not the one with all the sparkly explosions) and a host of boss video game voice acting credits. He also directed what is arguably the best Star Trek film, The Voyage Home. You know… the one with the whales.
In contrast, Shatner’s resume is just one shit shingle after another. It’s not that films like Incubus, Big Bad Mama and Kingdom of the Spiders aren’t fun or anything. They’re just totally stupid. And hey, there’s a place for that and everything, but it’s not quite worthy of the same type of praise turning in a killer performance even when you know people are just going to remember you as “the guy with the pointy ears” no matter what. Did we mention Shat also wrote and directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier? Does any more really need to be said about this? Yes: T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal. As if that weren’t enough, let us remind you of the one word that brings terror into the hearts of men who spent too much time watching basic cable on weekends: TekWar.
Curiously, Nimoy was the sex symbol, not Shatner. Remember, this was the 1960s, when men who reminded women of their dad or a cop were out — way out. On the other hand, men who remind you of some kind of mod space alien were in — way in. Nimoymania reached its peak when he appeared on the variety show Malibu U singing “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” while surrounded by a number of saucy young ladies in psychedelic dresses. This is pretty much the only thing anyone remembers about the show to this day.
And so, convention goers can now stand in line for hours to get an up-close-and-personal glimpse of Big Shat’s rug. But they can’t stand in line to shake the hand of the dark, brooding Nimoy. We never wished we’d gone to a Star Trek convention until now and hell, we still don’t wish we had, but getting a few minutes alone to shoot the shit with the man who is and is not Spock sounds like a hell of a way to spend the afternoon.