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William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy become comedy duo at DragonCon

I was a football field away from the action so this was the best shot I could get. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I was a football field away from the action so this was the best shot I could get. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

The most anticipated panel discussion at DragonCon this year had to be the one-two “Star Trek” punch that is William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

More than 40 years after the TV show aired its last original episode, the pair yukked it up before more than 1,500 rapt Trek fans for an hour this morning. Shatner, to form, played the over-the-top egotist; Nimoy, the exasperated straight man.

“Have you seen any good movies lately?” Nimoy asked early on, eliciting laughs and applause from the crowd.

The reference, of course, was to the rebooted version of “Star Trek” that came out earlier this year which included Nimoy — but not Shatner.

“You’re in the movie,” Shatner said dryly. “I’m not.”

Nimoy: “I wasn’t referring to any particular movie.”

Shatner: “I heard it’s a very good thing I’m not in the movie.” (boos)

Nimoy: “Send that to J.J. Abrams!” [the director]

Then Shatner made numerous laments along the lines of “Why wasn’t I in the movie?”

Nimoy asked him how many times he’s won an Emmy. Twice, Shatner noted. Nimoy said he has been nominated four times, never won. “What’s it like to win?” Nimoy said. “I’ve never known.”

“It’s glorious, Leonard,” Shatner said vaingloriously. “A feeling of euphoria! The joy of victory as opposed to the agony of defeat.” Pause. “Why aren’t I in the movie?”

Later, when a dude in the audience asked a question about “Star Trek” blooper reels floating around and used the Southernism “y’all,” Shatner started mocking the poor soul.

Nimoy quickly came to the man’s defense. He told the crowd that he was at Fort McPherson in his army days and directed “Streetcar Named Desire” at Peachtree Playhouse. “Be careful how you treat the people of Atlanta,” he intoned with mock sternness.

He added, “You’re not always a nice guy.”

“I am,” Shatner protested. “I mean well. If only the people of Atlanta would take me to their hearts!”

Eventually, they got around to the blooper question. Neither were thrilled they got out. Nimoy compared it to a screenwriter, whose early musings thrust into a garbage can were publicized for all to see.

And when someone asked a question directed at Nimoy, Shatner got all fake offended. “Don’t think about me at all!” Shatner said.

“Please stop pouting,” Nimoy told his friend.

“Don’t think of it as pouting,” Shatner said. He turned his chair around away from the crowd. “I’m just resting!”

Here’s a three-minute sampler of the give and take:

22 comments Add your comment

Spank Da Monkey

September 4th, 2009
2:29 pm

Awesome, cannot wait to be there tomorrow.

JTesla

September 4th, 2009
3:13 pm

Thank you Rodney, I almost feel like I was there.

Dumfounded

September 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

Oh My God! They have turned into Abbott (Nimoy) and Costello (Shatner).

Ellie

September 4th, 2009
5:06 pm

Hmmm who cares, oh that’s right… NO ONE. Enjoy the freak show losers.

Deanna

September 4th, 2009
5:51 pm

Ellie, crawl in a hole.

Tom

September 4th, 2009
6:12 pm

Lets see, the Atlanta metro scene tomorrow. Nascar Fans, DragonCon, and SEC – ACC Football fans all sharing downtown hotels.

What a strange brew that is…

Virginia

September 4th, 2009
6:56 pm

Thank you Ellie, we did enjoy the show with our friends.

Dragon Con

September 5th, 2009
8:34 am

[...] Con William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy become comedy duo at dragonconCREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com The most anticipated panel discussion at dragoncon this year had to be [...]

Diane

September 5th, 2009
8:41 am

If Ellie doesn’t care why was she watching the clip?????????

TrafficHeadache

September 5th, 2009
12:21 pm

Now that the main event is over, you Trekkies can go back to your parents’ basements and finish that movie-based Star Trek fan story with yourselves inserted as a glorified character.

KennesawDave

September 5th, 2009
8:49 pm

Here’s a thought provoking question for you: If those of us that enjoy sci-fi and Trek are supposedly losers for going to DragonCon aka “the freak show” why exactly would Ellie participate or read about activities or be emotionally affected by who enjoys it. I find this “Quite Illogical.” :)

a texan

September 6th, 2009
8:57 am

nerds are allowed to have fun. at least nobdy will get shot.

Jameson

September 6th, 2009
11:04 am

In Ellies defense, some of us don’t watch the clip or read the article, we just see the headline and want to throw out our opinion. I know that’s what I did, I can care less what the video or article says. But myself I’m not going to bash dragoncon since I always wanted to go to comiccon in San Diego. I won’t go to Dragoncon though since it just looks like a cheap imitation like everything else here in Atlanta.

Anton

September 6th, 2009
12:07 pm

It is good to see that they are still so active and involved in the Star Trek culture. I wish I could have been there. Thanks for the clip I enjoyed it a lot.

Tom

September 6th, 2009
1:52 pm

“I won’t go to Dragoncon though since it just looks like a cheap imitation like everything else here in Atlanta.”

Woohoo – way to show your intelligence… don’t actually check it out yourself, just form an opinion based on hearsay! You sir are the future of this country!

Losira

September 6th, 2009
2:16 pm

Dragon con reflects Atlanta.a city that has something for everyone! The true trek feeling.we geeks as we have been calledhas message of hate @ greedd there is lots of room for that. Atleast geeks don,t where teabags LOL

Adam

September 7th, 2009
8:56 pm

“In Ellies defense, some of us don’t watch the clip or read the article, we just see the headline and want to throw out our opinion.”

Saying “some people are idiots” isn’t the best defense, bud.

Tom

September 8th, 2009
1:05 am

I have attended Dragon*Con for the past two years. During those two years, I have seen many things not just Trek related. There are great costumes, stars from all different genre’s of movies and television, artists, comic book writing and not to mention the show starts about 7:00am Thursday and goes until Monday around 5:00PM and lasts around the clock. What makes Dragon*Con not a “cheap imitation” is the fact that not only do you get to see the stars of these various shows in person, but you actually get to meet and talk to them, get an autograph and see some people be very creative with costumes, music and being completely human to each other without a classification of nerd, “trekkie” or geek. If anyone reading this article has an opinion about this event and has not taken a few minutes to participate and see how genuinely nice everyone is and realize that there is more to life than not showing any weakness ever or being afraid to show your creativity and live life, you are missing out on more than just a party with a bunch of geeks…

Coastal Cavalier

September 8th, 2009
9:37 am

The first Dragoncon I attended I worked at last year as a volunteer. Were weirdos and losers in the crowd? Sure, just like the weirdos and losers in the crowds at the the football game and the race. There were some very creative people there.

Lissa

September 8th, 2009
2:54 pm

Thanks for the mention Rodney! It was a lot of fun!

Losira

September 8th, 2009
4:33 pm

Here ia to you Tom! You could not say it any better.I might also add. You don’t know where and who the trekkies & geeks are. Docters,Lawyers,school teachers,judges,cops firefighters ect.maybe they are trying to convey a message to all of us as well as having fun.and being human! It beats hiding in Argentina!! LOL

tinydoors

September 9th, 2009
4:03 pm

This was my third Dragon Con. I am more interested in the tracks where I can hear professional information from film making to pod casting and astronomy than film stars or costumes. The writing and art discussions are wonderful as were the Comic and Art Shows.