“Star Trek” actor William Shatner’s infamous 1986 “Saturday Night Live” appearance was one that fans will never forget.
But, 35 years later, the son of “Star Trek’s” creator, Gene Roddenberry, is still not laughing.
Shatner, 90, hosted an episode of the late-night comedy show in December 1986 and appears in one sketch as a satirized version of himself at a sci-fi convention. The skit shows space superfans asking Shatner very detailed questions about the series and his character, Capt. James T. Kirk.
“Get a life, will you, people?” the Canadian native says. “For crying out loud, it’s just a TV show. I mean, look at you. Look at the way you’re dressed. You’ve turned an enjoyable little job I did as a lark for a few years into a colossal waste of time.”
Roddenberry’s son, Rod, spoke to the Hollywood Reporter to celebrate the sci-fi franchise’s 55th anniversary and revealed his thoughts about the “SNL” parody.
“I never really appreciated that skit because I think it was demeaning to the fans,” Roddenberry said. “I think it was disrespectful, especially for a character who was an open-minded, intelligent leader.”
“But I don’t condemn it in any way. It’s ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and it’s all fun,” he added.
Rod also admitted that he’s unsure about what his father thought about the sketch — Gene died in 1991 when Rod was only 17. “I was a young, immature kid who did not have those kinds of conversations with him,” he told THR.
Roddenberry also shed some light on his father’s legacy and how the franchise changed his family for the better. He stated that Gene “went through a lot of struggles with ‘Star Trek’” and he liked seeing fans at conventions.
“He didn’t go to many, but he would come out onstage and fold his arms and scan the room with a smirk on his face, nod his head and say, ‘Yup. Just the way I planned it,’” Rod revealed. “He really appreciated the fans. The show was in syndication in the ’70s. And it was like-minded young people in the era of the Vietnam War and social injustice who agreed with his future. So, he always gave them credit for bringing ‘Star Trek’ back.”
The original TV show ran on NBC from 1966 until 1969 and has spawned countless other series, films, games, novels and toys.