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Long before Palin speech, William Shatner did Elton John’s “Rocket Man”

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William Shatner’s poetic rendering of Sarah Palin’s farewell speech has been eating up the Web today (along with the blue M&Ms story), showing that the online audience has a big appetite for ... Shatner’s poetic renderings.

In 1968, Shatner released ‘The Transformed Man,’ an album of spoken-word poetry that mixed classical works with the lyrics of pop tunes. Neither Shakespeare nor Bob Dylan was safe from the vision of the nation’s most famous space cadet.

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Speaking of which, Shatner die-hards of a certain age may remember the actor’s famous interpretation of Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man,’ a performance he delivered at a science fiction awards show in 1978. The reading is among the oddest performances in a career mottled with them, and became pseudo-iconic enough to be parodied by Chris Elliott on David Letterman’s show years later.

Such is the timeline of Shatner’s spoken-word career and, like the actor himself, it never seems to get old. Below is his ‘Rocket Man’ performance.

-- David Sarno


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