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.


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