Nine Reasons Why William Shatner is a Badass

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Admit it geeks: You'd probably give anything to be like William Shatner. The Canadian actor is world famous for playing as Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek. Outside of his most-famous role, the 81-year-old is equally renowned for his campy acting and even campier music career. And for his penchant for being a badass.

You see, for as much derision as The Shat has gotten over the years for his pause-filled and overly dramatic ham-handed acting style (not to mention his enormously overbearing ego), he fully embraces his faults and is fun to watch, probably because he's a hammy, overbearing, egotist. That includes any of the memorable convention appearances that Shatner makes every year around the country, including his visit to this year's Phoenix Comicon on Saturday.

In honor of Shatner beaming into the Valley, here's our list of nine reasons why we think he's a badass and entertaining to watch.

9. He's Best Friends with Henry Rollins
During the recording of Shatner's 2004 album Has Been, producer Ben Folds brought in renowned punk icon and all-around über-mensch Henry Rollins to collaborate with the actor on the track "I Can't Get Behind That." The two hit it off and became total BFFs after the experience and reportedly hang out regularly. Shatner even appeared on an episode of Hank's now-defunct IFC talk show.

8. He Got Namechecked in Fight Club
David Fincher's anarchistic 1999 flick, based on Chuck Palahniuk countercultural novel, featured a memorable bit of dialogue between Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt) and the unnamed narrator (played by Ed Norton) concerning which celebrity -- living or dead -- they would love to get into a scrap with. Norton's character replied simply, "Shatner, I--d fight William Shatner."

7. He Turned Tweets into Groovy Beat Poetry
Shatner made a memorable appearance on the Tonight Show in 2009 during Conan O'Brien's brief run as host where he recited onetime vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's tweets. What made the vignette even better was the fact such Twitter twaddle was done in the style of a 1950's beat poet while backed by a standup bass and bongo drums.

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He also made a movie in Bisbee called "Groom Lake."  While not quite on the level of an Ed Wood production, it approached it in charming cheesiness. Local lore has it that he was on his way to Douglas to film there (inspired perhaps by Emir Kusturica's bizarre Arizona Dream?), stopped to take a leak at the Bisbee Food Coop on Eire Street in what remains of Lowell, and said, as did Brigham Young when he reached the great Salt Lake, "This is the Place!" Groom Lake never even made the theater circuit, going straight to videotape. My wife and I attended the world premiere at the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, where the movie debuted on a big screen TV. Tickets were $5, and that included a bowl of popcorn. Big Bill, I regret to report, did not attend. All of the bar flies from St. Elmo saloon in Brewery Gulch who had been used as extras in several scenes were greatly disappointed.

For years afterword, a sign stenciled "Area 51" remained nailed to a telephone pole marking a side road on Highway 80 between Douglas and Bisbee. I was tempted to rescue it and bring it home as a souvenir, but procrastinated. Then, one day, it mysteriously disappeared, possibly removed by Men in Black.

Shatner wasn't always over the top in his acting technique. He did good work as a young JAG officer in Stanley Kramer's "Judgment at Nuremberg."

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