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William Shatner on Bleep My Dad Says

Published October 4, 2010 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of CBS
Bleep My Dad Says Bleep My Dad Says

You don’t have to follow the twitter or read the book to imagine what $#*! My Dad Says is about. William Shatner plays the father who says outrageous things in the middle of everyday life situations. It’s funny enough to make a show about, but he’s not cranky.

William Shatner on Bleep My Dad Says

“When his book came out, I read it with great curiosity,” Shatner said. “Within the book, as against the tweets, there is a warmth and a genuine relationship between father and son. To sustain a character like that over weeks to make it palatable so people will watch and learn to love the character even through his idiosyncrasies, you've got to be careful that you are not overbearing, overwhelming people. I'm sure that was a writing choice, although we never discussed it as specifically as we are now. It was certainly an acting choice, realizing this isn't just one moment. We are aiming at wanting all of you to listen in every week, to look in every week and see the evolution of this relationship between the sons and the father, and to condemn hardly all the time is unpalatable.”

The last famous Shatner character, Denny Crane, also had a habit of saying crazy non sequiturs. Perhaps this Dad is Denny Crane retired. “Third cousin by his mother's marriage,” Shatner joked. “It's linked by me, of course, and so physically and mentally, I'm the same. But the way the writers are writing for the character, it's much more precise. I found, playing Denny Crane, fumbling for the thoughts was the way to go as he lurched into senility, but here, this guy is very much with it, and there's a snap to the way he speaks, and that's the way the jokes work, best ofall. So if I'm fumbling, it's not the character. It's me.”

This is the first show to be based on a Twitter feed. The marvel of technological achievement is not lost on the Captain of the Enterprise. “Obviously, this has become an electronic age. While preparing to come down here, somebody had an iPad. Another had the Kindle. It's abounding. I mean, you guys write for newspapers and magazines. They are disappearing because they are going to be printed electronically. There's a whole debate on whether the newspaper should exist or whether they just go on iPad. I've got a subscription or a deal with The New York Times. It appears all the time on it. I get The New York Times on my iPad. It is a different era that has come upon us in the last five years, and I, for one, have ignored it until recently and then try to find some young people to explain it to me. You guys, everybody over the age of 25, your jobs are threatened by this electronic age, and you can't fight it. You have to join it. So does that mean you get your job writing for a service that sells itself electronically? I mean, that's a huge area.”

Um, yes, Mr. Shatner. That’s exactly what we’ve done. But anyway. “We, this show, is the first show that was built out of the electronic age. I love to think of it that way. I started in live television. I was there when the cameras were as big as this table, had internal fans that were whirring and tubes because of the heat of the tubes and had to come as close as this for a close-up. I was there. And, now, we are talking about green screen and putting us in locations that we'll never visit. Unfortunately, we can't go to Paris but we put us in Paris in this show and never leave the warmth of Warner Bros. It is beyond irony. It is trying to catch the tiger by the tail. It's a miracle, what has happened to us. The miracle is our inventiveness, and the tragedy of our lives is our inventiveness. It's beyond irony. It's whatever term you guys can come up with.”

Bleep My Dad Says airs on CBS.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of CBS

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