What Star Trek Fans May Not Know About William Shatner

Many celebrities have been banned from making appearances on live television shows. From Sinead O’Connor and Vince Vaughn to Dax Shephard and Madonna, these celebrities are usually barred because of profane language, problematic speech, or some other kind of bizarre, uncontrollable behavior that producers fear they might repeat. 

The actor behind Captain Kirk isn’t known for his extreme behavior, violent tendencies, potty mouth, or controversial takes, so it might come as a surprise to “Star Trek” fans to learn that William Shatner himself was once banned from “The Tonight Show,” by no less than the legendary Johnny Carson himself. Did he flip a table and threaten the host? Did he moon the audience or insult the Catholic church? Not exactly. It was actually something much more mundane: talking too much.

In his book, “Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large,” Shatner revealed the juicy nugget of late-night talk show gossip, saying that “I was even banned from Carson after a mid-1980s appearance where I talked too much and monopolized our discussion. It seems some of these talk show hosts prefer to be the ones who get all the laughs.” Eventually, he did return to “The Tonight Show” after Carson’s departure from the long-running late-night variety series, with appearances opposite later hosts Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and Jimmy Fallon.



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