Well, since I don't have cable and rely on dvds & streaming video for my TV consumption, I've fallen quite behind with Season 3 of Shatner' Raw Nerve. This year I've missed Carol Burnett, Rick Springfield, Penny Marshall, Florence Henderson, and a few others. But I was damn sure not going to miss Kevin Pollak! Pollak, of course, has built a career out of impersonations of Peter Falk, Christopher Walken, and our boy Bill.
And on his stand-up album, What Are The Chances, Pollak has a rather funny track in which he recounts the lunch meeting he had with Shatner to discuss the "Boxed In" episode of HBO's Perversions of Science. A meeting that eventually degenerates into Pollak "doing Shatner" for Shatner. For The Shat's point of view on that encounter check out the clip below.
So, of course! when I heard that Pollak was doing Bill's Raw Nerve I got pretty gosh darn excited. Would we finally get to witness Pollak "doinng Shatner" for Shatner?
No. Unfortunately, that bit of wishful thinking was just not meant to be. Instead, we actually got a rather dull episode. The first half of the show dealt mostly with how Pollak discovered comedy via Bill Cosby records. How "College was just High School with ash trays" and the "School of Hard Knocks" was where he was supposed to grab his education. The second half of the show detailed the destruction of Pollak's first marriage and the birth of his relationship with his new lady. He's never been happier, blah, blah, blah. I'm sounding a bit harsh...I'm just so frustrated about the elephant in the room! Do Shatner!
The Carl Reiner episode was much more fulfilling with lots of neat little tidbits from both parties. Shatner opens the interview with, "What is comedy?" Reiner's cute response is "...seeing the truth, bending it a little." And then they go on to have a rather interesting philosophical conversation. Reiner admits that Mel Brooks is the funniest man he knows because he's "very, very, very, very, very well read and bright. And neurotic." He talks about how the Dick Van Dyke show spawned from a failed pilot about himself. And Shatner and Reiner discuss the loss of both their wives. Shatner at one point admits, "I talk to my dead wife frequently." This leads to a quick discussion about the afterlife or the lack thereof. And Shatner agrees with Reiner that god is a creation of man. Pretty heavy stuff for a program that lasts just over twenty minutes. I could have easily hung around for a full hour. But that's the thing about Raw Nerve. Shatner gives you just a taste of these personalities.
This weekend is the Scott Bakula episode. Don't want to miss that. Quantum Leap. Lord of Illusions. Necessary Roughness. Some of my childhood classics.