Stupid Questions for Enterprising TV Legend and Pageant Host

By Dan Snierson
March 02, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

In a delicious case of life imitating art, William Shatner — who costarred as a beauty pageant host in Miss Congeniality — will now assume the role of emcee for the 50th Annual Miss USA competition, airing March 2 on CBS. But that doesn’t mean the former Star Trek captain is taking his latest job lightly. ”I’m running the hills of Los Angeles and doing a lot of aerobic training,” says the 69-year-old Shatner, ”knowing that I’ll be running from pillar to post when I’m up there.” We decided to give him an extra workout with this set of dumb questions.

Dan Snierson

Congrats on the gig. Is this a great way to meet chicks or what?

It’s an ”or what.”

Any early predictions on the winner? Will Miss Florida be the swing state?

I understand that Florida is the swinger state.

If a contestant wants to bribe you for special emcee treatment, what should they do?

Smile in my direction. I’m easy.

What did the T.J. stand for in T.J. Hooker?

God, I haven’t been asked that in 10 years. I’ve forgotten what my answer used to be. Toujours?

Ever flip on Star Trek: Voyager and go, ”Ohhh, please!”

[Laughing] I’ve never watched it. Maybe it was a lack of time — but maybe something deeper than that.

How do you separate the geeks from the stalkers at a Star Trek convention?

You put the geeks on the left and the stalkers on the right and you run for daylight up the middle.

How did Young MC react to the mad rap skillz you perpetrated on ”Bust a Move” in that Priceline ad?

Enthusiastically. He wants to write me a song. Maybe.

Will you do one of your patented white-boy spoken-word raps about me right now?

My name is Dan/I take a stand/On any issue you may hear/It’s writing words/And thinking thoughts/That mostly I fear … [proud silence]

Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club says that he’d love to scrap with you. Between us, could you take him?

Please. Ed Norton? Ed Norton is nothing. He has a good left hand but no power in his right.

How come you’re the only Star Trek actor with a brilliantly refined sense of self-parody?

My pomposity knows no bounds — I just haven’t shown it.

To date, what do you consider your most blatant act of vanity?

It was in front of a television store that had a camera in the window. I could see myself on 15 television sets in the window, and I sang ”Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Did you look good?

No. That was the problem.

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