William Shatner reiterated the most salient part of the Sarah Palin farewell speech Monday night on the “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and as soon as he was introduced, anyone with even the smallest inkling of what powers the popular media knew that it would become video and go viral. Known for his sharp wit and his overly melodramatic way of delivering his lines when acting, William Shatner was asked by the new host of the “Tonight Show” to perform the 132 words from Sarah Palin’s farewell speech that will no doubt become one of the highlights of Sarah Palin’s political career. As she stepped down from the highest position in Alaskan politics, Sarah Palin could not help but delve into a little patriotism, a little whining about the media, a little allusion toward Ashley Judd and Hollywood, and a little waxing poetic in her farewell speech. It was the waxing poetic that appealed to Conan O’Brien and William Shatner it seems…
Perhaps she should have stuck with “Bye-bye. See ya soon, you betcha!”
Conan O’Brien led into the segment by firing introducing a clip of Sarah Palin delivering the following lines from her farewell speech (the “Tonight Show” only showed a little over 20 seconds of it):
“And getting up here I say it is the best road trip in America soaring through nature’s finest show. Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun. And then the extremes. In the winter time it’s the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty, the cold though, doesn’t it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?
“And then in the summertime such extreme summertime about a hundred and fifty degrees hotter than just some months ago, than just some months from now, with fireweed blooming along the frost heaves and merciless rivers that are rushing and carving and reminding us that here, Mother Nature wins. It is as throughout all Alaska that big wild good life teeming along the road that is north to the future.”
O’Brien then told the audience that it “dawned” on him that it was from a poem. “It was always meant to be a poem,” he said and then introduced William Shatner to deliver the poem as it was “intended to be heard.” And William Shatner did.
Within a giant bass violin and a pair of bongos accompanying in a quasi-beatnik setting, “master thespian” William Shatner took us back to his days as Captain Kirk, the 1960’s, and his classic cover recording of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.” As was the custom of almost every television performer in the early years of television, Shatner recorded an album. The style was theatre meets music and William Shatner’s recordings were just as melodramatic as his acting. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” has become a timeless classic and a unique version of the Beatles classic that is at once hilarious and at the same time gripping in its intense terribleness.
As for William Shatner’s rendition of Sarah Palin’s farewell speech…
It was masterful — and poignant — would pay it far, far too much… of a disservice. And to say… that the delivery was perfect…, the presentation… point on… would be a compliment … that the words themselves… do not deserve… but the performance … most certainly did.
A video parody for the ages…
Video of William Shatner doing Sarah Palin on the “Tonight Show” in his most melodramatic fashion.
YouTube video of William Shatner’s “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”
“Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” NBC Television
“Sarah Palin Farewell Speech,” CNN Televison