William Shatner Beat Night is a spoken word performance event where every piece must be performed while doing a William Shatner impression. Many of the pieces are original works, while others are existing words on a page and given to a Shatner interpretation.
The event is scheduled on or close to William Shatner’s birthday (March 22), which is also International Talk Like Shatner Day. This year it happens to be on March 19th.
It is also fun as hell. Don't take our word for it though. Check it out for yourself or ask one of your cooler friends about it.
Star Trek never really caught on with audiences, ran for three seasons, and was canceled. I wish I had taken notes at the time, because you people sure do have a lot of questions about it.
- William Shatner -
Want to sign up to perform? Have questions? Here is your chance.
If you make a fool of yourself, you can do it with dignity, without taking your pants down. And if you do take your pants down, you can still do it with dignity.
- William Shatner -
William Shatner Beat Night is a spoken word performance event where every piece must be performed while doing a William Shatner impression.
The event is scheduled on or close to William Shatner’s birthday (March 22), which is also International Talk Like Shatner Day.
Back in 2009, I was talking with some friends in a bar one night about albums which are challenging listens. Shatner’s Transformed Man came up and I (loudly) recited Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” as Shatner which caught everyone’s attention. One of my friends suggested I perform as Shatner at a local Beat Night as a stunt. I jokingly said, “No, this should be it’s own thing…Hey! Let’s do a Shatner Beat Night on his birthday!” The next day, with the beers out of my system, it still seemed like a good idea so I got started on planning. When I realized how many people were enthusiastic about it, I decided to make it a fundraiser for the Seacoast Family Food Pantry. The success of the event is thanks to everyone in the Portsmouth community who volunteers their time, skills, and talent.
Each performer has five minutes to perform a spoken word piece. There are no limitations on material but the people must do a Shatner impression while performing accompanied by percussion and bass. If time expires the audience will shout “KHAAAAAAANNNN!” to end the performance. Performers receive scores from a panel judging on accuracy, originality, and “the sexy”. At the end, the performer with the highest score carries the title of William Shatner Beat Night Champion and becomes a judge the following year.
Sure, if there is an open performance slot. Many performers return year after year but, I like to have some fresh faces on stage as well. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a spot.
Anything you want. People have tackled Shakespeare, children’s literature, song lyrics, centuries old chemistry books, π, and some have written original pieces just for the night. My advise is keep it simple and don’t over think it.
My intended audience is adults. That’s why the event is always held at night in a bar. In theory, I object to placing age limitations on performances and believe parents should use discretion with their children. There are plenty of NSFW moments, which may also not be safe for your kids. The venue may have policies or legal restrictions on who is allowed into their establishment. My advice is call the venue first to see if they are an 18+, 21+, or all ages establishment, look at some of the clips from past events on YouTube, then make a determination of what is appropriate for your family.
The game show format gives the event a different feel from a regular beat night and has inspired some memorable moments. To settle a dispute over who deserved more sexy points in 2012 Jason Santo and Tammy Truax had a sexy dance-off, which resolved nothing. The judges can bring out the competitive side in some people but it is really all in good fun.
William Shatner Beat Night was created on a whim and generates a lot of excitement and I keep organizing the event because of the enthusiasm and support I get from the community. If you want to celebrate the legacy of an actor, artist, or piece of popular culture, GO FOR IT! Find a creative and unique way to do it.
Maybe. When Shatner joined Google +, Joshua Cyr posted to Shatner's group a mention of the event. Shatner responded right away with "I've been to Portsmouth but not on my birthday. Apparently I've been missing all the fun". Note: The event is not sponsored or sanctioned by William Shatner, nor does it reflect his opinions. It does, however, reflect how awesome he is.
I also derive a great deal of pleasure from horses and dogs... the ocean... and love.
- William Shatner -