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William Shatner's Greatest Hits: The Man Transformed

Rocks Off would like to wish a very happy 80th birthday to the one and only Mr. William Shatner. He may not be the best actor out there, or the best singer, but he is without a doubt the best William Shatner there ever was or ever will be. The way he has totally erased the line between sincerity and self-parody should be a lesson to every blogger who ever lived. Basically, William Shatner has chunks of guys like Chuck Norris in his stool.

When he's not hawking Priceline or pimping his CBS sitcom $h*! My Dad Says on Twitter, Shatner has of course become famous for his rather... liberal interpretations of popular songs. Rocks Off figures "Rocket Man" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" have been done to death, so we hunted and pecked around YouTube this afternoon for five more of our favorite... well, we can't even say musical moments.

Here then are five of our favorite instances of Shatner doing what he does into a microphone while music plays nearby. Our best, Bill.

5. "It Was a Very Good Year": If you thought "Mr. Tambourine Man" was weird, get a load of Capt. Kirk's take on Sinatra's tale of dames gone by from The Mike Douglas Show in the early '70s. Whoever was in charge of the cinematography here should have won an Emmy.

4. "It Hasn't Happened Yet": Shatner and his main collaborator on 2004 LP Has Been, Ben Folds, team up live for what appears to be a nervous breakdown caught on camera. It's nice to see he's still working with the woman who sang vocals on the original Star Trek theme, although she sure does look young.

3. "Fuck You": Shatner + Cee-Lo Green's irresistible, inescapable 2010 pop/R&B smash + gratuitous cursing = What do you think? Note backup singer in full Star Trek uniform.

2. "Total Eclipse of the Heart": More George Lopez gold, with Shatner taking "turn around" duty while YouTube sensation Lin Yu Chung ("the Susan Boyle of Taiwan") sings his ass off while trying his damndest not to be upstaged. Sorry, dude.

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1. "Common People": Scoff if you want, but Shatner's Has Been version of Pulp's 1995 Euro-anthem - and one of Rocks Off's favorite songs ever - is every bit as devastating as the original. Whereas Jarvis Cocker's Britpop crew explored the heights of despair, Shatner (aided by Joe Jackson in the chorus) delivers the words in a tone acidic enough to eat his microphone. And if you haven't seen the comic-book interpretation of "Common People" by Jaime Hewitt of Gorillaz, do it now.


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