Q&A: William Shatner

William Shatner is all over the place. The first season of "Star Trek" is out on DVD this week. He's starring in a new David E. Kelley drama called "Boston Legal." And another album comes out in October. He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.

Does it bother you that your version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" is a camp classic?

Well, only if they had played it at the times you went to camp, singing it round the bonfire. I'll tell you the truth, the album "The Transformed Man" is much more extensive than just "Tambourine Man" and "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." So yes, in the beginning it bothered me that people singled them out and poked fun at them. They didn't know what I was doing. But since these people only heard "Tambourine Man," I went along with the joke.

Do you ever get tired of answering "Star Trek" questions?

No. If you want to ask me any, go ahead, as long as you get the name of my new album right.

I have to confess, I've never seen one episode.

Neither have I, so we have a common bond.

Who got the bigger trailer for those Priceline commercials, you or Leonard Nimoy?

Nimoy was put in an outhouse. A one-holer.

Do you two hate each other?

He despises me for my talent, and I hate him for his money.

Anything else?

Don't forget Oct. 5, the record. Well, you know what the record is called. What's it called?

Um, hold on. I had it written down and now I can't remember. "The Second Coming"?

"The Second Coming"? I don't think so. It's called "Has Been."

Does it bother you that it's called that?

I named it that, so why would it bother me? It bothers me you didn't know the name of it. But now you won't forget it, will you?

I certainly won't. I promise.

Is Sharapova Sharp?

Just when you thought you could medal in the Olympic Couch Potato marathon, along comes the U.S. Open to ensure your cheek imprints will be permanently embedded in the sofa. Along with tennis luminaries Venus and Serena and defending champion Andy Roddick, everyone will be watching 17-year-old Maria Sharapova. Why? Because she unexpectedly won Wimbledon this year, she's one of five Russian women ranked in the top 10 and, let's face it, she's a looker. It remains to be seen how many rounds she'll last in the glare and heat of New York, however. Her record since Wimbledon has been decidedly spotty: in a key tuneup match in Connecticut last week, she lost in the second round to No. 81 Mashona Washington. Sharapova concedes that her life has become more complicated in recent months since her big victory, and not just because she has developed a serious couture obsession--especially with Marc Jacobs. "Life really changes. Unfortunately, you become a celebrity if you become popular," she says. "I get more fans--some crazy--and paparazzi. I figure I let them take my picture and get on with my life." Good luck with that play, Maria.

See Jane Talk The Talk

Former "Today" show anchor Jane Pauley launches her very own talk show this week. last week her memoir hit shelves. So what's up with other "today" alumni? The latest:


Queen of the celebrity "get" interview, she retires this year after 25 years on "20/20."


He's giving up the anchor chair in December, but is writing a third book--and going fishing.


Remember his comeback on CBS? Catch him now, if you can, on HBO's "Real Sports."


She warmed the chair between Jane and Katie. Now she's on "Inside Edition" and MSNBC.

No Beenie Man No Cry

Is there a double standard at MTV? Last week the network dropped Jamaican singer Beenie Man from a pre-Video Music Awards concert after gay-rights groups vowed to protest. Sample offensive lyric, from his 2000 track "Damn": "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica/Come to execute all the gays." Yet MTV let Eminem perform at the 2000 VMAs despite protests over his anti-gay verses. MTV says it couldn't guarantee a slur-free set after cordial talks with Beenie's reps at Virgin Records, which declined to comment. Progress? Hypocrisy? Either way, we suggest Beenie Man drop the gay bashing--and give Elton John a call.