William Shatner on Taking on a Talk Show

Captain Kirk gets comfy in the chair of his new show Shatner’s Raw Nerve.

For Shatner’s Raw Nerve, coming to the Biography Channel, the master thespian probes celebrity guests for 30 awkward minutes. (Confirmed victims include Jimmy Kimmel, Jenna Jameson, and Trek pal Leonard Nimoy.) Here’s what the Shat is bringing to the table.

Talent for Making People Cry
“My kids say if there’s any family dinner that doesn’t result in somebody crying, it’s not a good dinner. They cry because it helps relieve them of a guilt or some onerous emotional burden. It’s like a family tradition.”

Lack of Planning
“I don’t prepare my questions beforehand. I bone up on a guest’s background, then use that information as stepping stones to a conversation. When we sit down to start an interview, I don’t even have a first question in mind.”

Disregard for Personal Boundaries
“I’ve arranged the chairs so the arms touch—I’m right on the edge of the guest’s personal space. If you lean forward in the setup we have, you’re too close. And I wanted an intimate setting, so we tape in a real home. At some point I want to be in a kitchen and bring the guest tea. Maybe a biscuit.”