Ancient Aliens Bring Captain Kirk Aboard

DATELINE: Von Daniken Beamed UP 13.14

shat Shat Upon Sagan!

It was inevitable. As 2019 starts a new special, Ancient Aliens Season 13, episode 14, brings in the most ancient astronaut of TV fame: there is William Shatner giving advice to Giorgio and the crew.

You have to love it. This is a special edition for sure. Cross-pollination is one of History Channel’s favorite Venerable Bede compliments. There is no one from outer space more ancient than Shatner. Where has he been for a 100 other episodes?

The reason for his appearance is to honor Erich Von Daniken. In 1976 Shatner made a movie called Mysteries of the Gods, which adapted more or less from one of Daniken’s books. Hence, the honor from History Channel. Clips of young Shatner appear, but no mention comes of Leonard Nimoy’s series In Search of…, which History is also remaking with the new Spock, Zachary Quinto.

The two-hour special is meant to be homage to Von Daniken’s amazing career since the 1960s when he burst onto the scene with his outlandish theories. We read Chariots of the Gods in 1968, before most the guests on this special were born.

We recall being surprised and more than a little confused as to why no one else had seen what the author revealed. It was mind-boggling, but then again so was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Now, he has more credibility than Carl Sagan. Indeed, the special has a clip of Sagan looking pathetic, attacking the notion of Ancient Aliens. Today, if the astronomer were still alive, he’d be ripe to serve as Trump’s Acting Ambassador to Mars.

The show manages to catalogue all the movies, TV shows, and other documentaries that had direct influence from Von Daniken: they also admit that Arthur Clarke and Stanley Kubrick slightly preceded him.

Von Daniken reveals his Jesuit education that influenced him, and he also discusses how his background in hotel management ruined him with academics and their Ph.D.-union card prejudice.

As one with a doctorate, we feel as do some NASA people and Dr. Travis Taylor, that lack of degree means nothing when it comes to creative minds.

This latest entry seems a premature obit for Erich Von Daniken, or eulogy in anticipation. It does not detract from his remarkable veracity.

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Weekend in Hub of the Universe

DATELINE:  Where Humor Comes on Its Own

while tom sleeps

This was the weekend to be in Boston. A comic book festival brought William Shatner to town.

For those old enough to remember, he was the original Captain Kirk. For others, he was the star of your grandparents’ favorite TV show.

Robust at 85, Shatner went to Fenway Park to throw out the first ball over the weekend. He looked a little paunchy up on the mound, and without a warm-up, his pitch went flying into the dirt before home-plate.

Most honored guests would run off the mound in darkest, humiliating shame. Not Shatner. A man accustomed to re-takes, he demanded a second pitch. This time he reached the plate with us strike to the approving roar of the crowd.

Around the same time former Red Sox superstar Jonathan Papelbon found himself released from the Washington Nationals. And he proposed that he would be very happy to return to one of his most glorious locales, with the The Red Sox.

Though he pitches about as well as Shatner nowadays, he is not 85; he is the former Cinco Ocho. He could still help when the pennant with Big Papi as they did 10 years ago.

A little south of Fenway Park, the splendid Gronk was holding his own comic fest. He entertained a large crowd of fans doing standup comic stuff on a folding chair.

He demonstrated how to spike a football ball and imitated Tom Brady.

So, for humorists being in Boston unnecessary. In the hub of the universe we have everything from Captain Kirk to spacemen relief pitchers to compleat Gronk.