Saturday Night Live‘s most infamous Star Trek skit doesn’t sit well with Roddenberry Entertainment CEO Rod Roddenberry. Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, touched on the subject during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the first four Star Trek movies releasing on 4k blu-ray on Star Trek Day. During this era, around the time of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home‘s release, Shatner hosted Saturday Night Live. In the now-infamous sketch, he berated a bunch of Star Trek fans at a Star Trek convention, telling them, “Get a life, will you, people, For crying out loud, it’s just a TV show. I mean, look at you. Look at the way you’re dressed. You’ve turned an enjoyable little job I did as a lark for a few years into a colossal waste of time.”
Shater later used “Get a Life” as the title for one of his books but has said the sketch did not reflect his real feelings about Star Trek fans. Some still took offense.
“I never really appreciated that skit because I think it was demeaning to the fans,” Roddenberry tells THR. “I think it was disrespectful, especially for a character who was an open-minded, intelligent leader.” It’s important to note that being part of fandom was not as mainstream and widely popular in the 1980s as it is now. But despite this, Roddenberry recognizes that it was a comedy bit done for laughs. “I don’t condemn it in any way. It’s Saturday Night Live, and it’s all fun.”
Roddenberry never found out what his father thought of the skit. In a recent interview with ComicBook.com to commemorate what would have been Gene’s 100th birthday, Roddenberry described his younger self as a “stereotypical teenager” who was “self-involved” and “privileged” and not all that interested in his father’s work. He did get a sense of it during one of the kinds of conventions that SNL sketch parodied.
“I remember they brought my father out on stage. He was in a wheelchair and I’m the one who actually wheeled him out,” Roddenberry told us. “And I just looked like a punk kid. And wheeling him out to this room, filled with people who just stood up instantly and gave him a standing ovation, was just a very shocking moment to me. I’d been to conventions. I knew people liked Star Trek. I had seen some Star Trek, but I might’ve been more of a Star Wars guy. I didn’t get it. But I do look back on that moment as a holy crap moment, just sort of like, ‘What am I missing?’ That that was an incredibly powerful one.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection goes on sale on September 8th.