Get a Life! (skit)
|Title:||Get a Life!|
|Commentator:||William Shatner and Saturday Night Live|
|Date(s):||December 20, 1986|
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Get a Life! was a skit performed on Saturday Night Live by William Shatner. In it, Shatner, sick of Star Trek fans asking him what he felt to be inane questions, tells them to "Get a life!"
It was referenced in Textual Poachers:
When Star Trek star William Shatner... appeared as a guest host of Saturday Night Live, the program chose this opportunity to satirize the fans of his 1960s television series. The "Trekkies" were depicted as nerdy guys with glasses and rubber Vulcan ears, "I Grok Spock" T-shirts stretched over their bulging stomachs. One man laughs maliciously about a young fan he has just met who doesn't know Yeoman Rand's cabin number, while his friend mumbles about the great buy he got on a DeForest Kelly album. When Shatner arrives, he is bombarded with questions from fans who want to know about minor characters in individual episodes (which they cite by both title and sequence number), who seem to know more about his private life than he does and who demand such trivial information as the combination to Kirk's safe. Finally, in incredulity and frustration, Shatner turns on the crowd: "Get a life, will you people? I mean, I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show!" Shatner urges the fans to move out of their parent's basements and to proceed with adult experiences ("you ever kissed a girl?"), to put their fannish interests behind them. The fans look confused at first, then progressively more hurt and embarrassed. Finally, one desperate fan asks, "Are you saying we should pay more attention to the movies?" Enraged, Shatner storms of the stage, only to be confronted by an equally angry convention organizer. After a shoving match and a forced rereading of his contract, an embarrassed Shatner takes the stage again and tells the much-relieved fans that they have just watched a "recreation of the evil Captain Kirk from episode 27, 'The Enemy Within.' 
From a Blurb About the Book of the Same Name
From William Shatner's 1999 book:
When William Shatner appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1986 and told Jon Lovitz and a convention hall full of absurdly nerdy Star Trek fans to "get a life," it was all in good fun. After all, anyone who’s been to a Trek convention has seen one or two people who bear a resemblance to Dana Carvey’s Spock-okker, but we all knew Bill was just teasing. Wasn’t he? 'That now-infamous sketch,' Shatner reveals, 'was for me, at that time, equal parts comedy and catharsis…. I bought into the Trekkie stereotypes. In a nutshell, I was a dope.' 
A Modern Retelling of Sorts
In May 2009, Star Trek XI stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy appeared on Saturday Night Live and preformed a 3 min 24 sec skit, one that focused on the reception with which diehard Trek fans greeted Star Trek (2009). It was reminiscent of the 1986 skit, Get a Life!. 
Reactions and Reviews
Some fans found the skit funny, some did not.
There was backlash, he backpedalled pretty quickly, but now it still gets lobbed by sub-factions of the fandom at one another. I think it might have hurt fandom's perception in the eyes of the general public a bit. They were always a wacky group, but they were kinda just dismissed with a roll of the eyes. Having one of the stars go off so publicly kinda gave the haters a bit of ammunition to go after any type of fan. It might have also strengthened as a bit as we took the criticism at face value and maybe admitted some of us were a little goofy, but we still remain dedicated to our hobby. 
I'm relieved to hear that others found the "get a life" skit from Saturday Night Live somewhat offensive. Everyone I talked to seemed to be regarding it with good-humored tolerance, which is all very nice, but guys, we do not need SNL and William Shatner, of all people, reinforcing the stereotype that some people have of Star Trek fans. Yes, we all have met people like the ones in that skit, but they are vastly outnumbered by the fans in every conceivable type of job, profession, vocation and avocation. Some of it was funny though, I have to admit.