Talk $ense to Paramount

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Open Letter
Title: Talk $ense to Paramount
From: Vel Jaeger
Addressed To:
Date(s): 1984
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Topic: Paramount, celebrity salaries, a Star Trek movie
External Links:
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Talk $ense to Paramount was a flyer, an open letter, sent to fans regarding the third Star Trek movie. It was created by Vel Jaeger.

the original open letter
"Talk $ense to Paramount" was a little bit of flimflam I played on Paramount when they were stalled in contract negotiations with Shatner for ST III ~ allegedly over his salary. So I suggested to a select few (dozen) friends who were equally active fans that, if money was the sticky point, why not sent money directly to Paramount toward Shatner's salary? [Precedent had been set with the fans sending $ for the Stars on Hollywood Blvd]. Of course they couldn't accept the checks, and had to return them along with a letter saying why they couldn't. I never found out exactly how many were sent in, but I learned from friends that my little stunt really rattled the studio suits. One source had someone telling Shatner to tell his fans to stop sending the checks, that he got the salary he wanted. Being ignorant of my scheme, he had no idea what the hell they were talking about. [1]


an example of a response by Mark N. Ovitz to a fan after she sent some currency to Paramount in response to the "Talk $ense to Paramount" flyer
A year or so later there was a column in a Star Trek comic (DC?) warning fans about someone in California asking people to send money to make a movie & that it was a big scam. This was like the parlor game where you whisper something quickly, & by the time it goes around the circle has become totally warped from the original. And lots of fan movies have been made anyway, still tap-dancing to keep Paramount (& now CBS) from getting all legal on them. [2]

A Very Similar Endeavor

In 1969, the editors of Galileo 7 promoted a similar tactic for fans that encouraged them to send in pennies to TPTB (aka "Klingon finks") to force them to put Star Trek back on the air:

If NBC wanted us to stop writing letters they would simply make the flat statement: there is absolutely positively no chance for ST for next season, stop writing. With the hedging around the question, they run the risk of getting more mail (and money) than they know what to do with. Soooo Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks, and also those beautiful pennies. You might also be sure to put your return address on some of them. Reason: the NBC secretary told me that everything has to be returned....and if you send three cents NBC has to spend 6 cents returning it to you, not to mention bookkeeping, addressing, etc.


write to the sponsors of the various programs and ask that they sponsor ST again even if on another network. Since RCA owns NBC, I would not consider writing to RCA and asking them to sponsor ST on another channel to be one of the better ideas. But by all means give it a try. It may scare them into thinking that you are writing to all the sponsors.

For Other Examples of Star Trek Fans' Direct Interaction/Request: TPTB


  1. ^ from private correspondance between Vel Jaeger and Mrs. Potato Head, November 25, 2013, quoted with permission
  2. ^ from private correspondance between Vel Jaeger and Mrs. Potato Head, November 25, 2013, quoted with permission