Today, the most daring man of the 23rd century is celebrating his 86th birthday. William Shatner must be must be pumped that he has outlived his alter-ego — Captain James T. Kirk — by several decades. While the original Kirk died in Star Trek: Generations in 1994, Shatner continues to live on and defy expectations. Chris Pine may have replaced Shatner in the hearts of newer Star Trek fans, but for countless millions, Shatner will forever be the only Captain of the starship Enterprise.

But the cult of loving William Shatner doesn’t just include talking about how great he was as Captain Kirk. Instead, part of the continuing appeal of Shatner is how hilarious he can be, whether intentionally or not. After Star Trek, Shatner made something of gag out of lampooning his own gigantic personality, and his unique, and Halted — Way — Of — Speaking. Back in 1978 during the Science Fiction Film Awards, Shatner recreated Elton John’s “Rocket Man” as if it were told by a chain-smoking version of Captain Kirk. Could this be part of the Star Trek canon? How could it not!

story continues below

Happy Birthday William Shatner! Now tell us what it’s like out there in space: