William Shatner signs off on new video autographs

Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:44pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - William Shatner sat in a drab office staring at a TV monitor displaying a message he was supposed to read to a fan while signing an autograph, but "Star Trek's" Captain Kirk wasn't very happy.

"I can't do this, this is crazy," Shatner said.

The message on screen -- which was submitted by the fan -- was just too odd. But as an investor and partner in Live Autographs, a new video service in which celebrities appear on camera to deliver a personalized greeting as they sign an autograph, Shatner had to say something.

"Are you nuts? You want me to say, 'When I'm smoking and sipping whiskey with Allen' -- who's Allen? -- 'I'm secretly thinking of you and your dog?'

"I can't say that," Shatner added, glaring into the camera, his words dripping the trademark irony he has summoned in countless TV performances, including his Emmy-winning role as Denny Crane on the ABC courtroom drama "Boston Legal."

And with that, and his signature, it was over -- costing the fan $149 and Shatner a bit of improvisation.

In the latest twist to the age-old practice of handing out celebrity signatures, customers of Live Autographs get not just a signed photograph, book or napkin; they receive a customized video clip with a short personal message from the star.

Other celebrities who have agreed to participate include auto racer Danica Patrick and actress Carmen Electra.   Continued...

<p>Actor William Shatner gestures during an autograph session for LiveAutographs.com in Culver City, California August 13, 2008. LiveAutographs.com provides personalized video messages and authentic autographed memorabilia. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>