William Shatner: I Said No to Big Bang Role — 'Find Something That's Better'

Don’t expect Sheldon Cooper to cross paths with William Shatner anytime soon.

In a new interview, Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk revealed that he has previously turned down an offer to guest star on The Big Bang Theory because he wasn’t pleased with how the show wanted to use him.

“I’ve had several conversations with the creators, and what they wanted me to do, didn’t seem to be exactly right, so I said ‘find something that’s better,'” Shatner told Digital Spy. “They may have taken umbrage at that, I’m not sure.”

Shatner then went on to clarify that he had been asked to play a heightened version of himself, but wasn’t comfortable with what that would entail.

“They wanted me to play myself a little obliquely, and they said it would work out, but I needed more assurance on that.”

Shatner wouldn’t be the first Star Trek alum to appear on Big Bang. The late Leonard Nimoy famously lent his voice to the Season 5 episode “The Transporter Malfunction,” in which a Spock action figure spoke to Sheldon in his dreams. Meanwhile, George Takei cameoed in Season 4. Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton have also put in appearances, while Wil Wheaton has recurred since Season 3.

TVLine has reached out to CBS for comment.

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43 Comments
  1. Daya says:

    I always thought he was an imbecile, that just proves it. (Thank you for retaining your role as my least favorite ST captain!)

    …then again, I saw a few episodes of “Better Late Than Never” and he absolutely refused to have fun along with the others, so this shouldn’t be a surprise at all.

  2. Dave says:

    Love Shatner!

  3. Jon Willis says:

    Poor baby. It’s not like he’s really doing anything else

    • melaniedhi says:

      I don’t think he has the health to do much. My friend paid for photo op with the guy at a comic con and Shatner is just sitting there, not even saying or anything to fans. But my friend wasnt much offended saying he looked like any movement from looked painful

    • Bob says:

      Actually he was just in the fantastic “Better Late Than Never” on NBC
      still it was an ego move on his part, many actors have made fun themselves on BBT including the hilarious episode with James Earl Jones

    • Simon Jester says:

      LOL, the guy “not doing anything else” just landed a role in BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADER as Two-Face. Between this, his Broadway show last year, and his new book the year before, the ol’ guy is doing just fine.

  4. Tom says:

    You’re forgetting LeVar Burton, who (per IMDb) has appeared in three episodes – “The Toast Derivation” (S4), “The Habitation Configuration” (S6), and “The Champagne Reflection” (S8).

  5. Luis Roman says:

    I would have loved to see him as Wolowitz’s father, but having the cast interacting with all those “Star Trek” actors, there’s no real way to not have Shatner either play himself or do something along the lines of what Leonard Nimoy did.

  6. I am starting to believe George Takei remarks about him. He is full of himself.

  7. Dan says:

    Good for him. This show doesn’t celebrate nerd culture, it mocks it.

  8. E. D. Boddy says:

    The star of “(Feces) My Dad Says” is concerned with how he appears on TV.

  9. Christian says:

    He’s probably smart about this – the BBT writers have become lazy and inferior over the last few years, giving valuable guest stars of late material that is below their talents – Christine Baranski, Laurie Metcalf, Katey Segal et al. Even Raj’s father was treated horribly during last year’s Thanksgiving episode. This show was a goldmine of brilliance for the first four-five years, then they turned Sheldon into the new Urkel of the 21st century and proceed to coast on their past brilliance, counting on viewer loyalty.

  10. Anne says:

    Meh, he’s turned into a terrible person. Nimoy was the only Trek cast member who could tolerate him.

  11. MMD says:

    It has long been known, in Canada at least by people who have flown with, sat next to or been near him at restaurants or functions that he is a pompous ass who is very condescending. It sounds like he hasn’t mellowed with age. Sad, I hoped he had.

  12. luv2cook says:

    Typical Shat ego.

  13. John Corbae says:

    Big babeee, skin almost thinner than Trump’s, glad Nimoy showed up, not as full of himself at the Shat-man.

  14. GraceM says:

    I would have loved to Spock on Bug Bang. Too bad that never happened.

  15. TvLover says:

    I never watched Star Treck but even I have heard rumors of Mr. Shatter being difficult to work with, which is unfortunate.
    Although, I can’t say I blame him for not wanting to do Big Bang Theory as of late, the last few seasons haven’t been as good as in the past and this season premiere seemed to be a disservice to all of the great comedic talent that the show was able to get. The show should have at least made that episode an hour in my opinion.
    But at least Dean Norris had a fairly decent part on the show.

    • He never specified when they asked him, and personally I think it probably happened earlier in the show’s run. Most of the other Star Trek cameos were in earlier seasons, and his line about them taking umbrage with his request makes it seem like they probably haven’t asked him again in a long while.

  16. dman6015 says:

    And THAT is why he wasn’t in any of the Star Trek reboot movies. He’s always been a PITA actor.

  17. Dickie dido says:

    My friend Bill for some reason had to borrow a pair of his girfriends pants to get home. On the way home his tummy felt a bit off and he shatner pants

  18. Sharon Cooke says:

    Harlan Ellison has been saying Shatner was a db for decades!

  19. HAP says:

    Cranky 85 year old man.

  20. Ted says:

    “Find something better.” That’s pretty much any other show on any other network, Bill. Don’t slum in this trash fire of a show.

  21. SoMuchHope says:

    Better than the Priceline Commercials…….with Penny!

  22. A fan of TV says:

    I’m stunned that Shatner actually has faculties enough to dislike being the butt of his own jokes. Half the time you wouldn’t realize it, being that he can be such a dbag.

  23. TV Gord says:

    I have a feeling the guys are going to need a lawyer to handle their new invention and negotiations with the government, so I’d like to see Shatner appear…as Denny Crane!!!

  24. Rich H. says:

    Shatner continues to be full of himself. Personally, I’ll never buy his story on why he did not attend Mr. Nimoy’s funereal. This isn’t the first story of this type about Bill.

  25. Eric Lowmiller says:

    Did I mis-read the article? It says he did not want to do the role the way they wanted him too, not that he would’t do the show at all. And does everyone really need to pile on?

  26. Edna Rosenberger says:

    To bad for Shatner. Star Treck had had more exposure on TBBT than when it was on air. And i watched back in 1968 not just the reruns
    Could be so much fun with Shatner cause Shelton is such a fan.

  27. Bark Star says:

    Bravo ! Respect to Mr. Shatner. Dont take on roles on crappy once-great shows just because they are popular.

  28. Darlene says:

    As usual his big fat EGO got in the way!!! Personally having Mr.Nemoy on the show with all the other stars was the ultimate topper! It couldn’t have gotten any better. So William Shatner keep you over acting, non talented self off of The Big Bang Theory! Not needed, Not wanted!

  29. OMG Shatner played himself to a tee on Saturday Night Live years ago and now he is too good to play himself on the Big Bang Theory?

    I think he is still jealous of Nimoy being in the rebooted Star Trek movie franchise and that Nimoy was on BBT first.

    At his age he should be grateful anyone wants to pay him to do anything.