Garrett Wang: “I Cannot Stand William Shatner” + Full Report from Comikaze Expo in LA

Garrett Wang

Last weekend, the Comikaze Expo made its debut at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The guest list included such sci-fi and genre stars as Star Trek: Voyager’s Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Robert Picardo and Jennifer Lein, Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Marina Sirtis, comic book legend Stan Lee, Elvira, Battlestar Galactica‘s Richard Hatch, TV legend Ernest Borgnine, Star Wars‘ Mark Hamill and several more.

Aside from a few small hiccups, the Comikaze Expo appeared to run very smoothly — especially impressive for a first-time event.

As scheduled, at 5 PM on Saturday, the Star Trek panel kicked off with Voyager‘s Garrett Wang, who was later joined by Original Series stars Bobby Clark and Celeste Yarnall. Wang, who was in high spirits, told the standing-room only crowd that Tim Russ and Marina Sirtis would not be joining them, as they had already left the building.

While fans seemed somewhat disappointed that some of the advertised stars wouldn’t be at the panel, Wang, Clark and Yarnell made the best of the situation and took audience questions for the next hour.

Comikaze Star Trek Panel
Celeste Yarnall, Garrett Wang and Bobby Clark

When asked about the criticism of Voyager, Wang told the audience that the actors who played human roles were told to “play down their emotions,” to allow for the alien characters to “feel more real.”

Wang said he continuously told Voyager producers that the show needed more action and more comedy.

“Once Berman was out of there, Paramount fires him and J.J. Abrams comes in to take over the helm and you watch the new reboot film. What is that movie? More action and comedy. There’s excellent funny moments and it’s a blockbuster movie.” said Wang.

Garrett Wang
Voyager’s Garrett Wang

“I absolutely adored that film” Wang said. “Aside from the timeline getting screwed over” he added.

Wang said that none of the Voyager actors were invited to the premier of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek film.

” I just gave you seven years of my life. You think I can get an invite to the damn premier? No.” he remarked.

Wang went on to say he’d love to be a part of a new Star Trek series, but isn’t sure how much of a reality that would be. He said his idea for a new Star Trek series would be “basically the TV show Scrubs in space,” which he said would take the franchise towards a comedic angle. “Maybe I should pitch that myself and become the new Rick Berman,” he joked.

Celeste Yarnell
Celeste Yarnall who played Yeoman Martha Landon on Star Trek: The Original Series

Celeste Yarnall, who played Yeoman Martha Landon in the Original Series discussed Star Trek‘s impact on society, saying “What Gene Roddenberry, in my opinion, created was the new mythology of the 21st century.”

Yarnall discussed William Shatner flirting on the set of Star Trek, saying “I can describe it in one word. Relentless.”

Wang, who outed himself as a “big sci-fi fan,” talked about his Voyager co-star, Robert Beltran’s lack of genre knowledge, saying he has “no knowledge at all of anything sci-fi. I love him to death, but his sci-fi IQ is negative.”

As the conversation shifted to the topic of William Shatner, Bobby Clark noted Shatner’s tendancy to mess up lines, while filming episodes of Start Trek.

Wang chimed in, saying “I also heard he stole everybody’s lines too.”

“I love Captain Kirk, but I fricken’ cannot stand William Shatner”

Wang said he met William Shatner for the first time last year.

“I was at the Tulsa Trek Expo, I was in the green room, so this is a backstage room where only the actors are. So I walked up to him and said ‘Mr. Shatner, I finally get to meet you.’ [Shatner’s handshake] it was limp wristed, he gave me this, like he was the Queen of England or something. So he gives me that, then in the middle of the handshake, he looks away, then he pulls his hand away and he wipes it off on his shirt, right in front of me.”

“All I saw was red” Wang recalled. “You know what? God help me, I want to punch his fat belly right now. I was so mad.” I want to tell you guys, I love Captain Kirk, but I fricken’ cannot stand William Shatner. I’m gonna say that right now”

“That is no way to treat someone,” Wang added.

Wang went on to discuss Shatner’s dismissive attitude toward Star Trek fans at conventions, saying Shatner should at least make eye contact with the fan if you’re charging them $90 for an autograph. “Without the [Star Trek] fans here, there would be nothing. It’s you guys that make this thing roll.” Wang said.

Bobby Clark
Bobby Clark who played the Gorn on the Original Series

Carel Struycken
Carel Struycken who played Mr. Homn on Star Trek: The Next Generation

For additional photos from the 2011 Comikaze Expo, visit TrekNews.net on Facebook.

  • Rapidfire

    “I want to punch his fat belly right now.” Whoa!

  • Old Trekker

    LOL. Garrett is great.

    • L K

      yes i loved him the first time i saw him @FEDCON:disqus ! :D

  • Old Trekker

    Also, Celeste Yarnall still looks great!

  • John The Trekkie

    Great pics!

  • http://twitter.com/Muldfeld Muldfeld

    Amen on Shatner being an unconscionable prick. He thinks he’s royalty at conventions. In Toronto, he pre-signed items for people to buy, so they couldn’t even meet him and have a few words. A worthless human being.

    • L K

      yé to bad he spoils it for fans that shatner :( bus lenard nemoy is great :D

  • Danpaine

    Honestly, they all sound quite bitter.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6XVJDHWVXKGH233IMEZIS7AKKM Sebastian

    Shatner should at least make eye contact with the fan if you’re charging them $90 for an autograph. “Without the [Star Trek] fans here, there would be nothing. It’s you guys that make this thing roll.” Wang said.

    Couldn’t agree more, Garrett. ;-)

  • Wrsandersiii

    Awwwwww pooR Wang LET IT GO!!!

    • Buzz Cagney

      Wang. That name is sooo funny. You really should wash your hands after touching a wang.
      Shatner simply doesn’t give a toss about these nobodies. I think thats rather funny myself.

  • Buzz Cagney

    Wait one moment…. there was a man inside that Gorn? Never. I don’t believe it.

    • Redplanet4961

      I guess that Gorm ate ‘im up!! LOL

      • Redplanet4961

        oops typo Gorn

  • helixrose

    I
    never have reasonable expectations of human behavior from actors LOL My first experience with an ambitious actor- and this
    was in a small community theater!- after being cast in a play with him
    was looking me up and down and saying “I’ll f*uck you. I’ll push you
    right out the door. I’m #1 here.” NO lie. Actors are a weird lot.
    Nothing they do surprises me, but that’s only because I’m one of them!Yeah,
    in the acting game you have no choice but to laugh each other off and
    shine as bright as you can, brighter than people around you. That’s the only way to survive. I wish Garret the best of luck!

    • helixrose

      In conclusion, acting favors the survival of the most cut-throat. You can imagine what those who have reached the top of the pile are like!

  • Spoli

    Talk about a Loser Panel. The guy in the Gorn rubber suit? Really? WGAS! The Yeoman in 1 episode with 3 lines? And Wang appropriately named, what a Bitch! He would’nt have a job w/o the Shat. To those in this audience Get a Frickin Life!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DJQMGJU7MZMBVLSD4GUTPJEPD4 murt

    Ya it’s definitely likely that the Shat is an a$$hole, but really that’s a big assumption to make by Wang after just one encounter. Maybe Shat was distracted by something else when he met Wang – or maybe Wang’s hand was sweaty! Wang had a pretty violent reaction to a fairly benign encounter….

  • Red Dead Ryan

    I guess Garrett Wang is George Takei’s protege!

    So William Shatner ain’t perfect. So what? That’s no excuse for this clown to say how he’d like to punch the 80 year old in the gut. Sheesh! This coming from a third rate “actor” who can’t find work outside of emceeing/ushering at conventions because all of the studios know he has NO TALENT, unlike the man Wang decided to swipe at!

  • Praxis

    Enmity Mine

  • LG

    I have a lot of respect for Garrett. I was at the 2008 Las Vegas convention and had a rather unpleasant experience with Rene Auberjonois. My mom (the amazing person she is) stopped to talk to Garrett at a meet-and-greet dessert party. He was super pleasant and she explained that I was feeling down and asked if he would mind saying something to me. Not only did he say something, he sat down with us and we had a good visit for at least 15 minutes. He was very kind and did everything he could to cheer me up and it worked. I will never forget it.

    I was never a fan of his character and Voyager was not my favorite, but I’m definitely a fan of Garrett after seeing what a kind person he is.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLSYGJ64MSH7S263FNWVC4HXMY Fox Mulder

      Out of curiosity, what exactly happened during your experience with Rene Auberjonois? I always thought he was good with fans.

      • LG

        We were the last in line for his autograph and we barely made it because we’d been in another autograph line. He was very frustrated and made a comment to the effect of, “Yes, yes, there are always more!” He was unfortunately very rude and abrasive.

        I try not to hold it against him too much because I understand what a drain conventions must be on them, especially since he’s older. Still, it was surprising and disappointing as I have always adored Odo and appreciated his work on Boston Legal.

        • L K

          i know all about those lines!!! it verry dificuld even @ the “boekenbeurs” in @antwerp i hate it sow  understand!

        • L K

          thanks for sharing this with us!

      • L K

        i did saw Rene once to can’t complain about him …

  • speedo2491

    I can’t believe how fat Garrett Wang has become…

  • L K

    thanks for sharing the Shatner incident :D i loved to hear tis from a fellow star trek actor!!!

  • Belanna

    interesting.
    but Garett sounds negative and bitter…

  • Rachel

    Garrett’s cool. :D

  • AJT

    I went to my first convention about 12 years ago. Garrett Wang and Tim Russ were there. I was only 15 at the time — no job, no disposable income, so the $25 entrance fee already seemed like a huge expense and I didn’t have anything left over to spend on photos. When I went to get their autographs, I used my program for the day. Garrett Wang was an absolute delight, all smiles and very hospitable. When I passed my program over to Tim Russ, however, he kind of paused and then looked up at me and then paused again and kind of rolled his eyes and muttered something along the lines of “You want me to sign this?” I was completely mortified!

    I’m sure he was exhausted and all, but it’s not like I did anything overt to annoy him. Plus, Russ is hardly a living legend or anything, so why the ego? Anyway, to this day I think of Garrett Wang as being one of the good ones!

    • Trekshop

      Hello everyone.  This is my first post EVER to any kind of online board.  I’m 44 and been a Trek fan since I was 11 years old.  I went to my first ST convention last year (2011) in Vegas with my 15 year old son.  It was amazing!  We had a fantastic time.  I must say, I always used to think that Shatner was a complete jerk, but in recent years, he seems to have realized that it’s all went to his head and he kind of makes light of himself now.  I like this change in attitude, because yes, actors are definitely full of themselves – why else would they be actors?!  One thing that really took both my son and myself by complete surprise and terrible disappointment was Patrick Stewart.  We were SO looking forward to our photo with him.  I respect personal space, and I can understand the actors not wanting to shake every single hand that is offered to them, but guess what happen to us fans waiting in line before Mr. Stewart ever made his appearance?  The convention stewards made an announcement to everyone at the top of the session, then continued to remind every patron as their turn drew nearer that we were absolutely NOT to touch Mr. Stewart in ANY way or to SPEAK to him whatsoever! WTF?!  Seriously?  Like I said, I get the personal space thing, and one annoucement would’ve sufficed, but to constantly remind us like we were a bunch of kinderkids?!  Patrick Stewart’s body language reflected the constant announcements too – he was cold, arms tucked in tight, no eye contact, stood straight and made no movements away from his “mark” on the floor. 

  • Trekshop

    Hello everyone. This is my first post EVER to any kind of online board. I’m 44 and been a Trek fan since I was 11 years old. I went to my first ST convention last year (2011) in Vegas with my 15 year old son. It was amazing! We had a fantastic time. I must say, I always used to think that Shatner was a complete jerk, but in recent years, he seems to have realized that it’s all went to his head and he kind of makes light of himself now. I like this change in attitude, because yes, actors are definitely full of themselves – why else would they be actors?! One thing that really took both my son and myself by complete surprise and terrible disappointment was Patrick Stewart. We were SO looking forward to our photo with him. I respect personal space, and I can understand the actors not wanting to shake every single hand that is offered to them, but guess what happen to us fans waiting in line before Mr. Stewart ever made his appearance? The convention stewards made an announcement to everyone at the top of the session, then continued to remind every patron as their turn drew nearer that we were absolutely NOT to touch Mr. Stewart in ANY way or to SPEAK to him whatsoever! WTF?! Seriously? Like I said, I get the personal space thing, and one annoucement would’ve sufficed, but to constantly remind us like we were a bunch of kinderkids?! Patrick Stewart’s body language reflected the constant announcements too – he was cold, arms tucked in tight, no eye contact, stood straight and made no movements away from his “mark” on the floor. 

  • evelyn raymond

    very funny Mr Wang but I totally agree  the worst thing an actor can do is be dismissive of his fans without the fans where would the actor be Mr Shatner ought to be kissing the fans posteriors after all if it wasn’t for us he would probably not have had much of a career

  • Bryan Mayer26

    My opinion on Garrett has changed, I must say. I’m going through the Voyager series now and I got so frustrated with him — I suspected there was more to the problem then ‘just bad acting’. Glad I did a little research… (and I agree with you on Shatner, going to kill you about the ‘scrubs in space’ idea though!)    
    And as a side note, I can TOTALLY see what you said about Robert.. lmfao. I love you Garrett! :D