Shatner has nerve, but it’s not too raw

William Shatner makes a point on “Raw Nerve.” Photo: BIO


NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2009 — William Shatner doesn’t seem to touch any raw nerves or even get on anyone’s nerves in the first two episodes of the new, second season of his Biography Channel  talk show, “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.”

However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t unearth some interesting stories about private subjects from his guests — Rush Limbaugh in the first episode and Regis Philbin in the second (the two half-hours premiere back-to-back starting at 10 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, Dec. 6, on Bio).

For Rush, talking about his battle to kick an addiction to painkillers might have had the potential to touch a raw nerve, but did not appear to do so on a preview DVD of the show that was provided by Bio Channel.  In fact, Rush speaks candidly about the agony of withdrawal, a process he underwent several times.  He also talks about his hearing loss, and also about his grandfather, in an interview that was like a session in a therapist’s office — if your therapist is William Shatner, of course.

As for Regis, he reveals his innermost fear, that he actually possesses no real, discernible talent that can explain his success in show business.  He also reveals that he had a brother, now deceased, who was 20 years younger than he — a sibling with whom Regis tried to form a close relationship over the years, but admits the effort was only partially successful.  He also tells the story of how — and more importantly, why — Joey Bishop hired him to be his sidekick on Bishop’s ABC late-night show in the 1960s.

No raw nerves seem to be exposed in either interview, which both come across as more friendly than this show’s edgy title would suggest.

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