Speak...Speak A Song: Telly Savalas Vs. William Shatner

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Two huge television stars. Two TV appearances. Two hilarious, craptacular "singing" performances in the '70s.

These are the kind of retro gold gems that I live for when they get unearthed. I'd seen both of them before, but not the Telly Savalas one in its entirety -- in which he performs Bread's hit love song "If" on a German show called Disco. It's rather creepy with the close-up shot of the blonde looking awkwardly on. Who loves you, baby? Remarkably, I've listened to some of Savalas' other musical recordings online and didn't think he was that bad of a singer.

Then we have William Shatner performing Elton John's "Rocket Man" at The Science Fiction Film Awards, which he also hosted. Virtually everything that Shatner has ever laid down on vinyl was delivered in a spoken and perhaps unintentionally comical style. I have to say, however, that the 1970s special effects in this one were nicely executed. Props also to the Shat Man for holding his cigarette like it's a joint.

Which one do you feel "sang" their song better (or worse?) Leave a comment!


  1. Pam, would you consider Telly Savalas to be sexy?
    This is an important subject to me because my hair is thinning. No longer do I sport a curling golden mane, like Ka-Zar of the jungle. Ah, those were the days.
    Is there hope for the balding man?

    1. Ha ha...I personally never found him sexy, but I suppose some women do/did.

      As far as bald men go, although he's too old for me, I find J.K. Simmons to be really attractive in his own way. He has a great physique which he showed off in the movie "Whiplash" (which is also an excellent flick.) So hell yeah -- a bald guy can absolutely be sexy!

  2. The Shatner interpretation is a classic but I'm going to have to with Telly on this one. Shatner just goes way over the top with his delivery (especially at the end) but Telly plays it cool all the way. His delivery is impeccable and his timing spot on. Notice how he casually lights the cigarette in the beginning, timing it just right for when he starts to speak. I only hope that if I go completely bald I can be half as cool as Telly Savalas.


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