It’s not every day Captain Kirk appears in your backyard. For Jeffrey Sturm, 49, of Mineola meeting the “Star Trek” actor William Shatner at Eternal Con, held Saturday and continuing Sunday inside NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum, was a dream come true.
“I’ve been waiting 40 years for this,” said Sturm, who grew up watching the show in re-runs on WPIX. “This is a bucket list item for me.”
Shatner was warmly greeted with applause as he entered a VIP meet and greet where fans paid $199.99 per person for some face time and selfie snapping with the actor who played the leader of the USS Enterprise.
Shatner, 87, filled with charm and wit, made his way to each table with a hearty handshake and familiar smile.
”Mr. Shatner was a role model for me growing up,” said Larry Berstein, 64, of Syosset. “His character, Captain Kirk, always did the right thing for the right reason, therefore I tried to think and act the same way.”
Shatner thanked the crowd for their dedication.
“I wanted to express my appreciation for you being here and going through the extra effort,” Shatner said. “This is lovely. . . . I feel moved.”
Kathy and Don Rittel of East Williston watched “Star Trek” when it first aired in 1966.
“Shatner is such a groundbreaking entertainer,” said Don, 69. “That show was before its time.”
Kathy, 67, added, ”His influence on our life has extended from childhood to old age.”
During his afternoon panel, Shatner tripped coming on the stage and then jokingly claimed it was on purpose.
“Got your attention, didn’t it?” he quipped.
He then sat at the edge of the stage and was very playful with the crowd.
When a fan asked how he felt about being the face of Michael Myers — the mask is based on an old “Star Trek” costume — in the “Halloween” films, Shatner replied, “Michael Myers is the face of me!”
Although he has two albums coming out, Shatner admitted, “Don’t tell anybody, but I can’t sing. I have a feel for the words.”
When asked what he thought of “Star Trek: Discovery,” Shatner said, “I’ve never seen it. Who has seen it?” He paused and looked out to the crowd. “It appears about five people. Maybe that’s why they are thinking of taking it off the air.”
CBS All Access’ “Star Trek Discovery” has been renewed for a second season, although its two show runners have been replaced, according to reports.
Recalling memories of his legendary role in “The Twilight Zone” episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” Shatner said it reminded him of his children.
“Every time we went on a plane, my kids would say, ‘Daddy, do the look!’ I’d turn into the window, they’d call for the flight attendant, and I’d go, ‘Aaaaaaah!’ We did this innumerable times.”