Twitter users dug up a 1978 clip of the Star Trek star performing a spoken-word rendition of Elton John’s 1972 hit Rocket Man at the 1978 Saturn Awards, which honour films in the fantasy, horror and sci-fi genres.
The video features an intro by Rocket Man lyricist Bernie Taupin, who declares himself truly proud to introduce William.
The original Captain Kirk then appears onstage in a ’70s tux complete with a huge bow tie and a cigarette – which, ILoveClassicRock.com duly notes “never seems to burn down to the filter.”
Although the ciggie seems to be the traditional tobacco kind, William emphasises the line “I’m going to be ... high as a kite by then,” as if cannabis is somehow involved.
The performance than really hits the stratosphere when the screen splits to show a smokingWilliam on one side and a speakingWilliam on the other, proclaiming, “I’m a … Rocket Man!”
Not surprisingly, many Twitter users posted the clip in tribute to William. But instead of snark, a vast majority used a variation of the line, “He’s a real Rocket Man now.”
Meanwhile, here’s the infamous video which, frankly, holds up even when the sound is off.