Why Was William Shatner Chosen For Those Priceline Ads? Pop. Culture. History.

Mr. Pop History – Bill Shatner and Priceline go together like ham and eggs. Shatner was up against the other finalist – Bill Cosby – and at stake – spokesperson for a new kind of online service – a reverse auction service called Priceline.

This was back in 1997. The reason why Shatner was chosen, according (then) Chief Marketing Officer Brett Keller – that Shatner was “futuristic” in his persona. “Anyone holding a credit card aged 18 to 95 had heard of William Shatner and knew who he was.” And, part of the deal – was payment in Priceline stock (which later, Shatner had made a small fortune.)

The first Priceline TV spots – in 1998 – featured Shatner as a lounge singer, belting out such tunes as “Bust a Move,” and “Aquarius” along with his own lyrics. Funny – and it made a big impact.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 10

Actor Corey Haim, 38, was pronounced dead at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., Wednesday morning after an apparent overdose, police said. The Canadian-born Haim found fame in the 1987 when he co-starred in numerous films with actor Corey Feldman, including “The Lost Boys.”

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, co-founders of rock band KISS, are developing a children’s show based on the band with Canadian production company E1 Television. The untitled program is said to “create a comedic half-hour kids television series that galvanizes the band’s iconic personas for its young fans.” Both Simmons and Stanley will serve as executive producers, along with E1′s senior vice president of kids and animation, Frank Saperstein.

And The Nobel Peace Prize Goes To The Internet? – Several nominees for the prestigious 2010 prize, which was awarded last year to President Obama, surfaced on Wednesday in news reports. Among them: “The Internet” and, separately, several of the Web’s creators, including Larry Roberts, Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee.

Another rapper jailed - Authorities in Arizona say rapper DMX has been arrested for allegedly violating his probation by using drugs. DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, had served about half of his 18-month supervised probation when he was booked Tuesday night into the downtown Phoenix jail. The rapper was released from jail in May after serving a 90-day sentence for felony convictions including cruelty to animals, theft and two drug counts.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1997 -

Rapper Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) is gunned down in a Los Angeles parking lot via a drive-by shooting. He had just left a party celebrating his Soul Train Awards. It might have to do with the death of Tupac Shakur, who many considered a rival to Notorious. Wallace – originally from New Jersey – also went by the name of Biggie Smalls.

Snoop Doggy Dogg delays the start of his two-month concert tour in the wake of the Notorious B.I.G. murder.

Paul McCartney is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

Passing – Laverne Baker –  R&B hitmaker of the1950’s. She was 67.

Unreleased works of Selena – the last of her work – is released this week on the soundtrack to the movie “Selena.”

Top TV This Week In 1997 –

ER is taking a five week hiatus.

Seinfeld – 29.75

Friends – 25.84

Touched by an Angles – 24.42

Suddenly Susan – 24.18

3rd rock From The Sun – 22.70

60 Minutes -  20.92

Home Improvement – 20.65

Movie-To Dance With Olivia – 20.21


Cosby – 18.01

Drew Carey – 17.57

Cybill – 17.23

Everybody Loves Raymond – 17.17