Before the Promise margarine commercials; well before T.J. Hooker, and a bit before he sat on the bridge of the Enterprise, the Shat sat on the panel of What’s My Line? in 1965 where avuncular host John Charles Daly introduced him as the exciting new star of For The People. It was a legal eagle show where Shatner played dashing assistant district attorney David Koster. The show was cancelled after one season freeing it’s star up to go where no man has gone before — chasing leggy showgirls around drywall and formica spaceship sets in color!
I kid. I loved the original Star Trek, and now I wonder what it would have been like if For The People was a hit and somebody else played Captain Kirk. He had a manic energy, and I wonder if Star Trek would have worked without him.
I found the episode of What’s My Line? on a strange Roku channel called Gameshow Archive. It’s got a number of old, black and white gameshows complete with vintage commercials. The channel doesn’t have a lot of content. The content it has seems to have been cobbled together from material that has entered the public domain. Most of these shows can probably be found here and there on the internet, but with this channel it’s all in one place and can be watched in the comfort of the TV room rather than being hunched over a computer monitor.