Man can’t understand why the actor from “TJ Hooker” going into space was a big deal

Rural Texas—Craig Anderson just doesn’t get it. Anderson, 52, ascended into space Wednesday on board Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin along with actor William Shatner. Anderson, a real estate developer from Dallas, was one of two paying customers on Wednesday’s flight. He didn’t really see the connection between Shatner and a space launch.


“I really liked ‘TJ Hooker’. It was on when I was growing up,” Anderson said. “I thought William Shatner was pretty good, you know, for a guy who’d never been in a starring role before, but I always thought Adrian Zmed stole that show.”


The showed aired for five seasons from 1982-86. Shatner played the titular character – a no-nonsense cop driven by the death of his partner to clean up the town of Lake City.

“My favorite episode was ‘Grand Theft Auto’ from Season 4 – the one where Delta Burke and Tori Spelling play sisters,” he said. “Or Season 3’s ‘Carnal Express’ where Heather Locklear’s character goes undercover as a stripper to break up a white slavery ring.”


Anderson brought his DVD collection of the show for Shatner to sign but was mystified that others on the flight called Shatner “captain.”


“Everyone knows TJ Hooker was a sergeant. Captain Sheridan was played by Richard Herd. He’s the one that said ‘Hooker’s a good cop’ – the signature phrase from that show,” Anderson said. “That’s when it hit me that they must have been talking about William Shatner’s other show, ‘Boston Legal’. But wasn’t he a lawyer on that show? Definitely not a captain.”


Anderson seemed to have been unaware that Shatner’s most famous role was that of Capt. James T Kirk – a character he played in all 79 episodes of “Star Trek” the television series and in seven subsequent movies. Shatner, though, said he wasn’t offended by Anderson’s ignorance.


“I actually liked Craig. He might have been my favorite out of the group. Everyone else is always, like, ‘I loved it when you figured out how to kill the Gorn’ or ‘I sure hope we don’t run into any Tribbles.’ I tell ya, I got arthritis from doing that live-long-and-prosper hand gesture,” Shatner said. “Craig was a nice change of pace. Not many people want to talk about ‘TJ Hooker’. I wonder why.”


When told of Shatner’s iconic character, Anderson was dismissive.


“’Star Trek’? No, you’re thinking of Patrick Stewart,” he said. “I guess someone’s not up on their pop culture.”

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