1956 – Shatner Year in Review

Welcome to the 1956 edition of the “Shatner Year In Review.” At the end of each year covered in the review posts I will provide a summary as it relates to Shatner and his career, as well as display some key entertainment statistics.

1956 was a huge year for William Shatner, both personally and professionally. He appeared in his first Broadway production, spent his third and final summer as part of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s acting company, possibly had an affair that may have led to an illegitimate son (and certainly got me blocked on Twitter by Shatner), got married, moved to New York and got his first starring role on American television. Wow. Let’s review…

The appearances that I could find for Shatner are listed below in chronological order, and each links to my post about that appearance.

  1. Tamburlaine the Great (01/19/1956)
  2. On Camera – “Dreams” (04/28/1956)
  3. Stratford Festival
    1. Henry V (06/18/1956)
    2. The Merry Wives of Windsor (06/19/1956)
  4. Lamp Unto My Feet – September 1956?
  5. The Kaiser Aluminum Hour – “Mr. Finchley Versus the Bomb” (09/25/1956)
  6. Goodyear Television Playhouse – “All Summer Long” (10/28/1956)
  7. Omnibus – “School for Wives” (11/11/1956)
  8. The Kaiser Aluminum Hour – “Gwyneth” (12/18/1956)

The upcoming year of 1957 would have Shatner appear in only his second movie (although little seen and in what may be the very opposite of a flashy role), as well as appearing in a number of television shows in NYC…including an iconic appearance with Steve McQueen.

Best Shatner Appearance of 1956 (that I was able to view): Goodyear Television Playhouse – “All Summer Long”
Worst Shatner Appearance of 1956 (that I was able to view): Omnibus – “School for Wives”

1956 – Selected Statistics

US President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Canada Prime Minister: Louis St. Laurent

Top 10 Movies (USA Gross):

1. The Ten Commandments Paramount $43,000,000
2. Around the World in 80 Days United Artists $23,120,000
3. Giant Warner Bros. $14,000,000
4. War and Peace Paramount $12,500,000
5. The King and I 20th Century Fox $9,000,000
6. The Searchers Warner Bros. $8,500,000
7. Bus Stop 20th Century Fox $7,269,000
8. The Girl Can’t Help It 20th Century Fox $6,250,000
9. High Society MGM $5,878,000
10. Written on the Wind Universal $5,712,000

Best Picture of 1956: Around the World in 80 Days

Best movie that I’ve seen from 1956 (of the ones listed above): Well…again and embarrassingly I haven’t seen many of these. I’ll go with James Dean’s final performance in Giant.

Top 10 TV Programs (USA):

1 I Love Lucy CBS 43.7
2 The Ed Sullivan Show 38.4
3 General Electric Theater 36.9
4 The $64,000 Question 36.4
5 December Bride 35.2
6 Alfred Hitchcock Presents 33.9
7 I’ve Got a Secret 32.7
9 The Perry Como Show NBC 32.6
10 The Jack Benny Show CBS 32.3

Biggest Hit Singles (USA):

  1. “Que Sera, Sera” -Doris Day
  2. “Heartbreak Hotel” – Elvis Presley
  3. “Hound Dog” – Elvis Presley
  4. “Blueberry Hill” – Fats Domino
  5. “Don’t Be Cruel” – Elvis Presley

Best 1956 song that I own: Well, as you can see from the Top 5 above, Elvis Presley fucking OWNED 1956. But…for my money the best song released that year was a little known Frank Sinatra number called “Can I Steal a Little Love.” Yes, Frank. You certainly may.

Runner-up for Best 1956 Song that I own: So much Presley here to choose from. I Got a Woman, Heartbreak Hotel, Blue Suede Shoes, Shake Rattle and Roll, My Baby Left Me, I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You), Long Tall Sally, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender…etc. Just go ahead and pick your favorite.

Top Albums of 1956:

  1. My Fair Lady – Frederick Loewe
  2. Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley
  3. Songs for Swingin’ Lovers – Frank Sinatra
  4. Oklahoma! – Original Soundtrack
  5. Elvis – Elvis Presley

Best 1956 Album that I own:

Songs for Swingin’ Lovers – Frank Sinatra


Author: Shatner

I give myself to him, William Shatner.

4 thoughts on “1956 – Shatner Year in Review”

  1. C’mon, you *wanted* him to block you on Twitter so you could go around saying William Shatner blocked you on Twitter. Honestly, what is to be gained by being so provocative toward any celebrity? I’m a huge fan of numerous performers, and I can’t imagine myself doing that even in jest. Did it make you feel better or something? I’m just trying to understand.

    1. Wait, what? How was I being provocative? I went into that “review” of Forever Galatea thinking it would be a 10-minute piece about how it was not viewable. When I realized that it was actually the only truly known episode with Shatner and Kathy Burt, I basically just recounted the story about Peter Sloan, his book, his lawsuit and his belief that he is Shatner’s son. I didn’t say anything provocative…I simply recapped all of the Sloan/Shatner stuff that was floating around out there. I even called Sloan kind of a whackadoodle…if anything I was a lot harsher on him than on Shatner. I was also careful to say that all of this story came from Sloan and from Kathy Burt’s side. Obviously Shatner denies everything.

      I don’t know if Sloan is Shatner’s son. Regardless, Shatner has no reason to take a paternity test, nor should he ever be compelled to. I’m firmly in his camp and he can do whatever he wants regarding Peter Sloan in terms of blocking him, ignoring him, whatever. To block me simply because I recapped the story on my website is a little ridiculous, but almost certainly was done because Sloan decided my article was somehow further proof of his true parentage and posted it on his Facebook page. I’m sure someone in Shatner’s camp (press, legal, whatever) just blocked me so that it didn’t appear that Shatner had any ties to anything that might validate Sloan’s claims. That’s fine, but seems like overkill. I didn’t dig up any new information that wasn’t already out there, and I think it very unfair that you call me “provocative.”

      In summation, I certainly didn’t want him to block me. If I did, I would have reached out to Sloan and would have asked him to plaster my article on his page. I didn’t, but he found it anyway and did it anyway! I only mentioned it in the year in review because that is the year this supposed encounter took place. And I only mentioned that I was blocked on Twitter because that’s kind of an interesting story. I actually care so little about Twitter that I didn’t even realize I was blocked until several weeks after the fact, when someone I knew forwarded me a Twitter post from him that I couldn’t open. If I were trying to provoke him, as you claim, then I would have been on pins and needles checking all the time to see whether he blocked me or not.

      I love William Shatner (as evidenced by this personal blog that makes me zero money, costs me an extraordinary amount of time, and exists only as an excessive hobby.) What in the hell do I gain by “provoking” William Shatner?

      I hope that helps you to understand. In the future, I would hope that you refrain from ascribing motive to my actions that are not supported by anything that I actually wrote.

  2. Okay, got it, it’s just that your remark about the Twitter block didn’t indicate *how* you came to be blocked, so I admit I assumed you tweeted him. I apologize for having made that assumption. I also apologize for stating my remark in a manner that didn’t make clear I was winking. Both unforced errors on my part. The man gets so many people (even those claiming to be fans) twitting him with tweets that are obviously intended to provoke a reaction, I found it all too easy to assume you had done so as well.

  3. Oh, and for what it’s worth, I agree that Peter Sloan’s actions no doubt caught you up in a social media sweep. Sorry that happened to you. As my comments on that particular post of yours indicate, I happen to think Sloan is never going to get anywhere with his pursuit and has allowed his obsession to develop into an oversized sense of entitlement that’s driven his behavior out of control. It is an unfortunate man indeed who cannot be content with the love and support he’s received from four parents he’s had in his life (whereas so many of us have had far less) because he’s convinced someone further owes him something.

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