"With the resurgence of Bill Shatner's acting career, there's been a lot of interest in his music," says Dan Lederman, a.k.a. ShatMan, the One-Man Shatner Tribute Band. "I started doing karaoke shows to discs of music that Shatner has covered, the really well-known stuff like 'Lucy in the Sky' and 'Rocket Man'.... I didn't try to copy his look until I wore a Star Trek uniform at the Lamplighter -- one of the original Velcro jerseys but a little too small -- and the crowd went insane for it. Now I have the loose-fitting toupee, too."
ShatMan still cruises local karaoke nights ("Gay bars like me, but they think I'm a butch girl"), though he says his MySpace page has yielded well-paying corporate and private gigs.
"They wanted me to do two one-hour sets at a sci-fi convention in Atlanta, so I expanded the repertoire to include stuff Shatner never recorded but should have, like [the Beach Boys'] 'Good Vibrations'.... I over-enunciated all the doo-wahs and shoo-wahs in Shat-speak." The gig paid $2000 plus travel and hotel expenses.
Lederman says he's looked into talent agencies specializing in celebrity impersonators, but "most of them aren't looking for strictly musical acts. They want you to walk around and take pictures with people, and I don't look much like Shatner up close [and] I can only impersonate him when I'm singing."