Captain Kirk. Denny Crane. The Negotiator. The Shat. By any name, William Shatner is a cultural icon and beloved talk show guest. But he really lets loose whenever he’s paired with Craig Ferguson, who seems to really indulge Shatner’s loopiness in just the right way. It’s a lot more fun to watch Shatner on talk shows nowadays, too. There was a long time when the actor mixed his playful intensity with a desperate need to plug plenty of money-making schemes. At least some of those must have worked out, since Shatner is now more laid back about just talking about his life and work–which was already pretty iconic even before he ever auditioned for Star Trek, what with some great Twilight Zone episodes and a cult film called I Hate Your Guts (aka Shame and The Intruder).

Nobody brings that stuff up, though. We still find that kind of frustrating. It might really be true that Shatner’s convinced himself that nobody really cares about anything before the days of Kirk. Or maybe he’s just decided that acting kind of screwed him over, and since he didn’t get to be like his idol Christopher Plummer, he might as well just have fun. And, as noted, Ferguson brings out that weird playfulness better than any other talk show host currently calling out guests. So we’ll be tuning in tonight, although you certainly have other late-night options. Hey, check out Michelle Obama bumping Scarlett Johansson down to the #2 spot on Late Night

Chelsea Lately: Julianne Hough, Jeff Wild, Heather McDonald, Nico Santos (repeat)

The Late Show with David Letterman: Luke Wilson, Dan Mintz, Imagine Dragons

The Tonight Show: Meredith Vieira, Richard Roeper, thenewno2

Jimmy Kimmel Live! “Jimmy Kimmel Live: This Week” (clip show)

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: William Shatner, Alona Tal

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Michelle Obama, Scarlett Johansson, the Avett Brothers

Last Call with Carson Daly: Guillermo del Toro, “Sweetwater”, Shiny Toy Guns (repeat)

Oh, the Celebrity Watchdog has been around the block a few times--often urinating all over the Great White Way and the Hollywood Walk of Fame and even a couple of times on the great theaters of the West End. It is shameful.