Shatner made his appearance at the roast by riding into the room and up to the stage on a large white horse. Confused viewers may not know that Shatner is an enthusiastic equestrian and even owns a horse farm in Kentucky. Once on the dais, he seemed slightly bemused and somewhat uncomfortable sitting in the old captain's chair from Star Trek, on loan from the Science Fiction Museum. He didn't noticeably laugh at any of the jokes until the third roaster, Betty White (Boston Legal) dropped this line in reference to George Takei's recent public statement about being a gay man: "Let's face it, we all know Shatner's nuts, but George has actually tasted them." It was the first of several jokes that involved Takei, and each time he took them in good humor and unabashed laughter — a sharp contrast to Shatner's mild reactions. I don't blame him, though. Most of the jokes were funny only to someone with the sense of humor of a teenage boy, and barely worth a polite laugh to save the embarrassment of the person delivering the joke.
One of the most talked-about segments of the program was Nichelle Nichols' roasting bit. She referenced the famous interracial kiss between them that made TV history on Star Trek and said that afterwards Shatner told her, "Eh… Sulu… uses… more… tongue." Her segment concluded with her waking over to Shatner and saying, "Let's make a little more TV history and… kiss my black ass." Both of them laughed and hugged, and he responded with, "If I could find it," noting her voluminous African-style dress.
George Takei's bit was another highly anticipated segment of the show. The punch lines revolved around Shatner's ego and supposed inconsideration of his colleagues, as well as innuendos related to Takei's sexuality. While he ended it with a wide smile and a hug, he spoke the lines with far more intensity and passion than seemed necessary. It left me feeling a bit like I had walked in on a serious fight between my parents.