Geek Trivia

What Did William Shatner Require To Perform The Vulcan Salute?

Physical Therapy
Fishing Line
Super Glue
If You Are A Quatorzième, You Are A What?
William Shatner performing the Vulcan salute, assisted by fishing line
Paramount Pictures

Answer: Fishing Line

William Shatner might have been a dashing Starfleet captain and all-around beloved intergalactic explorer in his role as Captain Kirk, but there was one thing that he just couldn’t master. The iconic Vulcan salute.

In the rare times when Shatner was required to do the traditional V-fingered Vulcan salute, the stage crew would use a barely visible loop of fishing line to hook his ring and pinky fingers together in order to help him separate his fingers in proper formation.

It’s a bit of a running joke with Shatner and interviewers that he can’t do the salute, as many fans of the series are able to do it. In a 2009 interview with Conan O’Brien, for example, Shatner showed him how poor his (sans fishing line) attempts were and O’Brien proudly showed him his form-perfect Vulcan salute in return.