Ahead of his upcoming space mission, William Shatner said he’s fully aware of the penis jokes surrounding Jeff Bezos’ rocket, the New Shepard. In fact, during an appearance on “Anderson Cooper 360” on Wednesday, the actor fully leaned into the absurdity with a few jokes of his own.
As a reminder: Blue Origin announced on Monday that, at 90 years old, Shatner will become the oldest person ever to go to space, and will do so aboard Bezos’ rocket. Of course, it’s a full-circle moment for Shatner, who originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” series in 1966.
While asking Shatner about his upcoming lunar journey, Cooper couldn’t resist pointing out the fact that people have made fun of the rocket for how it looks (many compared it to Dr. Evil’s penis-shaped rocket from “Austin Powers” when it first launched).
“Well no, there’s nothing to make fun of,” Shatner said, before delivering his own punchline. “We’re inseminating the space program!”
You can watch Shatner’s full interview with Cooper in the video above.
Cooper immediately cracked up, admitting he wasn’t totally sure if Shatner would pick up on the joke. At that, Shatner tossed a quick jab at the host himself, before making one more penis joke about the rocket.
“Well, leave it to you to throw it out there for someone else to pick it up,” Shatner joked. “But it certainly does look – when they say ‘insertion’ do they really mean insertion?”
All jokes aside, Shatner assured Cooper that he is definitely excited to go to space. “I want to go warp speed, take me to warp speed — and they say ‘what?'” Shatner said.
The actor will be part of the next New Shepard mission alongside Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of Mission & Flight Operations. Crew members Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries will also be on board the shuttle, which is set to lift off from Launch Site One in West Texas next week.
Fans will be able to watch the launch as it happens, with coverage beginning 90 minutes prior to liftoff. The expedition is currently targeted for 10:30 am PT on Oct. 12.