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October 10, 2015

Does the chair on Shatner's Raw Nerve bug you?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 10th 2009 9:02AM
Shatner's Raw Nerve - the chair
I've really been enjoying Shatner's Raw Nerve on the Biography channel. He has great guests, and he's just so Shatnerific with them. On the one hand, you sort of feel like you're listening in on a conversation between old friends. On the other hand, he's so intense that you're afraid he might jump up and start leaping around the room gesturing wildly. Which brings me to ...

The Chair. You know, it's different. But I don't think I really like it. My husband thinks it's called a "lover's chair" or something along those lines, and I can see that. The two people sitting in it are sort of in the perfect position to embrace and kiss. But from what I've seen, most of the guests seem a little uncomfortable with it. I mean, just look at Henry Winkler. He looks really uncomfortable, probably because he's not sure if Shatner might try to embrace him.

What do you think of the chair? Any experts out there who can tell us the origin of this particular type of chair?

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I'm not surprised at Henry Winkler's reaction - he's pretty well known for being a fairly shy and reserved person when he's just being himself. Having someone with such a big personality in his space like that would probably rattle him a bit.

December 11 2009 at 4:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yeah, that's it , it's the CHAIR,... all this time I thought it was the annoying television personality...

December 10 2009 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it works very well especially with camera angles. It provides the 3 feet of personal space but just barely.

Also, it keeps the bottom half of William Shatner out of view which may be the reason he sits in the "back chair".

December 10 2009 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I believe it is an exaggerated or weird "S" design along the lines of the "J" desk for Jon Stewart and the "C" desk for Stephen Colbert.

December 10 2009 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

The original chair design may be older, but it was popularized during the Victorian period because it allowed young people a degree of intimacy but discouraged untoward hanky-panky.

December 10 2009 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BC McKinney's comment

You're right and I'm glad that finally some of my time not spent sleeping in History of Material Cultures II is paying off.

The chair is called a conversational or tete a tete (meaning head to head) and is Elizabethan Revival in design. My teacher gave the same reasoning for it's conception.

December 10 2009 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shatner addressed specifically this... he said that the chair is designed to very nearly violate the personal space of his guests... to push the boundary right to the edge of comfort, to establish a type of conversational intimacy... so, it's definitely by design... and I actually rather like it. Better than a desk... and certainly better than Leno without a desk.

December 10 2009 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree it could be a bit intimate, but I think what they're trying to do is make it like a neighbor's fence. Two friends/neighbors talking over the fence between their yards. Catching up. Just a thought. It is a fun show. Loved his interview with Judge Judy.

December 10 2009 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It doesn't bother me, but it looks as though it's making Henry Winklers junk shrivel.

December 10 2009 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Reminds me of the SNL Love Toilet:


December 10 2009 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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