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All good things must come to an end, and William Shatner's tenure as pitchman for Priceline.com is no exception. The eighty year-old actor's zany commercials helped offer the company name recognition. In return, he reportedly profited very well thanks to taking most of his pay in stock options. That mutually beneficial relationship lasted for fourteen years, but now it seems the company is ready to head in a new direction.
Often, long-time spokesmen fade away once a company decides to relieve them of their duties, but graceful exits are neither the Shatner way nor apparently the Priceline way. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the former Star Trek star's Negotiator will lose his life in an upcoming commercial featuring an out of control bus. By the end, he'll go over a literal cliff, paving the way for a new figurehead to take over. Early reports indicate the new pitchman or pitchwoman could be in place in time for a Super Bowl rollout, but there's no word yet on who the famous face might be.
Admitting he's currently in “grief mode”, Shatner reportedly took the news well, saying he had a good run and that when management says it's over, it's over. To be honest, I'll actually miss the crazy bastard. I hated the commercials when they first began airing, but they grew on me, especially the one with the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cameo.
In honor of Shatner, here's a look at some alternate takes from that television spot…