Who kept their dignity the most, post-Trek, Shatner or Nimoy? It’s a tough call; both have cultivated a voice with gravitas, and both have undercut that voice with comedic work. Both embrace the kitsch of their former roles, but have moved on from it. They both released embarrassing albums, but the worst was a duet between the two of them, so that’s a wash. In general, I think it comes down to two things: Priceline, and The Ballad. Shatner is the well-known face of a fairly banal internet company, tainting his classic status with mascot work. On the other hand, there is The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. View the original, classic video below.
The video was made for a variety show, hastily lip-synced and then quickly forgotten — but not by the internet. After years of obscurity, the video resurfaced to enormous fame sometime in the internet’s early, pre-historic era. It’s not hard to see why. So why are we bringing it up again today? Because The Hobbit is back in the news. The movie’s creators are uniquely rabid in their Tolkien fandom, so of course they love The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins! So, when the opportunity presented itself, they decided to film a little tribute.
Watch below as the cast from The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug collectively reads the lyrics for your enjoyment.
It’s cut together rather well, with an amusing mixture of voices, from dry to outright laughing. Notable is Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, who delivers some of his lines in the impressively elderly voice used to voice Smaug, the movie’s titular dragon.
The next logical star to satisfy the fans’ thirst for Star Trek-Lord of the Rings crossover fiction would of course be Karl Urban, who has a major part in both series. In fact, given his presence in the universes of Judge Dredd, Doom, and Riddick, that makes Urban just about the most viable nerd crossover star there is.
It is, though, much harder to imagine him singing this particular ditty.