Like many others on Thanksgiving, William Shatner sought a “moister, tastier” turkey experience. The former Star Trek star had purchased a sizable fryer and, turned brash by pangs of hunger, threw caution to the wind; despite knowing Archimedes’ principle full well, Shatner boldly went where no cook should go and deposited the turkey into a vat brimming with oil. Oh, woeful day! The oil, displaced by the turkey, ran over the fryer’s sides and onto the open flame. Flames then shot up, burning Shatner’s arms.
In 2011, Shatner joined forces with the insurance company State Farm to create a cautionary video warning would-be Thanksgiving turkey fryers about the perils of engaging in such a gastronomic enterprise. According to State Farm, insurance claims related to Thanksgiving grease & cooking-accidents dropped by half after this public service announcement came out.
In what can only be interpreted as an attempt to tamper with perfection, in 2012, State Farm decided to have YouTube’s melodysheep remix Shatner’s original video, giving it a glistening new coat of Internet virality. We are pleased to say that the endeavor proved to be a resounding success. Please enjoy the video, above, and remember the following frying tips:
1: Avoid oil spillover--don't overfill the pot.
2: Turn off the flame when lowering the turkey into oil.
3: Fry outside, away from the house.
4: Properly thaw the turkey before frying.
5: Keep a grease-fire-approved extinguisher nearby.
Ilia Blinderman is a Montreal-based culture and science writer. Follow him at @iliablinderman.