William Shatner And Henry Winkler Travel Through Asia in NBC’s ‘Better Late Than Never’

In what might be called the best buddy road trip ever, William Shatner and Henry Winkler along with George Foreman and Terry Bradshaw went on an adventure of a lifetime in Asia and it’s all video documented. Billed as a fish-out-of-water comedy reality series for NBC, Better Late Than Never follows the four older celebrities on their one-of-a-kind trip lead by Comedian Jeff Dye. Together, they traveled all around Asia visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Hong Kong, Phuket, and Chiang Mai with comedic results.

Throughout the limited series, Dye is the one who leads Shatner and friends through six cities and four countries with no set agenda, but plenty opportunities to mark off many “bucket list” items as they go. Dye was in charge of picking out where the group would be sleeping each night as well including the Capsule Hotel in Tokyo featured during the show’s premiere. The “rooms” at the hotel are more like drawers where guests sleep closed off with see-through door.

“It looks like a kennel,” says William Shatner.

“It’s Tokyo, it’s different here. It’s not like at home in your mansion,” says Jeff Dye.

It’s a very true statement as a naked man walks down the hallway and climbs up a ladder past Shatner’s capsule to get to his own.

“There’s a sight,” says William.

The Asian trip took place during the monsoon season which didn’t appeal to any of them.

“I will say to you that honestly, the worst memory of the show was that from morning to night it felt as if you were wrapped in plastic, head to toe, Winkler said during Better Late Than Never media day as reported by Variety Latino. “It was hotter than hot, wetter than wet all the time.”

“It was beyond anything we had experienced before in sunny California or Back East where some of us are from,” says Shatner. “It was beyond anything we’ve ever experienced; that humidity, those threatening thunderstorms and the sweat. Because there’s always sweat. You don’t want to sweat on camera.”

During the trip, the fivesome did amazing things like appear on a popular Japanese game show, take a karaoke bus trip to Mr. Fuji, visit a Geisha house, train at a Samurai warrior school, take a lesson at the K-pop school where they learned how to become a Korean pop star, and stay at a $6-a-night “spa.” Basically being uncomfortable the whole time.

“I learned being uncomfortable is how you grow, Dye said.” And I think every show I’ve done has just been fun and I just get to be a silly goofball. But for this, I was in a place I don’t know anything about. I didn’t know the language or any of that stuff, so that was uncomfortable. And then working with guys who I admire and look up to, but also I’m around them all day. Every time I was uncomfortable, it made me feel ‑‑ I don’t know, I feel like I grew up a little bit, being in all this different stuff that made me really uncomfortable, but that’s why I liked it.”

Other highlights on the trip include Terry Bradshaw celebrating his 67th birthday, getting talked into getting his first tattoo, and then being serenaded at a special birthday dinner. Then there’s the boxing match between Shatner and Foreman. Guess who wins?

“We had a great time,” William Shatner agrees. “We had an illuminating time. These were cultures that we had never visited before. [My castmates] were people that really didn’t know each other. Casual showbiz knowledge here and there; but not really intimately; not really under stress, whereby you’ve got to keep your good humor and your manners, and whether you’re on camera or off camera. Because you’re always on camera.”

Better Late Than Never premieres on Tuesday, August 23rd at 10:00 p.m. on NBC. It is produced by Universal Television in association with Storyline Entertainment, Small World IFT and CJ E&M. Henry Winkler serves as one of the executive producers of the show as well.

[Image via NBC]