August 23 to 30, 1967
We’ve heard of a “cup of Joe,” but a “cup of tribble”?!
It was 49 years ago this week that they were filming the classic TOS [The Original Series] episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Everyone on the set was breaking up in laughter … except for Gene Roddenberry. Days later, producer Gene Coon would hand in his resignation.
“The Trouble with Tribbles” was the second comedy episode in a row to be filmed during Star Trek’s second season (on the heels of “I, Mudd”). And the next episode scheduled to film, “Bread and Circuses,” was leaning toward comedy, as well. Gene Roddenberry had been away from several weeks writing a TV pilot. The day Roddenberry returned, he dropped by Desilu Stage 10 to the sound of laughter, and witnessed hundreds of tribbles being dropped on William Shatner. He then went to the projection room and watched the footage from “I, Mudd.” And then he read Gene Coon’s latest draft of “Bread and Circuses.” And then, as they say, the shit hit the fan. Roddenberry later told author Marc Cushman, “I was always determined not to let Star Trek cross over into Lost in Space territory. I was never opposed to humor in Star Trek, but I did make a conscious effort to draw the line at camp.”