Not to sound like the host of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, but have you ever noticed the unique way Commander Riker sits on a chair in Star Trek: The Next Generation? The chances are you have, especially as supercuts of Riker’s weird method of sitting down have gone viral on social media. And if you’ve ever wondered how and why Jonathan Frakes developed the character quirk, he’s now offered up an answer.
Frakes recently sat down to answer fans’ question in a live Q&A as part of IGN’s watch party of Star Trek: First Contact, which he starred in and directed. The chat soon turned to the iconic Riker sit, with the actor/filmmaker revealing that he does it in real-life, too.
“I do when the chairback is below the danger zone,” Frakes said with a laugh. “I measure twice and cut once!”
As for how he started doing the sit, Frakes revealed he came up with it based on a particular set, but kept pushing his luck when no one told him to stop.
“That started in [the TNG set] Ten Forward because the backs of the chairs were so low, it was easy. And then I thought, this is really a hotdog, asshole thing to do. Nobody’s going to let me do this. And then nobody stopped me! It’s such a cocky, unattractive, kind of bad cowboy move,” he added.
Yes, Frakes has seen the supercut as well, and it makes him both embarrassed and proud.
“Whoever did the YouTube compilation of Riker sits down, it went viral and was even more embarrassing, and made me strangely even more proud!”
Hopefully we’ll see the return of the Riker sit if and when Frakes makes another appearance on Star Trek: Picard in season 2, which seems to be a pretty safe bet based on what he’s hinted at before.