Thursday, August 6, 2009

More flying toupees.


Previously, we brought you an extract from the William Shatner biography Captain Quirk that described a rather strange incident (See here for more from this book):

Once while directing a scene [for Star Trek V, Shatner] got so worked up, he stumbled over a large rock and fell to the ground. The force of the fall flung his hairpiece across the set, and as the mortified director got back to his feet, a group of extras in the scene started laughing out loud. Shatner fired them all on the spot, with no further discussion.”

Well, there is another very brief flying toupee story mentioned in The Encyclopedia Shatnerica (we already looked at their "toupee" entry here). On page 118, author Robert Schnakenberg brings us this nugget in the "Line Counting" entry:

"The City on the Edge of Forever"

"In his 1996 account of the tortured birth of his 1966 [Star Trek first season] teleplay 'The City on the Edge of Forever,' writer Harlan Ellison talks about Shatner line counting the script in his Hollywood home, then lobbying for rewrites when he discovered that Spock had more lines than Kirk. (A corollary anecdote about Shatner's toupee falling off upon his arrival at Ellison's house has been relegated only for Star Trek convention audiences.)" (Emphasis ours).

This is a story that apparently only Star Trek convention-goers will be able to confirm for us. However, we did find this related, but entirely unconfirmed comment at mentalfloss.com (see here):

"Some time ago I had the opportunity to hear Harlan Ellison speak (he wrote “City on the Edge of Forever”–I think, I know he wrote the one that one the Hugo). He relayed the story of how they tied a fishing hook to an overhead boom and pulled Shatner’s toupee off in the middle of one of his (many) love scenes. Beautiful…

Posted by Jim on 8-25-2008 at 11:20 am"

So it seems that Harlan Ellison enjoys referring to Shatner's toupee quite often. Whether these stories are true or merely an act of retroactive spite, is difficult to say.

Temperamental author Harlan Ellison.

1 comment:

  1. The story from mentalfloss is strange. What would the hook have to catch onto so that the toup could be lifted off his head?
    With all the time it takes to attach the rug, someone is going to waste time and money by pulling it off the actor's head?

    This would likely be a more oft-told part of star trek lore if it had really happened.

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