Thursday, November 12, 2009

My so-called toupee encounter.



My So-Called Career In Hollywood is the name of a mysterious 2005 book written under the pseudonym of E. Klass. The book claims to be a tell-all about the author's various experiences as a screenwriter (and also an extra) in Hollywood. The full title of the book is:

My So-Called Career In Hollywood -- How I got Lost In Space, arrested on Gilligan's Island, kicked out of Mayberry, roughed up by Sylvester Stallone, rejected by Captain Kirk and The Fonz and had my heart broken on the Land Of The Giants – just for starters!

Amazon.com reviewers remain divided over whether the book is authentic or just a work of fiction from an author who demonstrates very few moral scruples. One reviewer notes:

While there is little to find of E. Klass via the Internet and other reviewers question the veracity of his work, this no-holds-barred tell-all bears the ring of truth, albeit names may have been changed to protect the guilty. ...It would be hard to believe that this kind of detailed account could erupt from pure imagination.


On page 140 of My So-Called Career In Hollywood, the author describes working as a Klingon extra on Star Trek and a purported Bill Shatner toupee encounter:

The next day, the wardrobe woman came at me with a Klingon costume yet again. I shuttered [sic] at the sight of it.

"Go on, take it, take it," she taunted, waving it in my face.

I snatched the costume, threw it on, stormed into the make-up trailer, and collapsed into a chair, grumbling under my breath, completely oblivious to who was sitting right next to me.

"It's a bitch playing a Klingon, isn't it?"

Stunned, my only reply was to drop open my jaw and stare openly.

"Yes, but we can't all play the good guys, can we?" Shatner mused, quickly realizing that I wasn't about to add to the conversation. "Someone's got to be the heavy."

"Uh huh," I stammered stupidly "Yep. Uh-huh. Right-o."

A make-up man approached, carrying Shatner's hairpiece in one hand. "Ready, Bill?"

Shatner, who was already wearing a toupee -- the one he wore while driving to the studio -- nodded. The the make-up man, executing a swift, well-rehearsed maneuver, removed the "street" toupee from Shatner's head with one hand while placing the "Kirk" toupee on Shatner's head with the other hand. As a result, Shatner was "bald" for less than a second. If I had blinked, I would have missed the whole thing.

Image sourced here.

There are aspects to the story that do appear credible, for example the switch from personal toup to the Jim Kirk lace. On the other hand, anyone with a little second-hand knowledge of Bill Shatner could spin such a yarn. True or not? We really have no idea.

5 comments:

  1. I thinks it's all fiction. But there´s a bit of truth on Bill´s toupee tale. Some insider afraid of exposing him (her) self...?

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  2. Does this story date back to the filming of the original series or to one of the movies? I'd probably believe it more if it's about one of the movies.

    During the 60's I think there are other accounts (like the one with Trelane) of Shatner not being as uncomfortable without a toupee. Plus weren't his 'personal' toupees "jim kirk lace" at the time, since he had stolen them from the set?

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  3. Another thing is that if it were a lace toupee, they'd have to apply the adhesive to his head first before sticking the toupee on, so this would definitely take longer than a minute.

    see this link for somebody explaining how to apply one of these:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0vvxd6kXAQ

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  4. Ratty Lost Years PieceNovember 16, 2009 at 6:38 AM

    Sounds fake to me. I always thought Shatner's toupee was applied like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scNOkUY6mA0&feature=player_embedded

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  5. hahaha that is hilarious! I can just picture that with the shat!

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