The results are in from our latest poll, which sought to gauge your estimates on the total number of individual toupees that Bill Shatner has worn throughout his entire life. The largest number of respondents, 37% thought that it was between 100 and 500, while 18% thought it might be as high as between 5000 and 10,000. Thanks for voting!
Let's try to do a little math and see if we can't narrow it down a little: If we set 1957 as the first toupee-wearing year, then, up to and including 2010, we have a total of 53 years of hairpiece wearing from Bill Shatner.
The actor has worn many different styles throughout these years, some would have required more toupee replacements, others fewer (see here for a Star Trek memo on the "Jim Kirk lace"). The 70s evidently saw the toupees being replaced less often, in particular due to the poor state of Bill Shatner's finances at the time, while the "TJ Curly" went through many, many changes and replacements.
This being the case, an average estimate of around 4-8 individual toupees a year seems reasonable (excluding specific costume-style wigs worn for various programs like Barbary Coast).
4 x 1 x 53 = 212 (low estimate)
8 x 1 x 53 = 424 (high estimate)
Seems kinda low either way, doesn't it? Enough to fill up a room? Just for fun, if Bill Shatner had worn 10,000 toupees in those 53 years, he would have had to have purchased/worn a brand-new toupee every 1.93 days, according to our "Department of Toupological Calculations".
Lastly, we've also been looking into a relatively recent interview Bill Shatner did with Access Hollywood's Laura Saltman as part of the actor's publicity blitz for $#*t Mt Dad Says!
It's a particularly boisterous affair, with the subject revolving around how good Bill Shatner looks for 79 - something with which we certainly agree, toupee or no toupee. During the interview, Laura Saltman asks "How do you stay so wrinkle free - is it Botox? What are the William Shatner secrets?".
Bill Shatner then replies confidently "No, I don't do any of that stuff." Any of that stuff is quite a broad assertion if we take "that stuff" to mean external forms of self-improvement. Clever wordplay? Should he have said "I don't do any of that stuff if 'that stuff' is to be defined as self-improvement specifically related to the skin. If it's a broader definition then I can't make that claim and might have to consult my lawyers as to what exactly I can say because of my toupee-wearing."? Admittedly, such a statement might have adversely affected the rhythm of the interview, as would the sight of a team of lawyers suddenly rushing into shot and whispering into the actor's ear!
The full interview can be watched here or listen to the relevant segment below:
Click here for more Bill Shatner toupee wordplay.