Quite an even spread of votes, with the largest share of voters, 35%, believing that Bill Shatner's visits with his various hairstylists are all very formal and backed up with non-disclosure agreements. Only 10% believed that Bill Shatner becomes unusually unburdened and carefree in the presence of his personal toupologists, while 25% of voters believed the actor gets desperate and vulnerable in the pursuit of more believable hair. Thanks for voting!
Now, on to the subject of Bill Shatner's Star Trek co-star Walter Koenig. The guy has worn a toupee for years (he wore a wig for his first few episodes of Star Trek until his real, albeit thinning, hair grew out to a moptop length, but it wasn't until several years after TOS that the actor turned to the toup)...
...and, unlike the Shatman, he has been pretty open about his toup wearing...
...even mentioning the issue in his autobiography Warped Factors:
"[Makeup man Fred Phillips] leaned closer. 'Your hair is thinning in the back. You better come with me.'
...He whipped out a can of something called Nestles, Streaks and Tips. The brown spray covered the island of withering follicles at my crown and thus began my life of deception on Star Trek... and the resolute assault of male-pattern baldness was, at least temporarily, obscured by the magic of the paint can." (sourced here)
However, during a recent public appearance - for a screening of Star Trek V, no less - Walter Koenig boldly did something that he may never have done before.
Not only did he appear sans toupee, but he lifted up his cap and exposed his bald head for all the world to see.
Walter Koenig discussing a key difference between himself, Chekov and Monkees star Davy Jones.
Members of Star Trek's "gang of four" supporting cast have often felt overshadowed by Bill Shatner's immense, they would say overbearing, presence. And in the case of Koenig's toupee, this is certainly the case compared with Bill Shatner's. So was the above an opportunity to steal back some of the limelight from the greatest spotlight stealer of them all? Or was it a challenge to Bill Shatner? If I can do this, so can you...
We know Bill Shatner loves a challenge, and being so severely outshone (quite literally, as Koenig's head really is completely bald!) by one of his Star Trek co-stars - and all this happening during a screening of the Trek that Bill Shatner directed! - should surely be motivation enough for Captain Kirk to follow suit and reveal his dome to the world too!
UPDATE: Reader "RM" correctly points out that Walter Koenig has been photographed sans toupee before, during his work to promote democracy in the Southeast Asian country of Burma...
...video here and see Koenig's website for more info on the actor's efforts in pursuit of this cause.
Perhaps the most interesting thing is how little it appears to matter whether there's a toup or not once the initial plunge is taken. Although Bill Shatner, because he's elevated the toupee to a whole other level, as well as denying his toup wearing on occasion, would naturally face far more media interest in this regard than Koenig, should he decide to follow in his cast-mate's footsteps (and obviously, he's a bigger star too).
UPDATE II: Walter Koenig's website has linked to this article. Seems the challenge is real!!!