Friday, January 14, 2011

A "TJ furry" and the side hairline.

Recently, a reader pointed to an interesting image (above - sourced here) of Bill Shatner wearing a "TJ Curly" toupee in the 1980s. The picture underscores just how extraordinarily thick this particular kind of hairpiece was.

As we've noted before, the "TJ Curly" very likely had several sub-phases, the most prominent of which was a division into a mere top-piece era (circa 1976-1983)...

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

...and a fuller era in which the toupee also went down to the sides...

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

This expansion of the toupee into hitherto untoupeed areas likely had a lot to do with stability. A top-weave is less stable and given Bill Shatner's physical antics in T.J. Hooker, extending the toupee down to the sides of the temples likely created a more durable look, with fears over seams showing or even an unfortunate disconnection reduced - but other problems could arise (see here for more):

The change can essentially be characterized as this:

Instead of this:

But did the toupee at the sides reduce believability?

The toupee going all the way down the temples is something that has evidently continued ever since this switch. Yet, arguably, this harsh line at the sides is even more of a giveaway that Bill Shatner's hair isn't real than what has been going on on top.

It's been with us for years...

...changing in intensity depending on the given style:

When this change occurred, the thin strip of toupee was likely attached just in front of Bill Shatner's real hair at the sides. But at some point, probably coinciding with the later circa-2000 transition into the "Denny Katz" look, the sides may have been completely shaved to accommodate the new shorter hair - the old principle of placing a strip of toupee in front of existing hair at the sides was no longer a viable option.

Bill Shatner at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver - the Canadian Maple Leaf: a strategically placed symbol suggesting that new foliage can continue to sprout?

The toupee was growing and consuming areas of the head that had previously remained off-limits!

The conclusion we can draw from all of this is that Bill Shatner has been concealing an entirely real hairline (at the sides) for almost thirty years. Deciphering where fake ends and real begins - or if any real is left at all - is not a job for the faint-hearted!

See zaini666's large Bill Shatner picture album here.


  1. That phrase "like a kid in a candy store", might be altered to read "like Shatner in a toupee shop"

  2. This first pic is truly scary!

  3. The first picture was kindly shared by Daynad on "More Shat, Less Shame" a few weeks ago and has given me nightmares ever since!

  4. There isn't a human being alive who can look at the first picture in this post and believe that Shat's hair is real.

  5. Maybe we should post this pic to them:!/group.php?gid=5333281562&v=wall


  6. Wow, just wow. Seriously, I'd call that a wig, not a toupee.

  7. Tintora, I joined the group and posted the pic. Should be interesting.

  8. @Stallion Cornell

    Wow, that was bold. XD

  9. What on Earth is going on in this photo?!

    His wife is trying to pull the "Jim Kirk lace" right off!

    Also, there are some really terrible "TJ Furry" photos up there:!

  10. @Clayton
    The first pic has been dealt with before:

  11. As a former toupee deniar, I must say I am somewhat overwhelmed by the photographic proof.
    I wonder, with all the evidence that is out there, do you suppose the Shat ever envisioned a day when blu-ray and the internet would come about, not to mention home video alone? Or a day when millions could gather and dissect his "lost" works, including desperate appearances on game shows of the 70's, forgotten works like 'Whale of a Tale', wearing whatever ratty toupee was given to him for any given production?

  12. @tintorera
    Amazing. I had missed the earlier thread. The William Shatner School of Toupological Studies is truly a most distinguished, and thorough, institution of research and higher learning.

  13. Toupee or not toupee!January 17, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    I think Shatner is so full of self confidence that he doesn't care if the hair looks authentic or not. It would take the most self confident person in the world to wear the TJ Curly. The most foul looking wig imaginable. Yuk! I used to watch that show and was always distracted by that thing on his head (not to mention the girdle). Hooker always had trouble running didn't he? The aerodynamics of that massive wig must have had something to do with it (or was Shatner worried about the thing taking off in the wind). Have the toupologists studied this at all?

  14. Thanks Toupee or not toupee! Our Department of Toupular Aviation, Aeronautics and Aerodynamics is looking into it! -ST

  15. Where did you get that rugJanuary 17, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    That photo is truly enough to make you weep. Congratulations to the furr-ensic toupologists for uncovering this body of evidence.......

  16. The same user (zainin666) has a Youtube channel, with a treasure trove of early, toupologically significant clips. For example, check out this 1958 clip from "Kraft Mystery Theater: The Man Who Didn't Fly":

    We get a good glimpse of the top of his head at 3:05 . What's going on there? A gap in the toup coverage? Or, a patchy area of the "Jim Kirk lace"?

    Also, this site has previously mentioned 1958's "Playhouse 90", with Shat's bizarrely shiny/patchy rug ( ), but check out the daring, live-TV "toup roll" at 2:01 :

    (Wow, amateur toupology is addictive.)

  17. Clayton Forrester, 1958's "Playhouse 90"

    Great toupological finds there...although I wonder if that one is a toupless appearance revealing the start of the patchy scalp???

  18. Wow, that thins a monstosity, its worse than the one he wore in 'The Final frontier' if thats possible!

  19. Ratty Lost Years PieceJanuary 20, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Wow, just wow - look at the expression in that first pic! Shatner does not look pleased. Perhaps someone glued that roadkill on his head as a practical joke. The comparison to a wool hat is apt, although I suspect the TJ is warmer.

    The "toup roll" in Playhouse 90 seems to demonstrate that Shatner's Toup Fu skills evolved much earlier than Star Trek. We have seen several toupological analyses of TOS fight scenes in which strikes, parries, dives and blocks are used to protect the toupee. Shat's cat-like (shat-like?) reflexes, chemically enhanced through years of exposure to toupee glue, were captured in this post:
    Shatner's prowess in the Toup Fu fighting form would certainly discourage me from making a grab for the piece!

  20. "I find your choice of toupee to be highly illogical."

  21. Why does anyone even f-ing care??? Seriously?