Thursday, June 23, 2011

The toups of happy chance...

Image sourced via eBay.

An interesting outlier toupee (toupees outside of the major categories such as the "Jim Kirk lace" or "Lost Years") from an original television play called The Skirts of Happy Chance starring William Shatner and Elizabeth Ashley. The play was televised on Wednesday May 28th 1969, five months after Bill Shatner filmed his last ever original series episode of Star Trek.

We couldn't find much out there on this particular project. doesn't list Bill Shatner among the stars for some reason. Time magazine's archives note that: "Workers on the committee of an antipoverty project include a war hero (William Shatner) and a poor girl (Elizabeth Ashley) who fall in love while dealing with politics and urban responsibility. The play's title: '... The Skirts of Happy Chance...' ".

Elizabeth Ashley in 1969 - image via eBay.

While this website notes that: "On NBC’s Wednesday night movie this week - William Shatner and Elizabeth Ashley in 'The Skirts of Happy Chance.' 'She’s an uncompromising rebel who thinks a woman’s place is on the picket line. He’s a well-meaning liberal who feels that her place, if not in the home, is across a table of a restaurant.' " Google's news archives have some more detailed (negative) reviews, for example here and here.

The toup seems at little gnawed-at at the front, but other than that it doesn't look too bad. It is rather similar in appearance to the one in the previous year's TV movie Perilous Voyage.

Perilous Voyage (1968).

Is it the very same toup? We think it is possible. Time and time again, we see a toupee premiering on one project then returning for another (did this one make a brief comeback as late as 1977?). The implications? What do we all often do with hotel towels? Enough said...

UPDATE: Reader "tintorera" observed (and linked to the below picture) that the above toup may have also been used in 1969's CBS Playhouse: "Shadow Game", which aired just a few weeks before The Skirts of Happy Chance. Our thanks to tintorera for this important toupological info!

William Shatner in "Shadow Game" (1969).


Peter Falk (1927-2011).

With love and respect from all of us at Shatner's Toupee. Rest in peace...


  1. Looks pretty much like the one he wore on CBS Playhouse "Shadow Game" (image via ebay)

  2. My pleasure. ^^

  3. James Toupeerius KirkJune 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    In any appearance from the end of TOS all over the lost years ratty phase to TMP, Shatner's hairline was obscured because of a lack of a convincing lace-line I think.
    Fitting well into the time of the beatles-like haircuts.
    The looks of shatner during the time of this movie are because of a cheap toupee. Nobody bought him a JKL, perhaps because of lower budgets.

    I just watched Star Trek 6. After the diner with the Klingons Kirk is called to the bridge by Spock. He leaves the turbolift, and during the opening of the door, he raises his head.
    There's a scene, where we can see the scalp, perhaps the Chief-touplogists got the movie on Blu-Ray or whatever, DVD Quality is not enough for pointing out anything while zooming into the frozen frame.
    This second could be worth investigating!?!


    James Toupeerius Kirk

  4. Ratty Lost Years PieceJune 24, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    In the '70's, even real hair looked like a bad toupee.

  5. Just One More ThingJune 24, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Shatners 80s fro looked alot like Peter Falks real hair

  6. @Just One More Thing Interestingly, Bill Shatner's 1976 appearance in Columbo was one of the first ever - maybe even the first - appearances of the "TJ Curly". Falk, whose hair was real, may well have been a toupological father figure to Bill Shatner, directly inspiring his colleague to adopt this new toupee style, based on his own thick curly locks. -ST

  7. James Toupeerius KirkJune 24, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    @ Ratty lost years piece: my opinion!!

    @ Just one more thing: I feel that Shatner always make some sort of hair-competition; while playing with Peter Falk he wants to mess with his hair, In TJ Hooker he imitated James Darren's look and so on..

  8. new pic

    maybe its time for a Pine article on ShatToup? (the way Pines hair sometimes mirrors Shats - looking almost Katz like when buzzed, thick and almost TJ helmet like in the 2nd pic in that article, will he have the JK lace style for the sequel?)

  9. shats own real syrupJune 25, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    oh dear, his toup has seen better days. This toup may not be, as bad as some syrups he has placed apon his bald bonce, but this one dont'ot look real in the least bit. And what did he look like, without his toup in 1969....coming up to polish head time, just some hair at the sides and back, by then you could count his frontal hair, it had been falling out at the front, then for a good 7 years....and yes that was sad news indeed, about peter falk...loved that show.

  10. just think there couldve been another 2 years of Star Trek episodes from 1969-71 instead of shat appearing on obscure stuff

    i wonder how toupological delights we would have seen. im betting here wouldnt have been any ratty Lost Years toup in the remaining seasons

    and what more classic episodes there would have been? bound to have been a dozen or so (theres a good 5 or 6 in season 3)


  11. With a little Touposhop work (giving them uniforms etc.), that arm-wrestling picture might make a great Star Trek II poster! Two Kirks engaged in an arm-wrestle...

    That real section of hair at the back of Bill Shatner is definitely in need of a trim there. -ST

  12. @SHB - indeed someone should photoshop a TWOK era uniform on Shatner - maybe even deage the face 20 years and put a brown TJ Curly on there (so it looks like pre Generations Shat - which would make more sense storywise) and put the yellow uniform on Kirk...starfield backdrop...Star Trek 2 logo font under

    if done right it could even get shatner in the movie for real! like the way the mock up photo of the Enterprise being built in the dockyard inspired the scene in the last movie

  13. actually if Shat Toup Blog got to work on a Touposhop pic with uniforms etc then that image could go all over the net drawing lots of publicity for the site! (maybe even inspiring a shatcameo in the sequel who knows...)

  14. I think this toupee was the "ratty looking" one that bob justman was talking about in his book when he said that they ordered two toupee's a year because shatner's personal toupee's were ratty looing. And of course shatner stole his star trek toups. After seeing this bad boy, we now know why he did.

  15. Shatner stole toupees from Star Trek? Did he steal tribbles as well?