Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012: the year of the Toupee Spring?

Could 2012 turn out to be the year of the Toupee Spring? A recent interview with Roger Perry, who played Captain Christopher in the first season Star Trek episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday" suggests that it may well be.

First, what exactly do we mean by Toupee Spring? The "Spring" that has been dominating headlines since last year is obviously the Arab Spring. One of the interesting and pertinent dynamics in those events is seeing the fall of a firmly established, yet rather warped, set of prejudices and black-and-white assumptions. The desperate and deluded dictatorial regimes have tried their best to suggest that you're either with them or you are with potential terrorists, rats, drug-dealing gangs, foreign agents etc.

Similarly, what we may be witnessing in 2012 is a significant weakening of the "Takei effect" - meaning that numerous figures who have crucial knowledge of the toupee and have yet to add this to the official record are beginning to no longer fear that discussion of the toupee equates to hating Bill Shatner or wanting to publically hurt or belittle him, as many believe George Takei did at the Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (assuming the mantle from Trek co-star James Doohan: "Bill's hairpiece was being applied. The top of his head was a lot of skin and a few little odd tufts of hair. The mirrors in the makeup room walls were arranged so that we could all see the laying on of his rug").

The events of 08/20/06 led to many toupologists being unfairly compared to George Takei.

In this post-Toupee Spring world, to want to talk about the toupee does not automatically make you a George Takei-like Bill Shatner hater with "a scary glint" in your eyes.

Of course, several figures have in the past already discussed their first-hand experiences with Bill Shatner's toupee in a factual, non-Takei-like manner, for example Star Trek guest star William Campbell. While others have sought to create a friendly climate in which the toupee can openly and even comedically be referenced. But somehow these efforts were always, and rather unfortunately, overshadowed by those who sought to use a warped version of toupology to pursue an extremist agenda, for example attempting an ambush on Bill Shatner. Those events would invariably be the ones making headlines, and, as a result, other figures with crucial knowledge of the toupee would choose silence out of a fear of also being labelled as toupological extremists.

Thus, the Perry comments perhaps represent a significant evolution.

Roger Perry today (left).

Here's the crucial segment in the actor's recent interview with

Q: What do you remember of the ["Tomorrow is Yesterday"] shoot? Any great anecdote that people may not know?

Perry: The unusual thing, but I have to say this because I remember it… The very first day going into makeup I was in the makeup room and (William) Shatner was a couple of chairs down. I remember looking over and I was very shocked because they were putting his toupee on. I said, “Wait a minute. He’s a young man.” At that time he was very young and I thought, “Well, that’s interesting.” I didn’t know at that time whether they were doing it because of the character. Then I heard later on that he’d been wearing a toupee for a long, long time.

Painting glue over the lace line (more here).

It's a common gripe at journalism that interviewers frequently fail to ask decent follow-up questions of their subjects, and here too, sadly, the subject switches to something new with the next question (perhaps the old fears were present in the interviewer). What was the toupee like? What about the details of the application process? How did Bill Shatner act during the application? Was he a different person with the toupee on than off? What did he look like without it? So many important questions left unanswered...

Nonetheless, the fact that Roger Perry volunteered to tell this anecdote without specifically being asked is a highly welcome development. If 2012 is indeed to be the year of the Toupee Spring, then this interview may be remembered as a watershed moment.

Are there images of a toup-less Bill Shatner locked in a vault somewhere?

Our thanks to several of you for emailing us the tip!


  1. I think that most people will come out about the toup only when Shatner bill dead and gone

  2. Here in Italy the actress Barbara Bouchet who played Kelinda from the Kelvan Empire in the episode "By Any Other Name" in many interviews has always spoken about a funny anedocte about that job experience.After shooting the kissing scene Shatner invited her for a date.But when Shatner went out from the makeup caravan she was shocked because she didn't recognize him:he was bald and whithout his bangs he seemed lot older...and she ran away terrified!

  3. I'm surprised more hasn't been made of the "glue over lace line" picture. We've always set our sights on the holy grail, a toupless picture post 1959. Here we have an actual picture of the final stages of toup application. Proof positive of the existence of the JLK! Shat Toup- its your duty to find these makeup artists and tell the world their tale. After all we've got 50 years of toup wearing. They must be hundreds if not thousands of them just waiting to spill the beans. This is your Sputnik moment!

  4. @masso Thanks for your comment. If there is anywhere in print/video where this story is reported, we would love to see it!

    @MostJerk Agreed. Very cleverly, as it was supposed to show the aging process in "The Deadly Years", only those in the know likely get the full toupological import of the image. Crafty Bill Shatner again!

    By the way, we're not sure why the spacing of comments here is suddenly so crunched up. Evidently, Blogger has made some sort of formatting change. If anyone has any tips for how we could fix this please let us know! Thanks!


  5. Amazing that "" printed this - that's almost like studio confirmation of the Toupee's existence. Not that there was really any doubt, but this is practically making it "official".

  6. Great work, as always!

    I hope you won't consider me too presumptuous, but I received the Six Million Dollar Man DVD set for Christmas and watched the William Shatner episode, "Burning Bright." It's filled with toupological goodness, including a new, previously undiscovered toupological phenomenon.

    So, as an homage and not a rip-off, I decided to prepare my own lengthy toupological analysis, which I tried to prepare in the style of your pieces, including video excerpts, plentiful visual illustrations, and the sentence "let's move swiftly to the hair." It was pieced together over the course of several days, and it gave me renewed appreciation for the amount of time, energy, and talent that goes into preparing the analyses here at ST.

    You can read the whole thing here:

    (Please don't sue me.)

  7. @Stallion Cornell Terrific work - a fun and fascinating read! The close-ups in that episode of the toup are indeed priceless.


  8. Hey, Stallion, great job! ShatToupBlog is truly doing school! Back in the seventies, I used to watch the Six Million Dollar Man, but I didn't recall this episode

  9. Hi ShatToup Blog! Here there is a link to an italian interview

    the same article was also linked an italian trek forum

    One of her video interview is here:
    The star trek portion of the interview starts at 4:59 and she talks about william shatner's hairpiece anedocte from 6:12.

    This is what she says:
    "Well, after we shoot a scene togheter, someone knocked on my wardrobe-makeup caravan.I opened the door and i looked him.He said "Do you want to have dinner with me?".I thought "Who is he?" - now the conductor ask her "Who was he?" and she answers "He was him..he was William Shatner without his hair!". The conductor..asks "How without is hair?Was he bald?Did he wear a toupet?".She answers "Yeeeesss!" and she fragorously laughs.
    In other interviews about the same argument what i think emerges better is that she didn't refuse him because he was without hair but because she didn't recognize him without his hair so she thought it was a rude approach from a stranger to accept even if he was still an handsome man without his hair.

  10. @Masso Thank you so much! We'll certainly do a story on this soon. It's really great to see toupology going global like this. Fantastic work.


  11. Except I don't believe it. If Shat wandered about and knocked on doors wig-less there'd be photos.

  12. Came across this photo... Looks a little off to me.

    Scalp, or lighting?