Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! (And Where Have we Gone?)

Happy New Year to all our readers - or should we say to those who haven't yet deleted us from their bookmarks list out of understandable frustration at our mysterious absence. Did we receive a cease and desist order from Bill Shatner's vast team of toupological lawyers? Did we run out of things to write about? No (if Bill Shatner knows of us, we're sure he likes the attention and maybe he too is ribbing us to return!) and no.

What happened is this: One of the key people responsible for writing up the voluminous research conducted by the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies had the crazy idea of traveling half way round the world in search of new opportunities. Though our staff are paid very well for their hard work, mysteriously, they all choose to funnel that money back into the WSTS, refusing to profit in any way from efforts that, in their eyes, are designed to further the cause of humanity. Thus, they take on other outside work in order to pay the bills. It is a curious and noble arrangement, but such is the level of dedication to the cause of Bill Shatner's toupee.

So this crucial staff member, responsible for much of what we have published in the past number of years, is seeking to gain a new foothold, perhaps offering up some of the skills accrued in Bill Shatner-related writings, and establish a new foundation from whence, once again in relative comfort and security, attentions can rightly return to the singular and crucially important matter of Bill Shatner's toupee, including close analysis of every head scratch, strange patch, mismatch and odd thatch.

We promised we would return and we will. Thanks for all your patience and we look forward as much as you hopefully still do to said staff member getting their act together very soon!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spherical Stew and Furry Bill.

In the midst of our hiatus, something came along and we really couldn't resist (even Blogger's ghastly mandatory new interface - on which we compose our posts - failed to entirely sap our enthusiasm)...

Patrick Stewart's Twitter profile picture:

Bill Shatner:

Side by side:

To quote Bill Shatner himself (in Airplane II) "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes..." !

Friday, August 24, 2012

A brief hiatus...

We're in the midst of some behind-the-scenes relocating, upgrading, etc. etc. and thus are forced to take a slight break from posting at "Shatner's Toupee" - for a couple of months, hopefully no more. Rest assured, the work of the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies goes on. We'll be back as soon as our full upgrade and new larger, more effective center of toupologcal operations is completed. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jim Thy Image.

Our thanks to reader Adam, who recently emailed us an interesting link we wanted to share with you. The email carried the subject heading "Shatner touches his toup", which in toupological parlance we label as a "Real hair reflex".

The moment comes 5m 40s into this video of a December 1974 appearance of Bill Shatner in the game show "Tattletales". The actor's then wife Marcy Lafferty is the woman in the TV partnering with her husband:

Late 1974 and throughout 1975 is the era of the Bill Shatner toupee that is perhaps the least discussed and least understood of all. Not because of its oddness, but rather the opposite - because it looked so good compared to the previous "Lost Years" style.

The "Lost Years" style as seen in 1974's Impulse.

We're not even sure we have an official nomenclature for it other than the not-entirely-satisfactory "Retro Jim" - perhaps "Jim Thy Image", as around this time, Bill Shatner was likely getting the first strong inklings that his own personal lost years would be coming to an end thanks to incessant talk of the return of Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry was working on a script called "The God Thing", which would later be reworked as "In Thy Image" and ultimately become Star Trek: The Motion Picture).

The rare and mysterious retro-Jim style as seen in 1975's The Tenth Level.

We've speculated here before that this may have led the actor to slim down and get this strongly Jim Kirk-like toup by way of preparing for a return to center stage. A couple years later, when, conversely, it seemed that Trek might remain in development hell, Bill Shatner may have tossed the new toup into a river in an angry rage.

Ditching the toup after learning that Star Trek's return faced more delays?

After that, did Bill Shatner decisively turn to the un-Kirk-like "TJ Curly" by way of distancing himself from the shattered hopes of the past?

Underscoring the abilities of this rare gem of a toup is the particular "Real hair reflex" itself. It's a carefree brush, with no evident restraint or concern visible from Bill Shatner in how he handles this toup. Simply put, if you didn't know it was a toup, you'd never know...

Later in the clip, Bill Shatner - ever the tease - asks fellow panelist and Columbo villain alumni George Hamilton "How does he get his mustache like that?".

We should also add that this particular toup is a little longer than the other examples of the "Jim Thy Image" (does that name work?). It's as if it still has 10% of the "Lost Years" in it. Perhaps at this time, Bill Shatner was still unsure about whether he was fully in the right mindset to once again play Captain Kirk - in a very real sense, his hair was serving to express these complex emotions.

Anyway, getting a definitive answer on why Bill Shatner parted ways with such a great-looking toup is one of the tougher challenges of toupology. Perhaps one day we will find the answers...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Double poll result and a double-sized toup-less video shocker.

Two poll results? Where the hell have we been? Summer slumbers - not quite. A few months ago, our team received a desperate and urgent call. The equipment used by the scientists at CERN looking for the Higgs boson was just not powerful enough - they were stumped:

Could our touposcopes help?

Yes, they did! It was an electrifying moment, all the more so as the boson so closely appeared to resemble strands of Bill Shatner's "TJ Curly" toupee. What are the cosmological implications?

In our second most recent poll, we asked readers whether Bill Shatner was actively trying to morph his "Denny Katz" into a retro "Jim Kirk lace". 43% said yes, he wants to go full circle; 56% said no, he's just having fin with the versatility of his current toup. The remaining 1% (also in the poll below) was, alas, lost in toupospace!

And in our most recent poll, we asked readers whether they thought Bill Shatner had ever turned down a role that required on-screen baldness. Another close one: 46% said no, but only because such roles had never been offered to him; 53% said yes, he simply was not prepared to appear on-screen without hair!

Thanks for voting! We couldn't help but bring you this random Blofeld-esque Touposhop that recently appeared on the Internet:

And speaking of Touposhop, reader Paul recently sent us some ongoing "Jimifications" of Bill Shatner. Here's a selection of what he kindly sent us:

Recently, a 1998 Biography Channel documentary about Bill Shatner appeared on YouTube (we think that brings the number of biographical docs on Bill Shatner to three). It featured numerous pictures of the actor, which are, of course, of interest to any toupologist...

Before the "TJ Curly - Phase One" and "Phase Two", there was the "Phase, this is real!"

Late-era toup-lessness in The World of Suzie Wong.

Bill Shatner and Christopher Plummer.

What exactly is going on here?

Little Richard? William Shatner in Barbary Coast.

But it also featured something else - something that we had never seen before. Detailed motion pictures of Bill Shatner's father Joseph. We've previously brought you some stills of Bill's bald dad. But here, for the first time, we are offered a tantalizing longer glimpse of the son through the father. If you squint a little, it is just possible to imagine...