Thursday, August 27, 2015

What a tangled web we weave...


Almost daily, the Mars exploration rover known as Curiosity sends back pictures and scientific data from the Red Planet.



But imagine if one day, rather than yet another image resembling the above, the Rover sent back something like this:


It would be game over, right? You could pretty much forget about carbon isotopes and gas chromatographs and particle induced X-ray emissions, or the host of other complex experiments that seek out trace signatures of potential life-sustaining processes. Suddenly that would all be rendered meaningless. A minor detail. The big picture would be screaming out at humanity from across the Solar System. 


About a year ago, a reader alerted us to this 2009 publicity picture of Bill Shatner (credit: "www.imagemakr.com-copyright-20091"). It was an image that threatened to become a proverbial cactus on Mars. Sub-toupular particles were irrelevant. For this, even a touposcope would temporarily prove unnecessary (unbelievable though it seems - though, of course, still useful for closer examination). 


All that was required was to zoom in, and observe with one's own eyes...


Closer...


Upon examining this image, the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies decided upon an extremely rare step. It convened a full sitting of its Grand Toupular Assembly (GTA), attended by the heads of all 2,143 departments at our research facility.

 
The major find was announced: what appeared to be an extremely rare malfunction of the usually extremely reliable "Denny Katz" toupee.

After basic examinations were complete, our toupologists finally fired up their touposcopes:



Somehow, the Denny Katz toup had failed. A thinned-out patch had emerged revealing the base netting attached to the head.


The pattern was unmistakable. A classic mesh. Oddly uniform for a toupee that prides itself on looking so natural.


Indeed, the toup also appeared to be moulting profusely.


Was Ed Katz letting standards slip? Or was this a rare defective toup? Or had Bill Shatner simply kept the thing on for too long? Even odder is that this image is from the controlled environment of a publicity shoot - the place where you'd least expect a toup malfunction to find its way out.

But, then again, this isn't the first time that such a lapse has occurred:

 
Back cover of the 1995 Bill Shatner book Ashes of Eden

How could a professionally created publicity photo feature a shirt littered with toup-particles (note the harsh cut edges on either side, unlike the more tapered look of natural hair), and even more shockingly a bare patch in the Denny Katz toup?

Toup-particle on shirt.

Perhaps even more curious is that this publicity image is still being used to this day - for example to publicize the upcoming January 2017 Star Trek Cruise, at which Bill Shatner is the star guest:

 
Of course, from a distance the picture can actually look quite natural - imperfections such as the visibility of the scalp and lack of follicular uniformity serving to make the toupee look more realistic.


But up close - yikes!!!


BONUS UPDATE:

A reader sent in some up-close pics they managed to take of the lifts inside Bill Shatner's costume from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. On a related note, the book Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is available for purchase here. We're happy to give it a plug...


75 comments:

  1. Great post shattoup! I share your surprise that a Katz toup would have such a cheap looking mesh base, as well as the fact that the shat would go so long in between servicing. Perhaps the hair stylist on that photo shoot roughly brushed his hair and it ripped some out and landed on his shirt?

    As an aside, I'm not a huge fan of the denny katz look anyway. The sides are way too harsh, and the whole thing looks like it was cut from one piece of carpet with a Stanley knife. But it' possible that it might be the only kind he can wear now if he has lost a lot of his side hair , and can only grow out that strip at the nape of his neck that the katz requires. However, if he could grow out some decent side hair, I would like to see him return to a jk lace but shorter, and without the frontal swoosh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even Shats touppee goes bald. interesting.

      Delete
  2. New Look Toupee from 1963. I mute the sound and instead play Shatner's version of Rocket Man in the background.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU6D9_ETpXo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bravo, Shattoup! Finally, some real physical evidence to help dispel all doubts that Bill indeed abandoned the TJ Curly toupee for another variety of a foreign object, rather than some sort of surgical solution. Bill, if you are reading this (and with the amount of time you seem to peruse the internet, I believe that you likely are more than keenly familiar with the WSSTS), it is high time to ask Ed Katz for a credit on the next replacement piece.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My god. Do you realize the effort expended I keeping this appearance? Think of the hours spent over decades. I have a little bit of thinning myself. It's all I can do to remember to use some minoxidil, that literally takes a couple seconds to apply.

    He is really committed to keeping this up. It is so funny how he seems to react when he is asked about his hair. Considering how much thought and effort he puts into this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So he stills wears a piece?
    So it is vulnerable for someone to snatch it off his head?
    So who is prepared to take part in a Dirty Dozen style mission?
    Its a suicide mission in many ways but the results will be worth the sacrifice.
    The mission is to break through the Presidential style security surrounding Shatner and for someone to take of his toupee, then the other person must take a picture and post it online.No physical harm must come to the Shat though.
    Who's ready to sign up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All WSSTS staff have signed up to the "Toupological Prime Directive", which mandates non-interference in the natural development of Bill Shatner's toup. -ST

      Delete
    2. maybe a video game with this theme could be developed, though. Instead of Tomb Raider, it'd be known as Toup Raider. The stated goal would be to make it past his army of security goons, take the toup off Shat's head and get a pic of it. The real lesson, though, would be not to pursue such an aim, for that path ultimately leads to death and ruin.

      Delete
    3. Such an act would be an abomination. We are to admire the toup from afar Nothing more, nothing less.

      Delete
    4. If the game has a moral, then you could use the TOS device of having the battle staged by aliens. They are cause, judge, and witness. The player can pick from a menu of aliens and choose the goal: is it to test the player (like lots of TOS aliens), punish the player (Melkotians), or save them (like Organians)? The user decides how they are to learn the truth: the alien communicates (Organians), the player achieves insight him/herself (Arena), or the player's own better instincts take over (Spectre of Gun). Rewards ensue.

      It would be nice to shift the game to TOS setting, but it is hard to see how that would work since "JIM Kirk" has a real frontal swoosh and no toupee. But some prized possession of Jim Kirk's could substitute, and could stand symbolically for the toupee.

      I must join everyone and express revulsion at the idea of violating the TPD, the most revered principle in the universe and a guarantee that order and humanity shall prevail. Unlike the Prime Directive in TOS, which was more like a suggestion.

      Delete
    5. Does anyone remember those playing cards in which characters had different ratings of their powers - like "strength 8, stamina 6" etc.

      Perhaps Bill Shatner could have a magic bag which contained all of his toupee styles from years past, and each would have different strengths and also vulnerabilities. Choosing the right toup for the right task would be key to winning the game...

      -ST

      Delete
    6. I do remember the playing cards.I thought they were great.the catorgories could be thus?
      Style.
      Weathering
      Fighting
      Speeches.

      Style is how good the toup looks.
      Weathering includes how well a toup fares against wind and rain. so for example the TJ curly in ST 4 would get 100 percent power.
      Fighting doesnt mean how well the toup can fight but how it has powered shat through his most difficult fights.
      Speech again doesnt infer the wigs ability in oratory but how it has aided the Shat in his best speeches.For example the Jim Kirk Lace would get 100 percent for the risk speeche.

      Delete
  6. That is very admirable ShatToupBlog, but i have signed no TPD. I am susceptible and seduced by ambition and greed. I am going rogue like Kruge in my pursuit of the piece. The piece to me is like what genesis was to Kruge.
    Que evil laugh, ha ha ha ha.

    only joking, i do like the video game idea

    ReplyDelete
  7. I find it interesting that shat has addressed the fact he wears lifts in an old episode of Columbo. Amazing that he is ok with that, but the hair is totally off limits.

    If you were the coroner when that awful day comes. Would you be tempted to take a peek?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it was the character he was playing who revealed the shoe lifts, not shatner revealing that about himself. Shatner won't admit to the corset use, toupee (ab)use, plastic surgery or much of anything.

      Delete
    2. Agreed. I just thought it was unusual that it happened at all. I read a Star Trek by by I think Herb Solo. He said his advertised height back in Star Trek was 5'11". They used 3 inch lifts in his costume to bring him up to his advertised height.

      I just thought it as weird that shatner addressed it at all. Even though it was a character. He won't play a bald man for instance.

      Delete
    3. I had read his claimed height was 5'9". He wore 1 1/2" lifts. He tried 2", but that really affected his posture. If the soles are augmented, a greated apparent height could be achieved...along with fluffier hair. The spinal column tends to compress as we age, so he's now shorter. I saw him a year ago. I thought he looked maybe 5' 7". I don't know if he was wearing lifts.

      Delete
  8. I think he is pretty open about the fact that he is kinda short. Have seen him mention his height on Twitter. And I for one don't believe in the corsets or plastic surgery, just the Toup :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. he always walks around in flip flops or sneakers, he doesn't seem to be vain about his height. I think he only wore lifts when portraying captain kirk, probably more at the producers behest rather than his own.

      Delete
  9. Another Ed Katz hairpiece confirmation? (BTW, the picture of Shatner at the convention is great, he looks almost life-like)
    http://www.findadeath.com/forum/showthread.php?5584-William-Shatner/page2

    "One time I went to this high-end man-wig store located in a suite in a high rise in North Hollywood. I went in the 'fitting room' with the guy. The 'manly wig fitter dude' (for lack of a better name of the owner of the place) opened a cabinet and inside were styrofoam heads, and I swear to GOD this was true: There were heads labeled Burt R. (as in Reynolds) and Bill S. - This one had hair pinned to it. It looked like William Shatner's hair. This was an expensive specialty man-wig store. They would stick the hair on with some glue that made it stay on... it stayed on until they used something to neutralize the glue. Apparently the stars had more than one man-wig so that they always looked fresh. The guy I was with was a complete loser. He got his man-wig by being a model in a show for hairdressers... showing new products and that kind of thing. He sat on stage and had the thing glued on to his head, so it was free. But, the maintenance wasn't free, so he ended up letting his man-wig get all shack-y and gross. I can't believe I forgot this story until now. But, I swear it is the truth"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It rings true, except the crucial bit about the labelled mannequin heads. In my opinion that part reads like a script fragment from a sketch with the "Pathological Liar". Remember that guy from SNL? If you don't, no worries, you're young! Remember how his face would broaden into that self-satisfied grin as he conceived the next outlandish lie? If he were telling this story, that would happen an instant before he uttered "Burt R and Bill S." So yeah, that strikes me as an obvious lie. Otherwise, cool story.

      Delete
    2. I think I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Women will lie about certain things, but it'd take a real oddball to make something up like that. After looking at her pics and her other posts at that site, I'll say her story was legit. Sort of ironic in that Burt R. really dislikes Bill S. in real life.

      Delete
    3. she must have been in Ed Katz's place, because he is the only know wig maker who has serviced both Mr Reynolds and Mr Shatner. I wonder if her story takes place before Burts post divorce bankruptcy when he owed Katz a substantial amount of money

      Delete
    4. 1."Women will lie about certain things"?
      Whut????????
      In contrast to men, who are always truthful?
      2. Are you suggesting you can predict a statement's truth from the sex of the speaker? What a strange thing to say.
      3. If your statement is bald (GET IT?) misogyny, as it seems to be, do you assume others silently nod and endorse it? How come?

      It is a funny story. We should all be so lucky as to have a demo with a "manly" Katz employee.

      Delete
    5. No, merely that it'd be very odd for a woman to make up a story like that and that most women have better things to do during the course of a day. Looking at her profile, I could tell she was OK. Calm down, no misogyny intended.

      Delete
    6. Oh...well, back to the styrofoam heads. Plastering them with celebrity clients' names doesn't seem like the kind of thing a high-end place would do. However, I think it's important to *expose* the facts of this incident, because only the *bare* truth suffices. Maybe the WSSTS should send an investigator from its department of Toup-related Ethnography to gather more evidence at the intersection of high-end toupees, manly assistants, curious visitors, and posh showrooms. Or perhaps a State actor, a Toup and Reconciliation Commission, should study this issue.

      Delete
    7. I recently read this book entitled Hell Toupee by Mitch Friedman. He was a member of the hair club for men for 1 year, and in it he describes the amazing frequency that his toupee was misplaced and mixed-up with other clients at one of their major locations in New York. After reading that, the styrofoam heads didn't seem so implausible. He paid $1500 for his hairpiece, er... hair system in 1993. http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Toupee-ridiculous-wearing-replacement/dp/0986300802

      Delete
  10. On a slightly separate note, Marc Cushman's Volume 3 of the Star Trek treasure trove "These are the Voyages" recounts Yvonne Craig's toupee story that was featured previously on this blog. What any of us wound't give to see a picture of Bill holding his hair in his hands. I am still amazed, though, how she says she did not know Bill wore a piece when the lace line was so painfully obvious throughout that episode.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is not the 1st time I have notice some 'thinning' at the forefront of one of Shat's toups. I personally believe this is done intentionally to give it some sense of realism, and it more or less works in my opinion. So kudos to the Shat for being able to let go of some of his vanity for the sake of realism.

    ReplyDelete
  12. oh...what a..*tangled*..web. we weave. when first.. we....*prac-tice!*... to deceive

    ReplyDelete
  13. This screams for a toupological analyse

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVMLivHTXac

    ReplyDelete
  14. Last week I noticed William Shatner on a 1975 edition of Monday Night Football talking to Howard Cosell about Barbary Coast. He appears 42 minutes into this clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaSIhN_CZ58

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The video's blocked in the U.S. :(

      Delete
  15. Sounds like an historic meeting of the toups. Without watching it, tell me, did they compare?

    ReplyDelete
  16. An interesting transitional hairpiece from 1978
    http://tinyurl.com/o3ls6cb

    ReplyDelete
  17. Cossell and Shatner back stage swapped touppees like dancer girls would back stage giggling amd taking selfies.They talked brands and styles. After this historic meeting the TJ curly was conceived in Shatners mind.
    On the subject of two touppee wearers being together.Has anyone seen or got the footage of chevy chase taking of Mel Gibson wig. I think it was extra/back stage matieral for lethal weapon 3.does anybody have it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I swear I saw something when the movie came out. Mel had his "toupee" ripped off. It was all a joke though. I seem to remember it was near his makeup trailer or something. Ha hair is pretty thin now and he doesn't hid the fact. I will see if I can find the video.

      Delete
    2. I think I found it. It was the Mel Givson unauthorized video diary from 1989. All kinds of stuff would happen to him. For instance him filmed without his toupee. He would say "I hope nobody sees this". Does this sound like it?

      Delete
  18. look https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/12063432_1091425044208956_5309661842997001026_n.jpg?oh=b7f2d5ba936c7c5fca9f8bbd9cf0cfe8&oe=56A47532

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. I was under the impression that Fred Phillips just combed differently the JK lace in Paradise Syndrome, rather than rented a different toupee. This is the next best thing to the actual JK lace that Shatner wore during the course of an entire season, although I suspect he may have actually pilfered all of them by the end, as eluded to by Bob Justman in "Inside Star Trek".

      Delete
    2. I have to respectfully disagree here. the toup here took on a shaggier appearance that it more indicative of the lost years, a cheaper version that was so prevalent of the 3rd season. Cheaper budget=cheaper toupees. Also of note is the fact that this is one the Shat did not pilfer from the set as it is now available for sale.

      Delete
    3. Shat probably regretted not pilfering the Paradise toup later on in the 'Lost Years' 70s when the shaggy look was all the rage..

      'Damn!...I had to forget something. '

      Delete
  19. fantastic finds, there, from "Anonymous".

    ReplyDelete
  20. New Horizons (the Pluto probe!)* headquarters seem to be belching discoveries lately. If you missed the following, take note: those jagged surface fissures bear the signature of paleo-toupbotomy, defined as a sudden, and ancient, separation of toupee from owner resulting from the application of powerful anti-adhesive forces. When violent separation occurs, a toupee leaves a unique "fingerprint” in the form of a pedalogic** profile deep within the fissure (a function of base material and attachment method) and Crookedness Index. Identification of toupbotomized pieces, along with dates of toup-aration to 95% confidence, are forthcoming soon from the joint investigative team...Controversy has arisen within the NH/WSSTS inner circle about the naming of the dramatic surface cracks: should each bear the name of the inferred toupbotomist or toupbotomized appliance? It seems that the hallowed halls of science cannot escape internal disagreement, sometimes intense and personal, but that is the nature of the scientific enterprise…

    I can't help wondering what happens when a Katz toupee is "amputated"? The showroom spy that we were discussing in this thread mentioned Katz's semi-permanent glue, which would seem certain to cause injury in a severance incident. I do not want anyone's Katz toupee to be amputated, least of all Shatner's, but I am curious. I wish all Katz wearers well...

    *see post, “Who is Number One?”, tag: Mark Twain
    **definition: http://tinyurl.com/pjp5xn8

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dreaming of a new toupee...
    http://tinyurl.com/q7gqwyt

    ReplyDelete
  22. https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xla1/v/t1.0-9/12096474_1093572290660898_5301390997770774651_n.jpg?oh=d4173efd174c4a160080b477eed38afc&oe=56A7108A

    something I just noticed on this publicity pic. it looks like the frontal 'net' of the 'JK lace' has been masterfully airbrushed out (similar to the way spocks ears were in early production pics so not to freak everyone out).

    ReplyDelete
  23. Toupees are becoming very popular these days. Johnny Depp, Seth McFarlene wear toupees apparently.
    I just wondered are there women out there who have a thing for men with toupees and only go out with men if they wore a toupee. ie making there boyfriend shave a bald patch so they have to wear one. Is it the risk factor which turns them on. As we know Shatner/Kirk loved risk. lol
    "Risk, thats what this Star Ship is all about"
    Its a risky business wearing a toupee too. It could be a draw for extreme sports fans too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neither of the actors you mentioned wears a toupee, though McFarlene is sporting the beginnings of a combover.

      Delete
    2. "Every weekend I jump from Mont Blanc six times in a wingsuit. Every weekday I glue on a subtle and stylish lace hairpiece. I call it my 'office wingsuit'."

      Delete
    3. To TexasGreek, there are strong rumours to suggest to the contrary.
      Alot of ladies wear hairpeices, like Joan Collins, Joan Rivers did. Why can't men without the need for mockery?

      Delete
    4. They just don't. That's all I can say. I am willing to accept any proof you have to the contrary. I am a toupee spotter by hobby. Have been for decades. There are certain things to that only a skilled toupee hunter such as myself knows what to look for. Unfortunately, both of my applications to the William Shatner School of Toupalogical Studies were turned down for some reason. I feel that my knowledge and expertise could be of great contribution to their efforts.

      Delete
    5. I am sorry to hear about your failed applications to the WSSTS.It would be the dream job.I would move to America for a job at the WSSTS.Did they tell you why you weren't successfull? Do they offer internships?

      Delete
    6. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the years I spent as,a toupee denier where the Shat was concerned. I just could not accept the cold hard truth, and was quite vocal about it. Created a nice reputation for myself in various forums that I have yet to rid myself of to this day.

      Delete
    7. That's like a flat-earth believer applying for a position at NASA.

      Delete
    8. i feel your pain bro, i couldn't believe Shatner wore a piece.It's like being told father xmas and the tooth fairy aren't real.
      I actually thought a different actor player Kirk in the films compared to the original series. But i was about 10 at the time.

      Delete
    9. texasgreek - Your icon - is that how you felt when you accepted the truth?

      1) The evidence = irresistible force, like a malevolent superhuman being.
      2) Accepting the truth = humiliating posture that #1) forces you to assume.
      3) How you felt about it all = his expression.

      Delete
  24. they've probably had expensive transplants and probably use Propecia/Minoxidil to maintain (also that fibre/concealer stuff)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  25. This site has some great screen grabs of what may have been Shatner's worst toupee in an acting role. side note: George Takei is climbing a mountain why is he climbing a mountain?
    http://tinyurl.com/nc42cxk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

      [[---Hides in closet. Won't budge till rescuers brandish Young Kirk publicity shots, a gremlin doll, and cookies.---]]

      Delete
  26. The Shat Katz 2014 https://www.facebook.com/StarTrekV.DirectorsCut/photos/pcb.1095510593800401/1095510373800423/?type=3&permPage=1

    ReplyDelete
  27. What 2016 republican presidential candidate is rumored to wear a toupee?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its not a toupee, its a guinea pig.

      Delete
    2. Well Biden has hairplugs but he hasn't declared his candacy yet.

      Delete
    3. While the hair on the sides and back of his head is real, what is perched atop the noggin of Kentucky senator Rand Paul appears to be a direct descendant of the TJ Curly.
      http://tinyurl.com/qh4fnum

      Someone even made a video for YouTube that mentions the toupees of Shatner and Paul.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-nZpVyFbRo

      Delete
    4. Guinea pigs that look like toupees: http://tinyurl.com/ok278dv

      There are sad reports of these animals becoming injured when confused owners try to put glue on their stomachs

      Delete
    5. Looking ahead to tonight, I spy with my little eye a TMP-type proto-curly topping the head of Jim Webb.
      This topic might bore people outside the U.S., sorry. That said, *toupees* make 2 years of abysmal theater tolerable; please indulge us. THANK YOU.

      Delete
    6. Is Jim Webb a politician? Theirs a few other US politicians wearing toupees too.
      Have any American Presidents worn a syrup?

      Delete
    7. I say no because I think if a president had worn one everyone would know! On the other hand, toupology is a young science. Scholars like to bestow special status on Shatnerian Toupology (ST) because of the unusual nature of its subject. They accept the uncomfortable corollary to this, that ST tenets transfer poorly to allied specialties like Presidential Toupology. Many even lament this truth as a modern scientific tragedy. Yet there is hope that, one day, our best minds will learn to extend ST principles beyond the Shatner-verse to realms like the President-verse, the Speaker-verse, the PM-verse, the Monarchy-verse, and the Opposition Leader-verse. There is hope, but we should accept that mankind may only achieve these advances many centuries from now.

      If you know of any toupee-wearers on your side, you should tell us. Unless it's Lady Thatcher, then I don't want to know. The main actors that I am likely to know, say Sturgeon and the Milibands, look toupee free. I think ol' Corbyn would never give in to vanity even if he were bald.

      Delete
  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hey guys look what we have here! A Shat Toup denier! I've heard they existed but I actually found one!

    http://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/03/15/10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-william-shatner-2783617?lt_source=external,manual

    ReplyDelete
  30. LOL - maybe hes right.

    -the JK lace mesh was just make up tape Fred Phillips forgot to remove when applying make up to shatners face

    -the Lost Years piece was shatner getting with the times and growing his hair out Beatle style and dying it dark brown/black

    -the TJ Curly was Shats undergoing an 80s perm to his ever resilient hair to keep moving with the times (which he stopped dyeing black for Treks VI and VII)

    -the Denny Katz special was merely Shat undergoing a military style buzz cut on his thick barnet for convenience in his later years

    ReplyDelete
  31. Guys I found it! Burt Reynolds out Shat about the toupee AND proves the Katz connection thta was described in this blog in the Toupgate story! I'm so excited!

    http://www.gq.com/story/burt-reynolds-trump-toupee-paul-thomas-anderson

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is a brilliant find, Most Jerk! I'm gonna re-post it elsewhere just to give it a bit more visibility. Nice one.

    ReplyDelete