Howard Cosell's Toupee - In the 1960s,
during an ABC WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS interview with Muhammad Ali
(a.k.a. "Cassius Clay") sportscaster Howard Cosell was abruptly
surprised to find his toupee playfully lifted off his head by the
mischievous heavyweight champion.
Cosell didn't make much of the incident but the American public
was introduced to a whole new side (and top) of the outspoken
The playful act of trying to snatch Cosell's toupee was again
recorded for posterity on the "Man of the Week Celebrity Roast"
specials on THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW (recorded at the MGM Grand Hotel)
when both Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali were among the many
celebrity guests on the banquet dais who showed up to affectionately
insult the guest of the honor.
Born Howard William Cohen on March 25, 1918 in Winston-Salem,
North Carolina, "Humble" Howard Cosell died of a heart embolism on
April 23, 1995 in New York City, New York.
TRIVIA NOTE: Other balding
personalities who sported a rug: Willard Scott, Carl Reiner, Rob
Reiner, Burt Reynolds, Tony Randall, Harry Anderson, Hugh Downs,
Pernell Roberts, William Conrad, Ed Asner, Danny DeVito, Bruce
Willis, Matt Frewer, Fred MacMurray, Gil Gerard, Stacy Keach, Don
Knotts, Andy Williams, Lorne Greene, Jack Klugman, Steve Martin,
Jack Benny, George Burns, Ted Danson, Larry Hagman, Gerald McRamey,
and Sean Connery.
Sources report that William Shatner (of Star Trek
fame) also wears some kind of hairpiece. But I heard him personally
and vehemently deny this allegation on a radio program once, so I'll
give him the benefit of the doubt. And besides, who would want to
live in a world where you couldn't trust the word of Captain James
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