Hats in Cop Shows

Happy birthday to the American actor Michael Douglas, sixty-nine years old this day.


Outside his garlanded acting career, much has been made of his famous father, his marriage to a younger woman and his sex life, but less charted is his role in the slow downfall of the hat in cop shows.


Here he is in The Streets of San Francisco…

streets of san francisco


… with Karl Malden as the older, wiser head – Malden excelled in that greatest of all cop show clichés, the Hard Bitten Cop. The series aired from 1972 – 1976 and Douglas, the young turk, went bareheaded.


Now here’s Telly Savalas, who co-starred with Malden in The Birdman of Alcatraz, in the role of Kojak. Kojak is always remembered for sucking a lollipop (he was trying to quit smoking) and the confectionary has rather upstaged the titfer down through the years. But he was seldom bareheaded…



The hatband, though, is problematic. It can only be described with one word: snazzy. The message is: Kojak is old school, he wears a hat… but he’s down with the kids, too, and the kids like snazzy hatbands. (Which, of course, they don’t.)


The problem for us Brits is that it reminded us of one of these…

juliet bravo

Kojak plied his beat from 1973 – 1978, and was ultimately usurped in popularity by this pair…

Starsky & Hutch-683601

… bare headed the both of them. And thus the good guys in cop shows stopped wearing hats.


Which, if you ask us, is the greatest contributing factor to the rise in crime.




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