I grew up in England in the '70s where, Kojak, rather bizarrely, on reflection, was a CULT in its time.
There was a hit single by Telly Savalas ( a spoken version of the Bread song If) and then a spoof hit single about the Telly Savalas single (I kid you not).
All his little catch phrases '(Who loves ya, baby?') were repeated endlessly by practically 'everyone'.
Even his little lollipop became a sort of fashion accessory.
Just seems strange that a serious TV cop show should provoke that kind of 'pop' reaction.
Also strange to me is that Kojak hasn't had any sort of cult following since. Maybe it burnt itself out. It just seems to have been practically forgotten...whereas Starsky & Hutch, from the same period, has had a cult following long after its time.
Maybe it's because someone who looks like Telly doesn't appeal to modern tastes.
Was Kojak a very big deal in America too? Was it also cultist there too?
Am I right about it being practically forgotten now? If so, why do you think that is?
What made me remember Kojak was finding an old tape of the original pilot episode, The Marcus Nelson Murders, based on a true NY murder story of the 1960s. It's an incredibly sad story, very hard to watch and very powerfully told.
I'm from the NY metro area and I was impressed that Kojack's sidekick, Crocker, actually looked and sounded like a real NY cop. Up until then, I'd only seen movie star-type Hollywood actors playing NY cops.
R!, the character Crocker was played by Kevin Dobson, a native New Yorker who was once worked for (I think) the LIRR or the MTA. He was a true-blue, hard working NYer.
Of course years later, I admired the furry-chested (g'rrr) Dobson on Knots Landing as Mac McKenzie.
I watched a lot of camp tv in the 70's as a kid, but somehow I missed "Telly... Who Loves Ya, Baby?"
I used to watch it as a kid. I thought he was funny and cool and the show seemed gritty and serious.
Kojack was big in the states, but I think Telly had more appeal in Europe. They had shirtless posters of him in the European "teen" magazines that I've seen on ebay.
R7, you and I are probably the only ones who get it.
Kojak caused Canadians to rise up and demand Miranda rights in their own country.
To this day Kojak means bald man if you go to Brazil.
It's from a Chevy Chase movie
Telly was very popular in Brazil. The country, not the movie. That's why a certain Type of Brazilian wax is named after him.
The guy on R5's clip making the peculiar noise was Telly's brother, who had a long running part on the show.
Seems like Kojak was one of those 15-minute pop-culture TV phenomenons that don't survive the 'next big thing.' Mork and Mindy is another good example - hugely popular and trend-setting at the time, all but forgotten today.
Columbo seems to have aged better for some reason.
Crime dramas were big hits during the 70's. Hawaii Five-o, Kojak, Mannix, Baretta, Ironside, Starsky and Hutch, McMillan and Wife, Columbo, McCloud, Rockford Files, Police Story, Harry O, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, The Rookies, SWAT, Police Woman, and others...they thrived on chase scenes, gun shootouts, mild violence, tough talk and the hero always caught the villain. The self-contained episodes made syndication easier than the soap-opera-ish continuing stories of modern shows.
The show wasnt a massive hit but telly was so charismatic and different from what had been on tv before. He was an oscar nominee in 1962 and won an emmy for kojak.
He was a hot bald man when the only other one was Yul Brynner and you had to pay to see Yul at the movies. Telly was free.
Now they're a dime a dozen everywhere you look.
Fun Fact: Telly Savalas was Jennifer Anniston's god father.
[quote] Seems like Kojak was one of those 15-minute pop-culture TV phenomenons that don't survive the 'next big thing
"NYPD Blue" is another. Very popular, very edgy and then .... over and gone.
And step father of Nicollette Sheridan.
[quote]"NYPD Blue" is another. Very popular, very edgy and then .... over and gone.
Hill Street Blues, another. All I remember about now is the intro and theme tune.
[quote]hugely popular and trend-setting at the time, all but forgotten today.
There was a reboot in 2005 with Ving Rhames as Kojak. It only lasted one season. Anyone watch it?
Cop shows get outdated pretty quickly.
Police Woman, McCloud, Baretta...
Miami Vice owns outdated cop shows.
Hawaii 5-0 is an exception. It loomed large in the Americam consciousness long after it was cancelled. Police were called "5-0" in street slang; people offhandedly said, "Book em, Danno," when catching someone out. It had to be the theme song that kept it alive in people's minds until the show was revived.
I was watching Jeopardy (mom's visiting) and they asked a theater question. The answer was "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe." None of the contestants knew the answer. Honestly, I can understand why. Nobody ever does that show in dinner theater or in high school or college. It's a pretty fucking bad pay. It was all the rage in 1964, but nobody knows about it today because it's crazy outdated.
I remember Telly was considered quite the sex symbol in the 1970s. His dark and exotic Greek looks combined with his macho image appealed to many women, and no doubt many men. Plus bald can be hot, and Telly pulled it off.