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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Marking Time Using John Travolta’s Hair

Poor John Travolta takes a lot of heat for Scientology, his questionable film choices, and even more questionable acting.  But this week some dope followed him to Hawaii and snapped a picture of him without his damn toupee.  It’s insulting!  Not because the guy’s on vacation with his lady and his beautiful cleft chin, but because his hair is a treasure of our collective consciousness!  Brothers and sisters, I submit, that while ol’ Johnny T’s locks are a study in follicle confusion, without them we wouldn’t know what decade we’re in.

Bear with me on this one… by understanding that each time period has it’s own fashions, trends, and hair-styles, we can look at John Travolta’s hair in ANY film as representative of the end of that era. Let’s s start at the beginning.

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)

Ahhh, 1976.  Broadway Joe Namath’s final season with the Jets and he had already cut his hair.  But Barbarino’s curly pre-mullet was still on every kid in the country from the Bad News Bears to Jodie Foster. Watch him in Carrie if you don’t believe me.

Staying Alive (1983)

If Disco didn’t die before Saturday Night Fever saw the light of day in 1977, Sylvester Stallone sealed its fate by writing and directing this early Eighties follow-up.  Also, forcing Johnny T to turn to a slim headband to manage his un-styled locks.

The Experts (1989)

Okay. Travolta’s super-mullet is so indicative of the late ’80s it’s almost worth watching this turd about Russian spies infiltrating the American suburbs. I know… turd.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

We’re gonna catch some flack for this one, but most guys in ’94/’95 had the “long, even, slick-back” because of Vincent Vega, not the other way around. Just get yourself a Royale with Cheese and accept that as gospel.

Michael (1996)

Yep.  Michael was released just weeks before Eddie Vedder cut his hair and un-cooled the whole look with a scissor snip.

Swordfish (2001)

Vega’s hair is a little more manicured, but the real story here is the soul patch/fancy eyebrow combo.

From Paris with Love (2010)

Is it weird that I know he’s got no hair, but I still think he’s wearing a bald cap?  Note the goatee/bald pairing ending the decade.

Taking of the Pelham 123 (2010)

As we understand it, this is pretty close to Johnny T’s natural state up top, but his ironic mustache here came on the final edge of the trend just before all the skinny kids in Brooklyn started growin’ mountain man beards.

Fight his religion if you like, but respect his damn hair for the time capsule it is!!

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Gentleman Jim

  • MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.  

  • TUESDAY – Television.  Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.  

  • WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.  

  • THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.  

  • FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics.  Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…