Who Loves Ya, Baby? Kojak Does
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From 1973 to 1978 the streets of New York were cleaned up by a guy named Kojak.
At least they were on television.
Actor Telly Savalas became Kojak, a Lieutenant with the New York police force. By the way, do you remember Kojak’s first name? It was rarely used in the series. OK, I’ll tell you at the end of this story.
Each week, Kojak would take to the streets to hunt down a murderer, rapist or some other villainous character. He would, of course, use shall we say, uh, unconventional methods in his pursuit of justice. But then, didn’t all our favorite TV cops and detectives use ‘unconventional methods’? By the end of the hour, the bad guy was caught and that was that!
Now, almost all the TV good guys had some sort of ‘hook’, something that set them apart. Columbo had his wrinkled, crumpled coat and the ‘Oh, just one more thing…”. Rockford had that hot Firebird. Kojak?
He had two memorable traits. His famous line ‘Who Loves Ya Baby’…and of course, the ever present lollipop.
Telly Savalas did such a great job in the title role that TV Guide magazine named ‘Kojak’ the 18th greatest TV character of all time.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. It was Theo. Kojak’s first name, it was Theo.