Oct. 24, 1973
60 min.
CBS TV Network

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Kojak (1973) tv show photo

Kojak (1973)

Set in New York City's 13th Precinct. It revolves around the efforts of the incorruptible, but not adverse to bending the rules when it's needed, Lt.Theo Kojak (Telly Savalas), a tough, bald cop who was fond of using the catchphrase, "Who loves ya, baby?" and had given up smoking and had taken to lollipops instead and these became his trademark.

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Telly Savalas is seen throughout the series both sucking on his lollipop and smoking. The lollipop was used to cut back on smoking. His character Kojak even admitted once that he smoked too much and sucked on lollipops every day except on Sundays.
  • Lt. Kojak's rhetorical question "Who loves ya, baby?" was ranked #18 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 20 Top Catchphrases" (21-27 August 2005 issue). The line is also prominently featured on the slipcase of the season-1 DVD set.
  • The series was translated to Hungarian in the 1970s. The actor who gave his voice to Kojak, László Inke, resembled Telly Savalas so much that a movie was shot in which he actually played Kojak (Kojak Budapesten (1980)). While the original series is in color, the Hungarian film is black and white. Also, according to the film's plot, Kojak was born in Hungary, and had been a very clumsy cop before emigrating.
  • Telly Savalas' real-life brother George Savalas had a supporting role as Detective Stavros.
  • Although it is stated numerous times that Theo Kojak is of Greek heritage, the name "Kojak" is actually of Polish origin. Kojak's heritage was changed to Greek in order to match Telly Savalas's Greek heritage.
  • Originally, Abby Mann casted Marlon Brando for the lead role, but Telly Savalas took it anyway.
  • During its five season run, Telly Savalas was the only actor to have appeared and/or acted in every episode of the series.
  • Kevin Dobson was offered the role of Det. Bobby Crocker, who auditioned for the role, three times, on the last one, he finally won the role.
  • Telly Savalas was 51 years old when the show started.
  • Before Kevin Dobson would work with Joan Van Ark on Knots Landing, he met her on an episode of the show.
  • The film is based on an actual case known as the "Career Girl" murders that happened on 28 August 1963. It was the date on which 'Martin Luther King Jr.' delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech, as mentioned in the film.
  • After Telly Savalas died, the movie was shown again for the first time in nearly 20 years, this time with a short clip of Telly and the words "Dedicated to the memory of Aristotle 'Telly' Savalas 1920 - 1994" at the end of the show.
  • In this pilot film, the lead character's name is spelled "Kojack" (with a "c"). The "c" was taken out when "Kojak" became a series.
  • Telly Savalas' real-life brother George Savalas appears in this film, but playing a different character to the Det. Stavros character he would play throughout the later Kojak TV series.
  • After the great success of this TV movie and the subsequent "Kojak" series, the author of the original book, Selwyn Raab, pointed out with some acerbity that, in real life, the uncovering of a gross injustice had been the work of crusading journalists, not police officers, adding that he had never met a real-life cop like Theo Kojak.
  • A well-known book among entomologists, "Insects of the World" by Walter Linsenmaier (Mcgraw-Hill, June 1972) makes repeated appearances during the last 30 minutes of this Kojak episode, starting at 28 minutes/30 seconds into the episode, then later the book is examined by the lieutenant when he's sitting in Kojak's office, and its then in the background of the final scene with Kojak in his office. The book is never mentioned in the episode.
  • Kojak's trademark lollypop makes its debut.
  • Kojak's signature phrase "Who loves ya, Baby?" makes its partial debut when Kojak says "Who loves ya?" to a woman he interviews.
  • James Woods got the part of Caz after Richard Dreyfuss and Martin Sheen turned it down.
  • A Canadian $20.00 bill would be worth US$75.00 in 2015, after converting from Canadian to American currency and adjusting for inflation.
  • The old film the mobsters are watching on TV is 'It's a Gift', with W.C. Fields.
  • The Emergency Room scene is using the same set as the television show Emergency. At one point you can see behind the officers the status board that Rampart Emergency uses to keep track of the Los Angles County Squads that are assigned to the hospital's base station.
  • The merry-go-round location (at least the exterior) used in the final sequence appears to be the same as the one in movie "The Sting", from the previous year, in which the Robert Redford character first meets the Paul Newman character.
  • The $5,000 paid to Shelby is equivalent to $22,000 in 2015 after adjusting for inflation.
  • Lynette Mettey, who plays Sgt. Doris Holloway, had just previously played a police officer (Joannie Garretty) in "Knockover".
  • The phone number Stearns gives to Stavros is 638-4219; Stavros then asks the operator to dial 914 636-9970 (where they have the witness hidden). This number was the phone number used for the Petrie's in the Dick Van Dyke Show. They lived in New Rochelle, NY, which is just out side of NYC.
  • This episode marks star Telly Savalas debut as a director.
  • SPOILER: First time Kojak takes a bullet !
  • French title: Fausse piste.
  • Zohra Lampert won an Emmy award for best supporting actress for this episode.

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