In the latest season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry David assails his wife's follicly-challenged divorce attorney for breaking the "Bald Code" by working against him.
We can only imagine his reaction to the news that Jason Alexander, who rose to fame playing David's neurotic TV stand-in on "Seinfeld," has suddenly sprouted hair through unclear means.
Alexander's hairy move is not only a breach of the Bald Code, but an unforgivable betrayal to us bald guys everywhere. And if Alexander thinks his new locks somehow will help him shake his Costanza image, he's wrong: He just made the most George-like decision of his life.
George Costanza, like a more macho bald type, Charles Barkley, is not a role model. But he certainly represented the bald nebbishes of the world, all too rarely found on TV (forget about the movies).
George, of course, bristled at his baldness – going as far as to order an expensive supposed hair-raising cream from China that left him broke and with a smelly, still-smooth head. Then there’s the episode where he dons a toupee to woo a woman who turns out to have no hair (she rejects him after learning he’s really bald). Part of the self-destructive, occasionally conniving character's charm was that he was never happy with himself (usually for good reason). He even created a more successful alter ego (Art Vandelay, who, we're sure had a full head of hair).
The 52-year-old Alexander, though, is only inviting ridicule with his real-life makeover. You would think he would know better, especially after hosting the 2006 Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner, whose Tribble-like toppings over the years have spurred much mockery.
Alexander’s career hasn't been the same since the end of "Seinfeld" in 1998. But we'll posit that's less about him being typecast as a bald schlub and more about the quality of his lackluster, short-lived sitcoms "Bob Patterson" and "Listen Up!"
If he's worried about not being able to shed his TV past, he need only look to Ron (Opie and Richie Cunningham) Howard, who's proven a huge success in his post-sitcom life (albeit primarily behind the camera) as a proud balding man.
Alexander'd bald head – and talent – have shined over the years during occasional appearances on "Curb." Let's hope David brings Alexander on next season for a confrontation over his ultimate violation of the Bald Code.
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.