A bald head helped Richard Moll get his part in Night Court
Image credit: The Everett Collection
Richard Moll is the man with the recognizable bald head in the hit '80s series, Night Court. Moll played the role of "Bull" Shannon, whose full name is Aristotle Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon. He became a fan-favorite character during the series' nine seasons. So, how did this bald-headed courtroom bailiff come to be?
"It's really all my fault," Moll started in a 1986 interview with Courier-Post. "I had just wound up filming a low-budget horror movie in which I played some sort of bald mutant, and I walked into an interview for the Night Court part. They said, 'Richard, the shaved head looks good. Will you shave your head for this part?' I said, 'Are you kidding? I'll shave my legs for the part.'"
The evolution of Moll's hair is interesting. Many actors are bald on TV because they are already losing hair, or because it makes sense for the role. However, Night Court producers just liked the way it looked on Moll. Moll? Maybe not as much.
"I like to grow my hair whenever I'm on hiatus because I don't want to be typed as a stretched out Yul Brynner all my life," Moll said in a 1988 interview with The Standard-Star.
Moll was 6'8, which made his character come across as intimidating. Moll had to inject some of his own wit and charm into "Bull" Shannon so that he would be a more loveable character.
"He's got a menacing exterior that can scare anybody, but you can tell right away that he's just a big, good-hearted guy," Moll said in the interview with Courier-Post.
"Some weeks, I just have a few lines and I try to deliver them well so they mesh with the storyline of that episode," Moll said. "And then there are the weeks when my character is the major part of the whole story. It varies throughout the year but, first and foremost, the six of us realize that we're an ensamble. We have to work together; we have to be a family."
Moll said he expected Night Court's success because he believed in the writing and its message. As for his success, he credits it to Night Court's keen wit, as well as human warmth.
"There's a lot of warmth in nearly every single episode," Moll said. "There's usually a nice little message of humanity --- not a preachy message, but a real human one about being kind to other people or helping out people in distress. The show is quite warm."
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