Everybody Look At This Picture Of George Clooney From The 1990 Cop Series ‘Sunset Beat’

Okay, where to start? An explanation. Yes, let’s put this in context first.

Back in 1990, before he was George Clooney, Well-Dressed International Film Icon, George Clooney was still just George Clooney, Handsome Nephew Of Rosemary. In an attempt to jump-start his acting career and make a name for himself, he took the lead role in an ABC series titled Sunset Beat, a kind of 21 Jump Street knock-off, with the twist being that the cops were undercover as a rock group instead of high school students. If you’re reading this and thinking “Wait, that sounds like it might be the greatest show ever made,” please also read this excerpt of Entertainment Weekly’s review of the pilot:

Sunset Beat‘s prime stud is played by George Clooney (yes! nephew of Rosemary “Come On-A-My House” Clooney!). As (get this) Chic Chesbro, Clooney isn’t sullen; instead, he’s downright hostile, which is refreshing.

Clooney’s Chic plays lead guitar in a rock band called Private Prayer, the best phony-rock-band name on television; too bad the band sounds like Heart. When a crewcut FBI man asks Chic why he has long hair, Clooney shoots back, “I keep my hair long so no one mistakes me for you or Dan Quayle.”

George Clooney as a renegade, Harley-riding cop named Chic Chesbro — CHIC CHESBRO — who patrols the seedy streets of Los Angeles and plays guitar in a Heart-esque band called Private Prayer? Every word of that is perfect. Boil this show down into a thick reduction and pour it over my steak. I must have it at once.

Now the bad news: Sunset Beat only ran for two episodes before getting pulled, and those two episodes are borderline impossible to track down, save a used VHS tape or two from a shady seller halfway across the world. All that exists on the Internet are a few crappy clips, this fun review of the pilot from when it re-aired on TV a few years ago, and the wonderful, wonderful picture at the top of the page. Let’s talk about the picture, shall we? I think a piece-by-piece breakdown is in order.


Look at George Clooney’s hair. Look at it. Here in 2014 we’re used to seeing him with the full Danny Ocean, short salt-and-pepper hair that has been styled immaculately atop his head, a look befitting a man wearing a tuxedo with the bow tie and top button undone, which it is, obviously. Here, on the other hand, he’s a wild man with dark, curly locks flowing behind him as he speeds along the coast, presumably on his way to band practice or to bust some street toughs and ruffians.

You can’t trust a man with this hair. He’ll love you and leave you and zip off into the night, with only the sound of his Harley and the smell of his conditioner lingering behind. Be wary, ladies.


So one of two things is going on here, and they’re both incredible:

  • One, motorcycle-cop-rock-star Chic Chesbro owns a leather jacket that has a button-up denim liner, which would (a) be the single most amazing jacket in the history of outerwear, and (b) be perfect. OR…
  • Two, he’s wearing a jean jacket (or possibly a thick denim dress shirt) UNDER A LEATHER JACKET. Nothing will ever be more late-1980s/early-1990s than this, unless maybe someone finds a picture of the Noid in the same get-up.

And the whole thing is thrown on top of a tucked-in white t-shirt. Just magical.


Pre-ripped or ripped in action? And if it’s “in action,” which action: cop or rock star? Questions like this keep me up at night.


“Yeah, hey, Chesbro here. … What? … Oh no, I’m over by the beach. … Yeah, was riding the ol’ hog up the coast. … I don’t know why, seemed like something I’d do. … Now? Just leaning up against my bike on the side of the road real normal-like and talking with you on the horn. … Wait, hold on. What? … You’re cutting out, Chief. Lemme try to call you back.”

[tries to press buttons on phone while wearing thick biker gloves]

“Yeah, Chief, Chesbro. … What? … No, Chic Chesbro. … Who is this? … Dammit, I must’ve dialed the wrong number. … Hey, wait a second, you sound cute. Have you heard of Private Prayer? … YOU HAVE? Well…”

This is a really good picture. That’s what I’m getting at here.