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.
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 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.