He also appeared in an against-typecasting role as a piano-playing disco waiter in Mae West's final film, Sextette, and as a villain in the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Cooper also led celebrities in raising money to remodel the famous Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California. Cooper himself contributed over $27,000 to the project, buying an O in the sign in memory of close friend and comedian Groucho Marx. In 1979, Alice also guest starred on good friend Soupy Sales show, "Lunch with Soupy Sales" and was hit in the face with a pie, as part of the show ... when asked about the experience, Alice had this to say about his pal: "Being from Detroit, I came home every day and watched Soupy at lunch (Lunch With Soupy Sales). One of the greatest moments of my life was getting pie-faced by Soupy. He was one of my all time heroes."
Cooper's albums from the beginning of the 1980s have been referred to by Cooper as his "blackout albums" because he cannot remember recording them, owing to the influence of illicit substances. Flush the Fashion, Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDasaw a gradual commercial decline, with the last two not denting the Billboard Top 200. Flush the Fashion, produced by Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker, had a thick, edgy new wave musical sound that baffled even longtime fans, though it still yielded the US Top 40 hit "Clones (We're All)". Special Forces featured a more aggressive but consistent new wave style, and included a new version of "Generation Landslide". His tour for Special Forces marked Cooper's last time on the road for nearly five years; it was not until 1986, for Constrictor, that he toured again. 1982's Zipper Catches Skin was a more pop punk-oriented recording, containing many quirky high-energy guitar-driven songs along with his most unusual collection of subject matters for lyrics.