They’re a look that isn’t easy to pull off. But when it’s done right, it becomes the defining, distinguishing, characteristic of any man … or woman, for that matter. Although, only considered flattering on the one gender.
I speak, of course, of the mustache. Or, The ‘Stache, as it is lovingly known as amongst its friends. So I thought I’d pay homage to The ‘Stache by displaying some of the greatest Celebrity Mustaches that I’ve seen.
Let us start out with the one, the only, Tom Selleck. Yes, right away, I’m going with one of the big guns of mustaches. God had Tom Selleck in mind when he gave us men the ability to grow facial hair. It’s one of the mustaches that all other mustaches are measured up against. Tom Selleck’s mustache is the equivalent of Samson’s hair. Magnum PI‘s strength lies in the follicles atop his upper lip. Once he shaved off his mustache, his career faltered. Do you really think it was a coincidence that once he lost the mustache, he went on Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show and got berated and neutered by her anti-gun rant? Magnum PI would never have let that happen. Why? Because of his ‘stache and its power. But a de-stached Tom Selleck was unable to recover.
The often-forgotten member of the GMB (Great Mustache Brigade) is Wilford Brimley. But that has nothing to do with an inferior mustache. That damn thing makes walruses look twice, thinking they’ve mistakenly glanced into a mirror. If he decided to raise the rates on mustache rides, what with inflation and all, I don’t think anybody would blame him. His ‘stache is worth it. Wilford … you and your mustache are big ole pimps.
F-You Alex Trebek. Why am I so harsh? Because Alex, you had an exquisite piece of pelt on that upper lip of yours. And then, without warning, you got rid of it. You owe it to the Trebekkers to notify us of any crazy de-staching plans ahead of time. It was selfish and wrong to do. It isn’t just your mustache, Alex, it was a part of all of us. Yes, all of us.
This was a dick move by a man paid millions to read a cue card.
“What is Alex Trebek shaving his mustache?”
CORRECT, for $1000!
Of course, you have to go with the goofball ‘stache. Sure, it’s no Selleck ‘Stache. But then again, there can only be one Selleck. But Weird Al circa 1980s … well … that’s a ‘stache that deserves some respect. After all, any mustache that can hold its own with that Sideshow Bob meets Adam Duritz hair, well, that’s a pretty damn formidable mustache. Weird Al, I respect you for more than just your courageous riffs on pop hits. I respect you for your ‘stache.
The next one makes the list because, well, it’s a celebrity ‘stache that somehow cloned itself. I don’t know how. And I don’t know why. I just know that this mustache somehow manifested the ability to replicate. That is why I am intrigued by the ‘stache which is cohabitated by Oates (of Hall & Oates) and Baba Booey (of the Howard Stern show). This is the “Child of Mustache Divorce,” spending one week with John Oates, followed by the next with Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate. One must respect this mustache’s power. If it has the power to make two men look exactly alike, then what else is it capable of? I don’t have the answer, I merely present the question. Regardless, it’s that question which lands it on my list of Great Mustaches.
This next one is my wild card. If there were a Fantasy League for professional mustaches, I would draft this next guy in one of the late rounds, and he would turn into the sleeper pick, the steal, which everyone would later wish they’d have picked up. I can only be talking about Action Jackson himself, Carl Weathers. In the Predator movie, the Predator only killed Carl’s character out of mustache-envy. He didn’t like Carl’s mustache showing up his dreadlocks. In Rocky IV, Carl’s mustache angered Drago so much, that Drago took Carl Weathers’ life. Drago needed steroids for his muscles. But Carl’s mustache was all natural, baby.
Sam Elliott. Take away Sam Elliott and his badass ‘stache from movies such as Mask, Roadhouse, and Tombstone, and what do you have? Well, you have one-word movie titles that no longer star Sam Elliott nor his mustache. But in each of these films, that mustache is a credited co-star of said films. The mustache steals every scene it’s in, even opposite the Eric Stoltz character in Mask and fighter-sans-dancer-Patrick Swayze in the Roadhouse. Sam Elliott, you and your 80s stache are in a league of your own. We humbly bow down to you.
He’s spent the last decade without, but his mustache was so powerful, so beautiful, that we still remember it. Cheech, you make the list. Up In Smoke was a mustache classic. Somehow, Cheech, your mustache almost passed as eyebrows, too. And that’s a tough feat. Major kudos for that. Yes, Chong had the full beard as well, but there’s something much more powerful and memorable about an out-of-control, disheveled, unstraightened, downright unruly stoner mustache. Had you kept the mustache for Nash Bridges, you’d still be ‘kicking some Nash’ on CBS each week. Or at the very least, ‘smokin’ some hash’ in another Cheech & Chong movie.
And last, but certainly not least … Burt Fucking Reynolds. He is the king. There is no list of mustachioed greats, without Burt on the list. Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run … his mustache starred, Burt was merely a co-star to said ‘stache. There wasn’t a mustache’d man in the late 70s/early 80s who didn’t look in the mirror trimming and grooming it, wishing that Burt Reynolds was looking back as the reflection.
When the Mustache Hall Of Fame finally opens, it will be named after the man, the myth, the legend, and will be known as The Burt Reynolds Mustache Hall of Fame. And children will run around playing games of Pin The Mustache On Reynolds. The world is a better place with Burt Reynolds … but it’s a great place because of his mustache.
Originally published December 4, 2006