Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Top 10 Moustaches of All Time

Well I'm already on this kick, so I figured I'd provide the logical follow-up to my sideburns list: a list of the top 10 moustaches of all time. Unlike the previous list, this one got really hairy (nyuk nyuk) as I got near the bottom and had to decide who to exclude. Frankly, there are just far more notable moustaches out there than there are notable sideburns. Therefore, I've decided to open this list with a little rundown of honorable mentions. As before, I combined the whole famous/recognizable/iconic/influential criteria with the actual size, quality, and overall physical incredible-ness of the hair itself.

So, as I said, here are some honorable mentions. Those of you guessing at home can scratch these gentlemen, fine though their bushy upper lips may be, from your scorecards.

Honorable Mentions:
Albert Einstein (Famous, but not terribly impressive looking.)
Charlie Chaplin (Distinctive, but not too impressive and definitely ruined by Hitler.)
Howard Taft (Best presidential moustache, but just didn't quite make the cut.)
Doc Holliday (Great, but you'll see why it would feel redundant.)
Groucho Marx (Most duplicated moustache ever, but it loses points for being half paint.)
Joseph Stalin (Good moustache, but I didn't want to put a mass murderer in my top 10.)
John Holmes (The cause of the phrase "porn star moustache", so it's significant but unappealing.)
Mr. Pringles, Mr. Monopoly, and Yosemite Sam (They're not real.)


#10. Frank Zappa

After thinking long and hard about the rock-moustache paradise of the '60s and '70s, I've decided that the absolute best upper lip of the era's musicians belonged to Frank Zappa. Highly recognizable, thick and full, and perfectly complimented by the best soul patch I've ever seen. When I think of facial hair in 1970, I picture Frank Zappa's moustache.


#9. Nick Offerman

As Parks & Recreation's brilliant Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman has become the modern flagship of the moustache fleet. His simple, manly, straight-to-the-point moustache perfectly epitomizes the masculine ideal.


#8. Gunter Rosin

Germany's Gunter Rosin is a king in the world of competitive facial hair, having won three world championships and numerous other awards. His huge Hungarian styled moustache is possibly the most physically impressive set of whiskers on this list.


#7. Hulk Hogan

Hogan's bleach-blond walrus moustache is the most distinctive symbol ever to emerge from the world of pro wrestling. It perfectly captures the spirit of Americana and 1980s excess. Paul Sr. from American Chopper has helped to revitalize the look in recent years, but it ultimately still belongs to the Hulk.


#6. Rollie Fingers

Many athletes have sported moustaches over the years, especially in baseball, but none did so with quite so much flair as the Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers. Now in his 60s, he still sports his signature waxed and curled lip ornament.


#5. Salvador Dali

Admittedly, Dali's style was not for everybody. In fact, I'd argue it isn't for anybody at all, other than Dali himself. It is (thankfully) rarely imitated. That said, the man sported one of the most bizarre and famous moustaches in history, and he actually managed to pull it off for the most part.


#4. Tom Selleck

Arguably no actor has ever made the moustache seem more natural and appealing. Almost certainly the favorite moustache of American women, Tom Selleck's signature look has made him one of the only figures in Hollywood to be synonymous with manliness, moustaches, and sex appeal.


#3. Sam Elliott

However, the best actor moustache has to go to Sam Elliott. Like Selleck he's become inseparable from his lip whiskers, but Elliott's grey bristles are thicker, fuller, and more impressive than those of any other notable Hollywood figure.


#2. Friedrich Nietzsche

A crazy bramble of bushy awesomeness, Nietzsche owned one wild moustache. Add to that the fact that he's one of the most famous and important philosophers to emerge outside of ancient Greece, and you've got a powerful combination. Other great thinkers may have stroked their beards, which Nietzsche lacked, but he had more than enough moustache to stroke instead.


#1. Wyatt Earp

Earp is my top choice because of his winning combination of all the factors I considered. Not only is his moustache famous and emblematic of a highly recognizable period in American history, it is also good enough from a purely physical perspective to warrant a spot on the list regardless of the face to which it belonged. Besides, in terms of bad-ass manliness it's hard to top a marshall from the wild west, even if his exploits were exaggerated in later years.


And those are my picks for the top 10 moustaches of all time.


  1. Again, I loved this post. Dali was a nice inclusion. I never realized that Kurt Russell actually kind of looks like Wyatt Earp.

    Your hesitation to include Stalin (and also the Hitler 'stache of Chaplin) could be mined for a few more posts in this vein. Perhaps, "Facial Hair of Villainy, Historical and Fictional," or a comparison of evil facial hair versus good facial hair.

  2. That's an interesting idea. I may do something like that.

  3. I'd love to read it. For example, I have kind of the same thing going on with my facial hair as Johnny Depp does, but with less soul patch. I'm not sure what to call it exactly, but if you keep it a little more trimmed than Depp (as I do) then it is clearly the facial hair of a villain. I'm basically a shaved head and volcano stronghold away from being a comic book supervillain.