You know it’s November when practically every dude you encounter is sprouting some kind of mustache for Movember. The facial hair feat is meant to increase prostate cancer awareness, but has also grown into a stubble standoff amongst men, as to who can grow the hottest handlebar or the most wicked walrus. For some reason, mustaches have become the ultimate test of manliness, which is weird because, other than Movember, a man who sports a ‘stache during the other eleven months of the year is considered an oddity.
Except, mayhaps, for those manly dudes who grace our TV screens. From the ‘60s to now, there has always been a guy or two flaunting some fancy lip hair. In honor of Movember, here are my picks for the best mustache per decade -- though their stylized ‘staches are certainly both timeless and sexy. As Guy de Maupassant once wrote in his aptly-titled story, 'Mustache': "…Never let yourself be kissed by a man without a mustache; their kisses have no flavor, none whatever!”
Gomez Addams (John Astin) – ‘The Addams Family’
No doubt: this dude’s insane. I mean, the guy runs a household where it’s Halloween 24/7 and throws swords just for fun. But his suave mustache makes all of his kookiness seem downright debonair. Plus, everyone knows he has a smoking hot marriage with Morticia, and I have a feeling it’s his upper lip tickle factory – not the tango lessons – that keeps her coming back for more.
Michael “Meathead” Stivic (Rob Reiner) – ‘All in the Family’
Props to Reiner: from the classic ‘All in the Family’ to today’s ‘New Girl,’ he’s been sporting some type of facial hair for a solid four decades. In fact, it looks like the more hair he’s lost on top of his head, the more he’s grown on his face. But let’s go back to where it all started: Meathead. The nickname really says it all: he has a meaty head of hair with a matching meaty mustache. Meathead’s ‘stache is thick, noticeable and memorable – just like him.
Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) – ‘Magnum P.I.’
Not many people can pull off a mustache, let alone make a mustache look damn sexy, but Selleck sure can. I’m convinced he nabbed as many criminals as ladies because of its sheer power and perfectly-coiffed whiskers. No wonder it’s the mustache that prepubescent boys dream of. Sure, Selleck hasn’t committed to the thing over the years (remember that season of ‘Friends’ when Monica commented that his lip was “bald”?) but when he does, he’s the manliest sonofagun. Hear that? That’s the sound of women swooning.
Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer) – ‘The Simpsons’
Ned Flanders’ mustache (which I have to say looks rather Selleckish) is as synonymous with the Simpson’s Bible-thumping neighbor as his catchphrase “Hey-Diddly-Ho!” Flanders has a pretty torrid relationship with his ‘stache (or as it’s nicknamed “Dr. Fuzzinstein,” “The Cookie Duster,” “The Soup Strainer,” “The Pushbroom” or “Mr. Tickles.”) He once shaved it because Homer implied people were making fun of his facial hair behind his back. He also once had it pulled off by a vacuum cleaner, and it would also affect his move to Humbleton, PA. When he was hired at the local figurine factory, Ned refused to shave his mo’ despite the factory’s ban on facial hair. Through thick and thin, Ned is committed to his Soup Strainer; he might even be more committed to it than the Big Guy (God) Himself.
Earl Hickey (Jason Lee) – ‘My Name is Earl’
We really should give credit to Earl for bringing back the definitive mustache to the pop culture mainstream. The ‘stache kinda took a siesta in the ‘90s (well, at least on 3D humans), but Earl, with his ‘70s porno-ish-but-still-likeable mustache, made lip hair acceptable again. Pornstache from ‘Orange Is the New Black’ and ‘Park and Rec’s’ Ron Swanson owe their careers to him.
Because there’s actually a ton of well-known dudes with ‘staches on TV, I had to make a runners-up section. Here they are, in no particular order:
Geraldo Rivera - ‘Geraldo’
It takes a lot of guts to never shave your mustache – not even once – but, as his broken nose proves, Rivera’s pretty much a thug. He’s all mustache, all the time.
Hulk Hogan – ‘WWF’
Sure, Hogan’s got major guns, but it’s that bleached blonde handlebar of his that really makes men shiver in their boots. It’s thick, it’s uncompromising, it’s so blonde that it’s blinding. It’s the body part that should have had its own leaked video instead.
Man-At-Arms – ‘He-Man’
Man-At-Arms (also known as Duncan in some circles) is He-Man’s weapons expert and friend. He also sported a badass helmet and even a sicker ‘stache. The question still remains as to what color his hair is, since his brows are black and his mustache is brown, but when you’re fixing cars all day and sporting a lip caterpillar, it really doesn’t matter. Dude’s all man.