History's 10 Most Important Moustaches

December 16, 2008

Since the dawn of time, the light of creation has shown down with favor on the most noble of man-growths:  The Moustache.  This is its story as told through its most important citizens.

10. Salvador Dali


Salvador Dali was a revolutionary surrealist artist and a crazy bastard (as so many revolutionary artists tend to be), but I’ll be damned if this effeminate Spaniard didn’t grow one hell of a fine ‘stache.  Most famous of his works was the one with melting clocks.  But who cares?  Most famous of his moustache’s works was spitting in the face of space-time by defying gravity.

9. Rollie Fingers 


Rollie Fingers and his iconic lip hedge are highly symbolic members of this list. They’re blazing gaslights of a bygone era of Americana – an era where Babe Ruth set the home run record on cheap women and cheaper booze.  It was in this era that Rollie grew the above 'stache because he was paid $300 by the Oakland A’s owner, Charlie O (who was a whackjob). In 2007 Rollie was implicated in a tax scandal in which the state of Wisconsin alleged his owing 1.4 million dollars in back taxes.  Happily, important documents were lost in his signature ‘stache, and they were unable to prosecute.

8. Zorro


An alleged figure of Spanish mythology, no one knows for sure if Zorro’s real, but do not be fooled.  The logical extension of that is that no person on Earth knows if he’s fake.  Whether you believe or not, the moustache of Zorro is most certainly a fierce one – one wielded alternately to woo maidens and thwart ne’er-do-wells with fox-like cunning.

7. Wyatt Earp


From his Wiki: “Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848–January 13, 1929) was an American farmer, teamster, sometime buffalo hunter, officer of the law in various Western frontier towns, gambler, saloon-keeper, miner, and boxing referee.”  A man with such varied vocations must be endowed with an equally proficient mouth forest to guard against spraying blood (buffalo and human) and bullet fragments.  Little known fact: When passed through his bristly jaw jungle, a single malt whiskey distilled to a double malt.

6. Tom Selleck


Let’s just put this right out there:  I have and always will hate Rosie O’Donnell for her berating Tom Selleck on her show because of his membership in the N.R.A. She deserves no less than to be hurled from a speeding red sports car in a tropical locale by Magnum P.I.’s disembodied and disgruntled, gun-toting moustache of legend.

5. Freddy Mercury


This is the kind of high-decibel, rock operatic bravado that one needs, in an ideal world, to pull off a proper moustache.  The lead singer of the cultural force Queen, Freddy Mercury is responsible for some of the drunkest karaokeing I’ve ever done, and I salute him for it.  Furthering his badass status is his open bisexuality and his refusing to admit he had HIV until literally the day before he died.  “Whatever, I’m fine. Can I get another bump?”

4. Anton Lavey


This founder of the Church of Satan opted, appropriately, for the most nefarious moustache of all: the fu-manchu.  Named for the evil Dr. Fu Manchu, this moustache conveys to your enemy that you’re here to drink blood and chew gum, and you just ran out of gum. Interestingly, Lavey founded Laveyian Satanism which holds as two of its philosophical underpinnings materialism and individualism.  These two fields were also highly regarded and of great interest to our next mustachioed monsieur.

3. Nietzsche


Nietzsche’s father died when he was five, and his brother died when he was six.  He was also born in Prussia.  None of this is very festive, and his philosophy and facial hair reflect this. Life didn’t get much better for him, either.  He signed up for a voluntary year in the Prussian army, fell off a horse and was too hurt to continue.  Later, he served as a medic in the Franco-Prussian War and contracted dysentery, diphtheria and probably syphilis (ultimately leading to his descent into madness).  Desperate times call for desperately man-tastic moustaches.

2. Yosemite Sam


Yosemite Sam was a short-lived Looney Toon based on then-famed artist Fritz Feleng.  Apparently Fritz just absolutely effing hated rabbits, and would fire pistols wildly at them.  This often lead to comic misadventure as opposed to the weapons charges you might expect.  Hollywood was different (read: better) back then.  Yosemite Sam (and his bushy, red mustachio) would’ve fit in well.   Nobody could say no to a pitch that ends with, “Ya better say yer prayers, ya flea-bitten varmaint, I'm a-gonna blow ya to smithereenies.”

1. Hitler


Notoriously obsessed with both fashion and genocide, Hitler’s moustache was appropriately radical.  The oddly-shaped, rarely-growable, toothbrush moustache struck fear into the hearts Allies world wide (though not Russians).  Interestingly, though, some tangled news came to my attention in the late '90s.  It seems one of Hitler’s peers remembers an altogether different yet equally terrifying Hitler moustache.  It was of the bushy, Prussian variety (see above), and he was ordered by his then-superior officer to trim it because it interfered with the seal on his combat gas mask.