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Best mustaches in the mustache game

Kevin Noonan | Monday, November 25, 2013

Movember stands out for most men because most men can’t grow mustaches without looking just absolutely terrible.

I would never say I’m some kind of fashion expert or handsomeness expert (that’s for other people to say about me), but I feel pretty confident in saying that for most guys, mustaches are not the best look. But with every rule comes exceptions, and this rule is no exception. With mustaches, the exceptions come in masterful, glorious forms. Here are some of our favorite mustaches in the mustache game:


Burt Reynolds

People might forget because of his decline in acting work in recent years, but Burt Reynolds once reigned for a time as the undisputed king of Hollywood. For five straight years, from 1979 to 1983, Reynolds was the was top-grossing actor in film, beating out in-their-prime stars, such as Clint Eastwood, John Travolta and Sylvester Stallone.

Tom Selleck

Thought by many to be the supreme champion of all things mustache, Selleck’s iconic role as Thomas Magnum in the television series “Magnum, P.I.” from 1980 to 1988 sets the bar high for any mustache. His facial hair became a part of his personality as his career progressed, and it undoubtedly had a hand in his Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama series in 1984.

Salvador Dalí

The Spanish artist lived a life as fascinatingly eccentric as his famous paintings, and his mustache was no exception. The surrealist was most famous for his 1931 work “The Persistence of Memory,” featuring melting clocks and weird stuff like that with oil on canvas. But equally as impressive was his thin, wiry mustache, stretching out for inches on either side of his face. Combined with the wild-eyed expression he liked to give when being photographed, the mustache helped define the personality of one of the great artists of the century.

Groucho Marx

Another star defined as much by his mustache as by anything else, the leader of the Marx brothers didn’t actually have facial hair for most of his career ¾ both his mustache and his thick eyebrows were faked with greasepaint. But the effect was so great and so defining that Marx was said to be nearly impossible to recognize without them. Later in his career, tired of painting on his face for every appearance, Marx eventually decided to grow an actual mustache, but he still painted over it for a few performances.

Ron Swanson

Nick Offerman plays the staunch libertarian on NBC’s “Parks and Rec.” The mustache is Offerman’s own work, but it’s so integral to Swanson that the show’s creators said it was one of the first ideas they had for the character. In fact, as Swanson says in the show, his mustache trimmers are one of the only products he stands behind: “I won’t publicly endorse a product unless I use it exclusively and I really believe in it. My only official recommendations are U.S. Army-issued mustache trimmers, Morton’s Salt and the C.R. Lawrence fine, two-inch-style, oscillating knife blade.”


Contact Kevin Noonan at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.