Note: This list adheres to a strict “No Dictators” policy
It is that time of year again where a ton of guys in your classes start to look like they couldn’t be trusted to babysit. It’s November, or Movember, or “No Shave November,” or whatever you choose to call it. The practice of growing facial hair to raise funds for cancer research is a relatively new concept but I am here to tell you that the mustache has a long, proud, rich history. Here are the top 10 mustaches ever seen in human history, to be used as guidance for a proper Movember experience—be that your own face or someone you know.
10. Robert Borden
The eighth prime minister of Canada, Rt. Hon. Robert Laird Borden’s mustache is stately, distinguished, and subtly inviting. If you are totally rich—like the entirety of the Martlet staff—then you will recognize Borden’s face from the $100 bill, of which you have plenty on hand thanks to your sweet Martlet lifestyle.
9. Van Pelt (the Hunter from Jumanji)
There is little debate among film scholars that Jumanji ranks in the pantheon of the cinematic achievements of 1995. One of the most memorable characters from this timeless classic is a character named Van Pelt, or simply known as “The Hunter” who chases the protagonists through small-town America with an outfit that screams “White Man’s Burden.” His mustache is an exotic blond shade that seems to blend into his khaki uniform, giving the character a nuanced foreignness that resonated so well with me as a six-year old.
8. Karl Marx
Slightly above the hunter from Jumanji on this list is one of the most revolutionary thinkers of the 19th century, whose ideas and facial hair would help shape many of the most significant events of the 20th century, Karl Marx. Marx is known in facial hair circles for being “the total package.”
Marx has the recently-electrocuted hair, and the “where do my sideburns end and my actual hair begin?” look going for him, but perhaps his most underrated feature is a mustache that is separate from his characteristically white hair. It gives the appearance that Marx’s hair colour is stored in his mouth and the farther the distance from it, the less pigment is retained.
7. Richard Pryor
Legendary American comedian Richard Pryor had a classic, disarming conversation starter growing on his upper lip. Pryor’s mustache accentuated his smile during his routines and dared you not to laugh along with him. Later in his life, Pryor squared the edges of his mustache, an advanced maneuver that I would not recommend to the novice mustachier.
6. Rollie Fingers
Thanks to the business acumen of Charlie Finley—owner of MLB’s Oakland Athletics—one of the greatest mustaches in sports history was born. Finley offered a $300 bonus to Fingers if he grew out and curled his mustache using wax, and thanks to this wonderful insight, the world has been blessed with this playful and gravity-defying mustache that is equal parts facial hair and performance art.
5. Sun Tzu
Entering the top-five of this list is military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, most famous for his book “The Art of War,” from which 2810374 Facebook quotes are extracted each hour of the day. His mustache brilliance is in its subtlety, gracefully sliding down his lip and extending out past the edges of his chin. This is not a mustache for the weekend warriors of mustache growing; this stache requires discipline and patience.
*Note: I am only going off of sculptures and drawings of Sun Tzu; there are obviously no pictures of him.*
4. Yosemite Sam
Few figures have loomed as large in the development of Bugs Bunny’s early television career as the open-carrying outlaw Yosemite Sam. Central to Sam’s appeal is the fact that his face is mostly mustache and only the suggestion of facial features; Sam’s commitment to the mustache is truly a marvel for those who study the art of upper-lip hair growth. Sam is truly a legend in this field.
3. Salvador Dali
No one said growing a mustache had to look good. Or for that matter, no one said that a mustache can’t also be a weapon. Both of these facts are relevant to the examination of Salvador Dali’s famed mustache—a natural wonder and testament to man’s creative faculties. It goes without saying that Dali’s mustaches are not easily replicated, but his re-contextualization of what a man’s facial hair can be is what makes him a mustached genius. Legend has it that Dali would occasionally fight marlins with his mustache and finished his career without a single defeat.
2. Swedish Chef
The great power of the mustache is its power to transcend cultural boundaries and linguistic barriers. Nowhere is this more plainly evident than with the Swedish Chef. Known in culinary circles for his bold use of raw fish and turkeys, the Swedish chef has been delighting restaurateurs for decades all while speaking his own uniquely unintelligible language. The mustache on his face is the chef’s most distinctive and humanizing characteristic, one that implies that even though he is without discernable eyes, he can see into your heart.
1. Friedrich Nietzsche
If God is dead, then his last act was fashioning the most divine mustache in all of creation and giving it to a Prussian. Though a controversial figure in the history of philosophy, there is no debating Nietzsche’s place in the mustache world. With a texture that is robust, stylistic, and still undeniably touchable, this mustache wants to speak to you, listen to your deepest desires, and still has enough energy to toss the pigskin around afterwards. Nietzsche’s stache is the perfect example of what to strive for in a crazy, mixed-up mustache world