29 February 2008

Jim Henson
9.1


Inspiration for a muppet. Need I say more? (Yes. I’m typically verbose and would love to talk about this guy’s beard anyway.)

Light-hearted, easy-going, family-friendly fun. This beard is the Steve Martin comedy of facial hair. Henson was able to propel odd multicolored puppets to the height of prime time television and to become the most beloved supplementary educational program for our children. Without him, Star Wars would look more like a Sci-Fi Channel mini-series. Needless to say, he thought differently. And what is thinking without stroking the beard?

His thick, greying mane was a product of the 70s, a symbol of warmth and open-mindedness he bore on his chin. Henson’s was no freak flag. It was a neighborly handshake.

But it wasn’t just this emissary position the
mandible mop held. No one ever questioned the idea that a grown man was playing with dolls. Why? Because Henson had a beautiful beard. Though approachable, the beard upheld a solemnity that could avert any doubters of his personal character. Seriously, folks, this is the bristle that brought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to life! You just cannot argue with that.

Nice photo.

28 February 2008

Olof Mellberg
7.3 (repost)


Olof Mellberg is a Swedish football player who currently plays for Aston Villa (currently ranked sixth in the Barclays Premier League). I won’t lie and tell you I know everything about this guy — I spent half a year in Spain following Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Beckham, all typical naked facers. But what I can tell you is this Swede sometimes sports chin strands.

Typically seen with a short beard, it has been brought to my attention that Mellberg does don a very viking-esque skägg from time to time. Its mere presence on the pitch is a beacon of hope for footballers worldwide. And that continuity from crown to jaw is tough to beat (I love balance!).

From I *HEART* OLOF

The man is KNOWN for his beard! Vikings and all that! ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!
Let’s hope Mellberg’s beard performance stays strong at Juventus.

More photos here, here and here.

*UPDATE* Jenner over at I *HEART* OLOF kindly revealed a photo of Mellberg I had not seen. In fact, the Revue might have been a little harsh on judging his commitment, as it appears the man has worn quite a svelte beard at times. Thanks Jenner! Edits have been erased to avoid clutter. My apologies for the hasty post. I mean, he actually has a pretty sweet beard.


27 February 2008

George Washington Carver
7.7


The truth is that George A. Bayle and Joseph L. Rosefield are responsible for the invention of modern-day peanut butter. But it was George Washington Carver that brought 105 peanut recipes to popularity in 1916. Recipe 51 was peanut butter, the greatest of all American foods.

Carver had a frickin’ stache. And like all his inventions, it was pretty amazing. While grown in the same vein as Dali, certainly a different effect was tendered. Less goofy and eccentric, Carver’s moustache was tamer and friendlier. Still, this distinguishing mark that separated him from the normal moustachianado seemed a reflection of his career at Tuskegee: oddly commanding reverence yet slightly obnoxious. It may be his inherent brilliance or pomp of the stache that garnered the jealousy of his co-workers, we may never know. But the man was big enough to have his whiskers on a stamp, and that’s good enough for me.

26 February 2008

Brad Pitt
8.5


Brad Pitt is a pretty man, only improved upon with the graceful presence of a burly beard. He is not content to wear a Hollywoodian, instead letting the face grow long and “unkempt looking but probably meticulously groomed so to make the impression that one does not care about appearances”. With Legends of the Fall, Pitt made popular the beard amongst Hollywood. Clearly, his is an influential sprout. Note the thickness around and under the chin — it is the proverbial contradiction of delicate and strong, like Iron Butterfly or a Gehry building.

Sadly, at this year’s Oscar parties, we were only pleased to see native Kentuckian Johnny Depp gracing a van Dyke and Viggo Mortensen mit Bart and distinguished as ever. But we could have predicted that

25 February 2008

New Hampshire Public Radio

Here is an interview with our pals over at Bearduary. Beard Revue got linked too. Bears: 1, Naked Faces: 0.

Robert Wyatt
9.2


Robert Wyatt isn’t the most well known man in the world, despite forming Soft Machine in the late 1960s and releasing one of the best albums of aught seven. With his blanketing bleached beard, you could argue Wyatt is a gnome, elf, wizard or Santa Claus. From interviews, he is a lot more genial than he looks in the photo above.

We can assume he draws his grumpiness as well as his amiableness from the same source: his beard. Wyatt’s whiskers are the vehicle that allows him to straddle the line of sipping suds and pounding bourbon in a dank tavern or relaxing with wine and cheese at a fancy schmancy soirée. The fleece has great breadth and embodies both business and pleasure duties. Who could ask for anything more?

Also check out the Wyatt & Stuff blog for the latest goings on.

22 February 2008

Zach Galifianakis
9.0


I remember seeing the Zach Galifianakis beard for the first time when I was in university, and have since forever coveted the ability to grow such a full beard. Humorous and pensive, the bushy companion (not this bushy companion, his beard!) of Galifianakis begs to be near an old bar piano or maybe with a chibouk protruding from its foliage.

The rich hue — like a brown ocean, lighter on shallow edges and darker over the denser parts — serves to elevate it from chocolate icing on a cake to full-on five-star, $20-per-plate chocolate mousse. Also very much the English professor beard,
Galifianakis’ is another one that begs to be flanked by corduroy.


Can’t Tell Me Nothing




Bonus:
The 5-year-old who hates having a beard
I can’t hear Keanu
Not About Love

Double bonus:
Comedy Central Presents

21 February 2008

Will Oldham (Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Palace, etc.)
9.1



Excerpt from an interview with Mr. Daytrotter:
Daytrotter: Does your beard ever get in your way and that’s why you’re sometimes found without it?
Oldham: It gets hot. Swimming is more fun beardless. And it is nice to check up on the face once in a while.
Seasonal or not, Oldham’s beard is awesome. Though he is known for his soft and spare song canon, his facial hair is anything but. The coiffure is rough and natural, possibly a reflection of the surroundings of his home commonwealth. Oldham’s whiskers are also fairly dynamic, appearing as if to rapidly populate some cranial city (seriously, my active imagination has me thinking of the Species sequence wherein some alien life form starts to cover every square millimeter of the petrie dish) seconds away from conquering the crown and forehead. That’s not to say he has a rabid beast of a beard, just that it cultivates a sense of urgent growth.

Anyway, the blond tufts offer an interesting topography full of peaks and valleys, highlights and shadows. Oldham’s beard is an exemplary representative of the great beard culture from Louisville.

Can’t Tell Me Nothing



I See a Darkness
Daytrotter Sessions

20 February 2008

Paul Cézanne
9.9

Cézanne forged the way with his Post-Impressionist beard. Simply put, it was impossible for film to capture its majesty, so Cézanne painted it often in self-portraits. From afar, la barbe looks brown, but it’s more colorful up close. Blue, white, green, yellow, pink, violet, red — you name the hue and his beard probably contained it. Like Joseph’s technicolor dreamcoat, this thing was amazing.

When I was in art school, my teacher thought I liked Cézanne because my style of painting closely mimicked his. Think again, Gooch.

19 February 2008

Fidel Castro
8.4*


Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is the revolutionary hero of Cuba that is credited with overthrowing a dictatorship. Today he handed over the formal power of the presidency to his brother Raúl, who is sans barbe.

Cuba is a small country. But the United States, the world’s greatest superpower ever, has feared Cuba ever since Castro was in charge. Certainly his dignified yet vicious beard helped to strike fear in those baby boomers. Castro’s beard is large and thorny, tangled and beastly…to his enemies. To his friends and supporters, it serves as an amiable, flowing facial funishing. Like it’s wearer, this greatly recognizable beard has been a divider for the past 50 years. No doubt, however, that there has always been a mystical, folkloric allure that is bigger than its physical manifestation.

More on Castro’s resignation here or here.

*For pinko-hating freedom lovers, subtract 8.4 from the rating.

Antoni Gaudí
8.8

Antoni Gaudí was the man behind much of the modernista movement in Barcelona architecture. From the Sagrada Familia to Park Güell, this beard left an enormous footprint on Spain’s most international city. To the naked eye the brillo matting adorning his regal mug might seem the most unkempt part of Gaudí’s person. However, everything was planned meticulously — the beard resembling roots of a tree, sideburns echoing a pair of trunks supporting a branching crown. Thick and proud, Gaudí’s barba is an exemplary diplomat for Catalunya and all of Spain.

Postscript: Catalunyans are campaigning for Gaudí’s canonization. One needs look no further than his saintly beard to see why.

18 February 2008

Ringo Starr
6.8


Ringo has been an avid beardsman since Sgt. Pepper. My favorite thing about his neck beard is exactly that — it wraps around the neck and allows chin (and overall ellipse of the face) to shine through, taking a back seat to his giant schnoz and sloping brow. While I may like my own beard in the forefront, Ringo’s is the perfect compliment to his public personality. It is comical, non-threatening and a great support for the entire system. Just like his roll in The Beatles.

However, as beard growth for Ringo is concerned, it don’t come easy compared to my favorite Beatle.

15 February 2008

Dave Schultz
7.4


The late Dave Schultz was pretty much the biggest bad ass ever. As a fat kid, people considered him mentally retarded. That all ended when he began wrestling and grew a beard.

Before we continue, consider these things about the Schultz beard:

  • Most wrestlers don’t have one
  • It is by far the most famous beard in wrestling (the sport, not the entertainment)
  • It could beat up your beard

  • Honestly, it’s trimmed a little short. But the beard still looks full and healthy (not patchy like his arm hair). And if you were a wrestler, you’d fear it would burn like son-of-a-gun to have that chin dig in between your shoulder blades while he was winging you up. You’d shoot first, so to avoid his cheeks rubbing up against your hips or legs. And you’d probably screw up, because you were thinking it how difficult it was to avoid something to which we all naturally matriculate.

    His first Olympic gold, 1984:



    14 February 2008

    John Belushi
    4.7 / 8.9 with beer goggles

    In observance of Get as Drunk as You Can Day, let’s review one of the great drunks of our time. Other drunks, like Hemingway, Bonham, Van Gogh, Bill Hicks and Janis Joplin all wore beards, but John Belushi is the quintessential collegiate drinker and one I think would challenge himself to get as absolutely drunk as he could for GADAYC Day.

    And very much in line with the unkempt nature of an alcoholic, Belushi’s beard seems to be a growth out of neglect. The good news is that beards tend to look good despite intentions (or lack thereof). The bad news is that he still looks like a thin Hurley. It’s all in the eyes of the beer-holder. Speaking of which… who’s buying my next round?

    Happy GADAYC Day!

    Postscript: For all those who observe Valentine’s Day, I just want to profess my undying love for beards right here on the internets. Yes, it’s true: I ♥ beards. Amen.

    13 February 2008

    Smallest bodybuilder has decent moustache


    It’s true.

    Link

    Band of Horses
    Benjamin Bridwell
    8.3


    From The Portland Mercury (15 – 21 November)
    One of the indisputable truths of modern music is that all performers’ best stages are marked by beards. The Beatles, Elvis Costello, the Beastie Boys, etc. So what does it mean that the glorious Band of Horses has been bearded since their inception? They only have one phase: genius.
    The super-duper hipster hype surrounding their music may not live up to the bona fide splendor of frontman Bridwell’s beard, but Mercury
    still put it well. The curtain shielding the neck makes for a nice floating head effect, perfect for those not-so-otherwise-mesmerizing moments on stage.

    Dig how it pulls away from the cheeks to allow an onlooker to view equal parts hair and flesh. Perhaps oddly, Bridwell’s beard resembles a mantle on which a face rests — like an egg in a nest.

    12 February 2008

    11-year-old girl inspires Lincoln beard


    Grace Bedell:

    I have got 4 brother's and part of them will vote for you any way and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin.
    Um, did you know Lincoln was inspired by an 11-year-old girl to grow his very famous Amish beard? This is no ludicrous claim — I found it on the internets! Either way, it is an amazing story.

    Link

    Charles Darwin
    9.3


    At age 51, Charles Robert Darwin published On the Origin of Species and bore some remarkable chops. But besides that, he more famously displayed a more highly-evolved beast of a beard that hung well below the neck line. The man did not monkey around. Darwin groomed his transmogrified barba homo sapius to be thick, full, wild and free so that he could maximize the scientific thought when dutifully stroked. Thus, his ranks among the most pensive of all beards.

    More photos for all species.

    Happy Darwin Day!
    Kansas school board, I spit in your general direction!

    11 February 2008

    Michael Douglas
    7.8


    Michael Douglas looks pretty happy with a beard, no? And he ought to, too. It’s a mighty fine beard indeed.

    During an easy morning stroll I noticed this fine furry face smiling at me from the Living Room Theaters. Apparently, Douglas starred in a film called King of California (released last autumn), and so did the hair on his chinny chin chin.

    This thing is uninhibited growth; pure ecstasy exudes from the eyes and through the beard. The beard helps achieve a appearance as if all synapses are firing — but not in a creepy, “I don’t want to hang around this overzealous dude” kind of way. More like a “I bet something exciting will happen with this guy around” sorta way. Like wildflowers abound and unbound, this salt-and-pepper beard is the perfect vegetation for a Douglas landscape. Bonus points for matching the humor of his bushy crown.

    Check out the amazing beard gallery and trailer at the King website. Link

    10 February 2008

    Time Magazine: The Beard Brigade


    Everywhere you look these days--on late-night talk shows, on Super Bowl offensive lines, at Federal Reserve Board meetings and maybe even in the next cubicle or across the dinner table--beards that typically resemble two to three weeks of stubble are adorning male faces. In some particularly trendy areas, facial hair has become as essential an accessory for would-be chic men as oversized totes are for their female counterparts. “Beards are back…”

    It looks like even the large, traditional media sources are coming to the realization that beards are too significant to overlook. Though I would never compare my beard to fake eyelashes, it is no secret that beards are an amazing accessory.

    Link

    08 February 2008

    One Beard to Rule Them All
    10.0



    This is frickin’ amazing.

    07 February 2008

    Emperor Norton I
    8.0


    Joshua Abraham Norton, also known as His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I or Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico, was a man with a plan. Norton I patrolled the streets of San Francisco
    svelte and dignified in his regalia. The man commanded respect: he broke up riots, planned for a suspension bridge to be built across the bay and even used his own notes for currency. But I digress; this is no history lesson.

    His barba regius was a stern reminder that this man was serious when he delivered stern edicts on the use of the word “Frisco” (do not use it), served as diplomatic decor during the anti-Chinese riots and became beacon of great pride as fellow San Franciscans became aware of the Emperor's presence. Without such a powerful beard, it’s no wonder he had the fortitude to relieve Lincoln and the rest of Capitol Hill of their duties.

    06 February 2008

    The unified facial front of the Patriots’ offensive line
    8.7 (average)



    I can’t see how I missed this — I apologize for the tardiness of this post. This video, featuring Grizzly Adams, examines the New England Patriots’ o-line and teases Tom Brady for not having a beard. Even though they struggled to protect Brady from the New York Giants’ d-line, I think it’s noteworthy that this “unbreakable bond of solidarity” led a major professional team to the first-ever 18-0 start in the United States.

    God (Christian)
    10.0


    Swedish proverb

    Wisdom is in the head and not in the beard.

    The above Swedish proverb probably comes from associating god with wisdom and beards with god. After all, beards are godly and gods are beardly. But separating the two would just be silly.

    By all accounts, the Christian god has one of the best beards ever. From Michelangelo’s

    The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel (above) to Gary Larson’s regular depiction of him in The Far Side, god dons a cotton-fluffy mane. This god’s likeness to Zeus was probably no accident. To create the most powerful, greatest, most fearsome and all-sorts-of-other-superlatives image, one would have to include a beard.

    I’m really at a loss of words for this one — what hasn’t been said of this most renowned beard?

    Enjoy your ashes today, Western Christians!

    05 February 2008

    Pau Gasol
    6.2


    La Barba Gasol is the best Spanish (and Catalunyan) export since Rioja found its way stateside. Gasol combines two of the greatest things known to humanity: beards and basketball. As he sets out tonight for his debut as a Los Angeles Laker, we hope Gasol puts his best beard forward.

    But let’s look at this thing for a moment: It’s patchy, trimmed short, the moustache does not connect — frankly, in most cases we’d be looking at a dud. But considering the current homogeny of naked-faced NBA players, Gasol is a
    stalwart ambassador. And considering how he uses the beard to its most ferocious potential (just look at that monster!), he is a convincing model for general beard strength. Yes, the vello facial needs some work. But at least he’s got it and is using it well.

    Now if we could only get some crema de cacahuete involved life would be perfect…

    Dionysus (Bacchus when in Rome)
    8.3


    Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, party, and fertility, is often depicted sans barbe. But let’s get serious for a moment and try to imagine what a party god might look like. He probably looks like the above statue: nude, lounging and with a hearty beard. If you're wondering where Santa Claus got the idea to don an ambassador of joviality and good humor, he probably took a cue from Dionysus.

    Happy Mardi Gras Party Gras!

    03 February 2008

    Tom Petty
    7.8


    Look who’s free fallin’ into the wild, wild world of face fuzz.

    You may be wondering who that svelte Midwestern rocker was between halves of the Super Bowl yesterday. It was indeed one of the ugliest musicians ever — except now he has a beard!
    Naturally, this means Tom Petty finally has a chin/jaw line. And that is why his deserves such a high mark: it’s unexpected (at his age, Petty’s default setting lies at predictable), it’s classy (nice suit, dude) and it improves on the overall ensemble (his canvas is not the easiest to paint).

    Extra props go to that Heartbreaker-stand-in lead guitarist with the Adam Duritz dreadlocks; he has a great beard.

    Tom Brady
    1.3


    When I lived in Boston, I used two phrases that could get me out of trouble and on anyone’s good side: “Go Sox” and “Tom Brady is god.” Although I don’t dislike either Bean Town institution, I could care less for the baseball and Brady is not actually god. Look at his face! NO BEARD = NOT GOD.

    Brady’s commitment to a perfect season of American football is admirable. His cheek stubble “because I hate to shave” is just disappointing. Hopefully it won’t affect his performance today in Arizona.

    01 February 2008

    Bill Murray
    5.8


    Honestly, I love Bill Murray and I love that he’s grown a beard in recent years. But my critical eye says, the moustache color is lopsided, it’s trimmed too short and it doesn’t match his ridiculously-tinted hair. Yes, a beard can help your career immensely and yes, Murray looks better these days, but no, it isn’t up to snuff. Only as Steve Zissou did his white whiskers really shine. In time, we may see something truly remarkable grow from Murray’s face, but for now I guess we’ll all just have to live with the same mediocre beard every day forever.

    Happy Groundhog Day.



    Update: Remember Murray’s stellar Tenenbaums beard? I do.