When the NerdBastards Grandmaster Luke told me to venture out and gather the top ten examples of facial hair in all the nerd lands, I thought ‘pfft, easy, be back before lunch’. Oh how wrong I was.
As it turns out, be it Science Fiction, Fantasy, what have you, there is a lot, and I mean A LOT of hair out there. After days and days of searching for the best examples using the highly scientific methods the modern world has to offer (Google image search) I was left with hundreds if not thousands of examples. After hours and hours of staring at the computer screen, saying “enhance… ENHANCE…” I realized two things: Bladerunner was full of crap, and just doing a list of the ‘best’ is too easy (Ten pictures of Tom Selleck. Done.) No, my friends. we are going to have to be specific.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Ten most effective (as in not just awesome, but awesome because they did awesome things) examples of facial hair (beards, mustaches, goat-tees etc) in Nerdery:
Number 10: Wil Wheaton.
We got to know him from his time as Wesley on Star Trek: The Next Generation. We have since learned how awesome he is from various TV appearances (hell, even I have seen him on The Big Bang Theory) and his general existence on the internet. (follow him on Twitter, trust me: @wilw) Now, I am going to cut to the chase. Wil is the only Star Trek related entry. Yes, that means no Kang, no Worf, no Lieutenant Kyle, no Chang… and yes, no Riker. Before any trekkies or trekkers or whatever you call yourselfs today start the flamewar on how Riker’s beard was perfect and wonderful and whatever else. Look at Wil in the above picture. THAT IS RIKER’S BEARD. The Symbiote of awesome has a new host and it helps us see how awesome Wil Wheaton is!
Number 9: Inigo Montoya.
The roguish wisp of a mustache on the face of a man hell bent on revenge but not bogged down by it. That is the facial hair that graces the face of Inigo Montoya. Usually, when someone has dedicated their lives to killing the killer of their father, they are all emo about it and spend a lot of time brooding. Not Inigo. His long dark road to hell is met with a clever wit and a smile, a smile topped with the basic but effective mustache of a classic rogue. A mustache that says “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” When you read that, you said that in his voice, didn’t you.
Number 8: Steve Reeves, Hercules.
When I say Hercules, what face comes to mind first? If its Lou Ferrigno, that’s cool but wrong. If it’s Kevin Sorbo, then I want you to shut up, the adults are talking. If it face you see when you close your eyes and think of Hercules is Steve Reeves, then you know exactly what I am talking about. From 1957 to 1959 Reeves hit the silver screen as Hercules and created the ‘Sword and Sandal’ movie genre. Look at the above picture, the stone work, the chains, him… everything chiseled and that includes that magnificent beard that fantasy cinema owes a lot to.
Number 7: The Tick, Mustache Feeling.
Between the years 1994 and 1996, the greatest cartoon known to man was on the air. Fox canceled it. (Quick side note there was also a related extremely awesome live action sitcom they cancel too in 2001) The Tick is one of the greatest things, we as a species have created. There, I said it. September 14th, 1996 is the original air date of this mustache of note. The Tick awakes to find he has grown a mustache. It is awesome, it is also self-aware and eventually kicks his ass. Quite the accomplishment for a few strands of facial hair. If you question it’s placement on this list, I’d direct your attention to this video. Enjoy the rest of your day with that song in your head, and yes… it means you should grow a mustache.
Number 6: Sean Connery, Zardoz.
Let’s not fool ourselves. On a list of truly epic facial hair, Sean Connery will basically own. The man is known for 3 things, being the best James Bond, awesome facial hair, and just general awesomeness. Red October, the first (and only real) Highlander Movie, The Rock… these are all examples of him rocking monumental facial hair. Why does Zardoz make the list? Easy. That handle bar mustache gives Sir Sean Connery the confidence to rock a ponytail, bandoleer and, mankini ensemble. That is a powerful mustache.
Number 5: Robert Downey Jr, Tony Stark.
Do I really have to type words to prove how great the Tony Stark goat-tee is? It’s placement on Robert Downey Jr’s face helped make a (admit it, Marvel readers) B list comic character rocket to ‘A’ list status. Sure we could say Mr. Downey Jr’s performance as ‘Robert Downey Jr. in a power suit’ might have something to do with the movies success, but lets not ignore that (and feel free to correct me in the comments) this was both the first time that the character of Tony Stark and the caricature that is Robert Downey Jr. sported a goat-tee. The goat-tee is the key stone to this franchises success.
Number 4: Some guy, Captain Jack Sparrow.
This one… is for the ladies (and some of the guys, hey we are not about judgement here.) Johnny Depp’s redefinition of (the almost as awesome but not quite as awesome as ninja) public perception of pirates can not go unchecked. Hey, the first movie was not terrible! Ok, I am stretching here. This one hits so high on the list because while researching this, if I asked a female of our species their immediate answer was Johnny Depp. Maybe these results were polluted, but you have to admit, his chin bead beard has made pirates relevant again. What do you think Grammy award winning artist Micheal Bolton?
Number 3: Hugh Jackman, Wolverine.
If you have ever read a comic book featuring Wolverine (should be easy, I think every Marvel comic has Wolverine in it, somewhere.) You might have noticed one thing. His hair is freaking ridiculous. Does he go into his barber and ask to look like two startled cats? Is this just bed head for a man that sleeps with his head in a taffy puller? Hugh Jackmans muttonchops made Wolverines very silly looking hair work. You earned number 3, Mr. Jackman. (and the best part of X-Men: First Class)
Number 2: Obi Wan Kenobi.
Never has a beard seemed to matter more. In epidsode one, Obi Wan Kenobi was kind of a feebe. Don’t fool yourself, he was a Padawan (the Jedi equivalent of ‘fuck nut’ or ‘fagberry’) While I can not back this up with cannon, but I am certain that a Padiwan’s life is filled with atomic wedgies and force induced purple nurples. Obi Wan was not good in Episode One. Flashforward to episode two and his beard is in full effect and he’s actually pretty cool. Flashforward even farther to episode 4 and and is an awesome old ass kicking dude that (depending on which edition you watch) scares away sand people with the soothing tones of a walrus getting raped. Old Ben’s beard proves we men get better with age.
Number 1: Gandalf.
Really, this one is a no brainer. Both in size and impact, the chin carpet that Gandalf sports is the greatest in all Nerdom. I challenge you to disagree. It’s here, its dear, its white and you better stand clear! When a dude that is like 800 years old faces off to a large hell demon fire person like the Balrog, you know he has the confidence of the most awesome soup strainer possible. We salute you and your classic big ass wizard beard Gandalf.
OK, this is one that I mulled over and had to admit didn’t fit. However, I think it deserves mention. Actor, writer and all round crazy person Tom Cruise has stared in some pretty big and enjoyable Sci-Fi/Fantasy movies in his time (see, Legend and Minority Report.) I think we do have to mention that a very effective beard is:
Goodnight everyone, enjoy the veal.