Ladies, you might want to start paying better attention to your guys’ grooming habits, because it’s officially November, which marks the start of Movember, the global campaign that encourages men to grow mustaches throughout the month.
Started in 2003, the initiative officially seeks to raise awareness and funds for the fight against prostate and testicular cancer, but unofficially it lets us take an entire month to reflect on the oddity that is the mustache, that very specific tuft of facial hair most typically affiliated with ’70s porn stars, ’80s dads, sheriffs, dictators, and rock stars.
They might be considered an object of pure camp now, but throughout the mid-to-late 20th century, the mustache—in various incarnations—was a legitimate trend that had zero trace of underlying irony or humor (see: photos of your dad in the ’80s.) Since then, it’s receded into a territory reserved for hipsters and quirky dudes (as evidenced by James Franco‘s 2010 ‘stache.)
In honor of Movember, we decided to round up 11 real men (and one animated man) famous for making the mustache (sort of) cool.
Burt Reynolds: Actor, 1970s icon, Loni Anderson-dater.
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Freddie Mercury: Captivating Queen frontman, bonafide rock star.
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Tom Selleck: Accomplished actor whose career has spanned everything from '80s hits ("Magnum P.I."), '90s hits ("Friends," "Three Men and a Baby"), and current hits ("Blue Bloods"), but who's known more for his standard-setting mustache than his resume.
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Albert Einstein: Genius, proud mustache-wearer.
Alex Trebeck: Veteran "Jeopardy" host known for his major mustache (despite the fact he shaved it in 2001.)
Ned Flanders: The Simpsons' goody-goody neighbor, general bane of Homer Simpson's existence.
Hulk Hogan: Professional wrestling icon, eventual VH1 reality star.
Charlie Chaplin: Iconic silent film star.
Ron Jeremy: Famous, if unlikely, porn star.
John Waters: Cult-film director and writer.
Lionel Richie: Adult contemporary icon, singer/songwriter, ceiling dancer.
Clark Gable: Classic American film star, most famous for playing Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind.