In honor of the debut of a new reality series about the world of competitive beard growing, Whisker Wars, the Independent Film Channel (IFC) executed an online poll answered by 10,000 Americans who cast votes for their favorite bearded notables, for the chance for these stars and historical luminaries to be enshrined in the IFC Whisker Wars Hall of Fame.
(Whisker Wars is on every Friday night at 11 p.m. on IFC.)
So who where some notables? Lovable funny man Zach Galifianakis, Texas Rockers ZZ Top, President Lincoln, Pittsburgh Steeler lineman Brett Keisel, Russian politico Grigori Rasputin and the sometimes bearded/sometimes surreal actor Joaquin Phoenix, to name a few. (Read below to see the rest.)
The respondents also voiced their attitudes and opinions about this fashion trend, which is again bursting to the foreground in popularity.
Music Hall of Fame Beard: Texas Rockers ZZ Top were the runaway favorite for enshrinement with 53% of the vote in this category. The fuzzy trio was followed by the latter-career Castro lookalike Jim Morrison (15%), payot-tressed Hasidic rapper Matisyahu (12%), Grateful Dead’s beloved Jerry Garcia (11%) and Kenny Rogers (9%).
Television & Movies: A close battle which went to Zach Galifianakis (34%), who bested Jeff Bridges (23%), cartoon cowboy Yosemite Sam (21%), Chuck Norris (12%) and Mr. T (10%)
Historical Figures: In what can only be called a major upset, Pre-Soviet Russian religious and political figure Grigori Rasputin (25%) inched out Moses and Leonardo da Vinci (both 24%). The fathers of evolution and communism, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx, followed with 19% and 8% respectively.
Best in Sports: The true runaway and top vote-getter in all categories was Pittsburgh Steeler Brett Keisel, who secured 80% of the vote. His closest competition was legendary New York Knicks’ “playa” Walt “Clyde” Frazier (8%). Tennis great Andre Agassi, soccer star David Beckham and LA Laker Pau Gasol were in a three-way tie for third (4% each).
Politics: Democracy came first in this category with the bearded but moustache-less President Abraham Lincoln taking 45% of the tally, followed by Fidel Castro (25%). Eighteenth President Ulysses S. Grant (16%), Castro-crony Che Guevara (9%) and the post-2000 election edition of Al Gore (5%) followed.
Sometimes Bearded: Like Gore above, IFC’s Whisker Wars Hall of Fame chose to induct one notable who periodically hides behind a wall of hair. Academy Award-nominated Best Actor and Mockumentary Maker Joaquin Phoenix inches out fellow thespian Brad Pitt (33% and 31%). This duo was followed by another of late night talk show fame, Conan O’Brien and David Letterman (21% and 11%) and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (4%)
Attitudes on the Beard and Moustache Trend…
Beards on a guy…? 92% say they’re hot…8% not.
Best Beard for a Fella to Grow? The bigger, the better! “Something truly biblical or biker, the longer the better” was the choice of 45% of the voters. “Full beard and moustache a la Che Guevara” was the choice of 35%. Only 20% said “a soft, short dusting of well-maintained stubble.”
Do You Plan to Grow A Beard In the Future? 96% do, 90% in the future, another 6% when they quit the job where they can’t have one! Only 4% said nugatory.
Have You Ever Attempted to Grow A Beard? A whopping 98% of respondents say they have!
Best Pick-Up Line for A Bearded Guy to Employ? Simply, none! “He doesn’t need one, his beard exudes enough confidence” was the choice of 80% of voters. “I think I lost my keys in my beard. Would you help me find them?” (9%), “You like animals? Me too! None were harmed in the making of this beard” (8%), “I have a great smelling shampoo back at my place. Conditioner too” (3%) were the favored lines for beardsmen.
Best Thing About Having A Beard? It’s all about the ladies! “Make men look rugged and manly” and “the hotties love it” were tops, with 58% and 32% respectively. Others like the natural shield factor. “It protects your face from sun and wrinkles” and “it keeps a man’s face warm” followed, with 6% and 4%.
What a Beard Says About A Man? It shouts sexy! “He’s confident and a great lover” took 78% of the votes. “He’s an organic farmer” (8%), “He’s on the run, perhaps from the law” (6%), “He’s in a metal band” and “He’s hiding something, perhaps a scar” (each 4%) followed.
Can A Beard Be Too Long? Not to IFC voters! “A beard can never be too long” was the answer of 60%, followed by “you trip over it when you’re jogging, dancing or mountain biking” (16%). Ten% say its too long “when it gets stuck in your pants,” 6% say “when you get mistaken for a member of ZZ Top,” 5% “when it tickles your collar bone” and 3% “when it itches.”
The Best Official Competition Beard Style That Looks Best on a Man? In keeping with the tenor of its series Whisker Wars, survey respondents go for wild style, with 38% voting for “full beard natural” and 28% “full beard groomed” and 21% to the ultra creative anything-goes “freestyle.” Less is not best, with “partial beard” and “moustache” garnering a paltry 10% and 3% respectively.
Clean-Shaven Public Figure You Would Most Like to See In A Beard? First and foremost according to the voters, our Commander-In-Chief President Barack Obama with 60%. The President is followed by a crew of boyish notables including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (16%), Pauly D (11%), American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest (7%) and teen pop idol Justin Bieber (6%)