To celebrate the start of Movember, Pete Douglas gives a run-down of his favourite TV moustaches through the ages.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 11 years since Outrageous Fortune hit our screens and set the tone for the next decade of local TV drama. People loved the show for a range of reasons, but when I think of the first couple seasons of Outrageous, one image sticks with me in particular: Wayne Judd and his filthy moustache.
Police detective Judd (played by Kirk Torrence) starts out as the show’s main antagonist, and in order to signal that A) he was a cop, and B) he was the enemy of the ne’er do well Wests, his character was given an old-fashioned ’80s mo. Tragically, Judd lost his mo later, signalling him leaving the force, and becoming a member of the West clan. But I always pined for the days where he was a dead ringer for a low key Morris Day.
Where does Judd’s finely honed villain ‘tache place him in the pantheon of great TV moustaches?
To celebrate the start of Movember, here are our top picks:
8) Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods
As New York Police Commissioner and patriarch of the Reagan family on Blue Bloods Tom Selleck often has the weight of the world in his shoulders. A principled and stoic man, Reagan would much rather furrow his brow and grimace his fine manicured mo before he would actually talk something through – something he does to great effect regularly on the show.
7) Ned Flanders on The Simpsons
Sure, Ned’s not a real person (I know, I’ll wash my mouth out once I’m finished), but he has a great moustache, and many glorious nicknames for it (“the soup strainer”, “the nose neighbour, “Mr. Tickles”, “the cookie duster”, “the pushbroom” and “Dr. Fuzzenstein” just to name a few).
Homer convinces Ned to shave the mo off at one point because “people are talking”, but thankfully that misguided phase is short lived, and the mo lives on The Simpsons to this very day.
6) Mark Sainsbury
Exhibit A of the classic walrus look, Sainsbo is a broadcasting stalwart who you assume likes a couple of beers and griping about the bloody kids of today, etc, etc (sorry if you don’t Sainsbo). What better accessory to soak up said libation, and to furrow disapprovingly at the modern world, than a bushy slug such as this?
Mike Hosking may be a narcissistic, pompous, sexist, out of touch, ludicrously compromised, burnt out, husk of what a journalist could and should be, but I reckon the real problem is that he could never grow a decent moustache like Sainsbury.
5) Jamie Hyneman on Mythbusters
The yin to co-host Adam Savage’s yang on the long running Mythbusters franchise, Jamie Hyneman is the monotone, calm, logical, and serious one, while Adam jumps around like an excited 5-year old coming up with new ideas about how to blow shit up.
Hyneman may play it straight when it comes to work, but he lets his personality out via his fashion sense – wearing dark reflective sunglasses, a beret at a jaunty angle, and sporting a massive walrus-like moustache which he can twirl when reflecting on complex scientific problems, or bristle impatiently when he needs to chastise Savage for getting too far ahead of himself.
4) Richard Long
There was an outbreak of mass hysteria in little old New Zealand when venerable newsreader Richard Long made the outrageous decision to exile his trademark moustache. Long’s bare upper lip was so risque that parents kept their children away from the TV at 6pm, complaints were laid, the sharemarket fell, and and cats and dogs started living together in harmony (probably).
I have absolutely no proof, but It’s surely no coincidence that Long’s denouncement of the ‘tache shortly after saw him relegated in the news reading ranks? Just saying.
3) Wayne Judd on Outrageous Fortune
Judd’s moustache may have been on the more subtle side of things, but it was a big call to give a main character in a modern day show a ‘tache. One great advantage was that Judd’s mo allowed him to throw out extreme kiwi-isms like “Jesus Christ Sheryl!” without any discernable sense of irony.
2) Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation
A tremendous modern day moustache entry, Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation had a distinctive lip slug symbolic of exactly the kind of guy the character is – staunchly anti-government, in love with a good session of woodwork and an aged bottle of scotch, Ron is is a man’s man to be sure.
Add this to a clandestine love of the saxophone and a special skill with the ladies and you have a man for all seasons.
1) Thomas Magnum on Magnum PI
Tom Selleck has a moustache so powerful that it flourished in the 80s, weathered a lean patch to dominate all over again in the mid 90’s, when Selleck turned up in a recurring cameo as Monica’s boyfriend Richard Burke on Friends, before powering through to number 8) on our list here.
In it’s original, and generally accepted as most iconic, incarnation mustacheod Private Investigator Thomas Magnum lives an idyllic and frankly ridiculous lifestyle in the 80’s show Magnum PI. Occupying a Hawaiian estate owned by his rich and elusive benefactor, one of Magnum’s two best friends owns a bar, while the other owns a helicopter.
If all this sounds like it was written by a 12-year old boy then you’d be about right – the show is a cheese fest, but you simply can’t deny the acting range of Selleck’s moustache – which is able to shift effortlessly between a wry charming grin, to accentuating Magnum taking a case extremely seriously.
Nearly 30 years on, Magnum is somehow still ‘tache goals for summer 2016.
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