Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great Beards in History: Serpico

In recent years, much has been made of the greatness of the mustache. The Mustache Revolution arguably started with the handlebar splendor of Rollie Fingers, built in momentum with Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, took a slight downturn with AJ Daulerio's "efforts," and reached its pinnacle with "Mustache Wednesday" on my favorite site on the interwebz, EDSBS, which celebrates the grandeur of mustaches on a weekly basis in between feeding my masturbatory fantasies about Florida Gator football.

But, it is my feeling that the mustache has become over-glorified in recent vintage (though I'm shocked that nobody has written a 10,000 word paean to Dennis Lamp and his fantastic lip-tickler), especially when a greater, more manly form of facial hair exists: the beard.

Now, while Mass Hysteria is first and foremost a sports site, I'd also like to think that we're also a site of wisdom and enlightenment, informing you, the reader, of All Things That Are Awesome and Manly. And given that APNDR is near Social Security age, HZMLS is about to trade in his penis for the shackles of a wedding ring and SmartyBarrett sings Jesse McCartney songs at karaoke, I have un-democratically appointed myself as this site's Ambassador to Manliness. And, as I see it, an essential part of manliness is the proper wearing of the manliest of all facial patterns - the beard. So, in what will be a semi-regular segment, especially in these lean days of Boston sports, I shall enhance the Sterkness of the Mass Hysteria Universe by celebrating beards in all their glory. This week, one of the patron saints of Beardliness - Al Pacino's Serpico beard.

Serpico, if you haven't seen it, may be Al Pacino's seminal work. Sure, he also kicked ass in The Godfather, Scarface and Gigli, but none of those movies exhibited Pacino at his most manly as did Serpico. He fought the NYPD (most of whom bore the standard-issue Policeman Mustache). He dressed like a homeless dude. He got shot in the face. He told the NYPD to shove their promotion up their ass and moved to Switzerland. Frank Serpico, even moreso than Michael Corleone or Tony Montana or Coach D'Amato, was a fucking man's man.

The Serpico beard had everything you'd look for in a manly beard. It was full and glorious, but not pube-y (as my beard tends to be sometimes when I grow it out for too long). Pacino complemented the beard with awesome sunglasses and unkempt hair. If you saw someone walking down the street with that beard, your first thought would be "wow, that dude probably knows fifteen ways to disembowel me with a pair of salad tongs, and would do so without giving it a second thought." It is a fine example of the greatness of facial hair, and a proper choice as our first Great Beard in History. Al Pacino (and the original Frank Serpico), we salute you.


Shaun said...

This post is greatness.

I tried to grow a Youk last year, but the space immediately below the lower lip, I had to abandon my dream.

SmartyBarrett said...

OMG I sang Jesse McCartney ONE TIME! Gosshhh...

brad s said...

sterkest. post. ever. i agree that mustaches, as great as they are, have jumped the shark. i'm a grown ass man, but no, i cannot wear a mustache here in nyc without everyone imputing it to irony. so i wear a beard. proudly. also, mustaches and even more so goatees are equivocations -- i want facial hair, but i also want to shave every day. wtf?

brad s said...

* grown-ass man.

i'm an ass man as well, but that's another topic entirely

HeHadItComing said...

The original script for Serpico actually starred the beard by itself, but CGI was not yet advanced enough so Pacino was brought on to wear the beard. The bastard stole the beard's thunder.