I just watched Tyler Cowen discuss world issues with Will Wilkinson on Blogging Heads. It was surreal because I had followed his writing for over a year and had yet to hear his voice or see what he looks like. Anyway, that video inspired this post. The 10 most badass beards of all-time, with links to pictures.
Honorable mentions: Zeus (too strict, although he was a big womanizer), Karl Marx, (eliminated because he was a communist1), and the Unibomber, whom I refuse to link to because the Bi-Monthly does not and will not condone violence.
10) Dumbledore. Would be higher but the whole movie thing has started to ruin the books for me. I'm turning into a huge snob, I know.
9) The dwarf in the Lord of the Rings. Technically his name is "Gimli" the dwarf (or should I call him a little person of Middle-Earth?) but who cares. All we remember is that he had a big red beard, he grunted more than he talked, and he carried around a huge battle axe. That's a recipe for success. Although, I must deduct points because he is a mythological character, not a real human. So sorry.
8) Socrates. Many an ancient Greek grew freakishly long beards, but Socrates stands out because he killed himself by drinking hemlock and because he appears in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
7) Teddy KGB. Played by John Malcovich in Rounders, the Eastern European poker player had a fairly badass beard that must have been intimidating at the table. Much better than the so-called "Jesus" of the real poker world. He also gets a boost because he undoubtedly had some Oreo crumbs lodged in there.
6) Robert E. Lee.
5) Noah. Recreated in Evan Almighty by Steve Carrell but it just isn't the same. I keep waiting for Steve to jump out and say "this business isn't about paper, it's about people!" You really have to have gone to Sunday school to understand how badass Noah's beard is.
4) Teen Wolf. The athletic ability is a plus, as is the weird dribbling style, but I must deduce some points because he had hair all over his body, not exclusively on his face.
3) The Captain in Das Boot. Aka "Lt. Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock", but again, who cares. His best line in the movie is when he says, "she must take this depth," referring to the submarine of course.
2) Tyler Cowen. Seriously, I was blown away by this beard. A tint of grey can do wonders.
1) Abe Lincoln. Duh. I will note that the most badass part of Abe Lincoln's life was when he was in a debate and he pulled the height card, saying, "Look at my opponent, he's four score and seven inches shorter than me... how could he possibly make a better president?" And I only made up 88.5% of that story.
1 Oh really, was he actually a socialist, is there some sort of difference? Thanks for enlightening me with your wealth of knowledge. You see, this is the real reason the world hates lawyers: because history majors are the worst, and history majors go to law school in droves.