Movember is upon us, Trivia fans! The annual tradition of Mo-Bros and Mo-Sistas taking an itchy stand for men’s health awareness. This unusual campaign started in Australia in 2003 when two mates met at a bar, drank some beers, and discussed lost fashion trends (…sounds like Trivia night). Inspired by the many breast cancer fundraising campaigns, they informally challenged 30 of their friends to grow A Mo (Aussie slang for ‘mustache’) and the first Movember was born.
In 2015, official Movember events occurred in 21 countries and, since inception, features more than 5.2 million Mo-Fam, raised more than $710 million dollars, and funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects worldwide.
Here in the U.S., the Pittsburgh-based American Mustache Institute aims to protect the rights of mustached Americans by promoting the growth, care, and culture of the mustache. Founded in 1965, AMI proudly touts itself as one of mankind’s “bravest” organizations behind “only the U.S. Military and the post-Jim Henson Muppets.”
Here are two of AMI’s most ambitious mustachioed publicity campaigns.
2007 – Top Sports Mustache of All-Time
After three weeks of debate and thousands of votes from around the world, AMI announced that former Major League first-baseman Keith Hernandez received 31.7% of the fan vote, which stunned legendary Hall of Fame MLB reliever Rollie Fingers (23.9%), NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Sr. (6.8%), and wrestler Hulk Hogan (6.1%).
Despite concern from AMI’s “certified mustacheologists” about Hernandez’s admitted use of color-enhancing products, the public’s love for Hernandez carried the former Mets and Cardinals star to the win. Perhaps Hernandez’s modest ‘stache campaign was stroked by TV Guide’s 1997 ranking of “The Boyfriend” as #4 on the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time, on which he had a prominently featured guest appearance.
2016 – Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year
Started in 2008 and named for the late-crooner, AMI has presented the annual Goulet award to the person who “best-represents or contributes to the Mustached American community.” In 2016, Charles Abadam, a Suffolk, Virginia, mosquito control supervisor, grabbed nearly 59% of the 1.4 million public votes to take home the honor. Other 2016 Goulet finalists included debate darling Ken Bone, noted enigmatologist Will Shortz, and newsman John Stossel among other worthy bushy-lipped Americans.
Are you going to grow your ‘Mo, Trivia teams? Post a picture or it didn’t happen!