The 12 Most Infamous Mustaches of All Time

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 10, 2010 · 81 comments

in Blog

As many of you know, AoM is taking part in the Movember contest to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. Our team has over 300 fearless members who will be growing mustaches and raising money during the month of November. One week into the contest and the AoM Team has already raised over $13,000 to fight prostate cancer! Bam!

Last year when we kicked off Movember we created a list of the manliest mustaches of all time. Great men like Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. made the list as well as a few funny and bad dudes from history and fiction. This year we thought it would be interesting to create a list of the most infamous mustaches of all time. These mustaches have a reputation of the worst kind because of the actions and character of their wearers. These mustaches, stroked and twirled by their owners as they plotted their evil plans, were accomplices to some of the most dastardly deeds in fictional and real history.

Joseph Stalin

In Soviet Russia, mustache wears you.

Genghis Khan

The tales of Genghis Khan’s brutality in conquest are surely exaggerated. He had only to show people his mustache and they would surrender on the spot.

Captain Hook

All of Captain Hook’s anger can be traced to the fact that he felt suffocated as a pirate when his true dream was to become an artist just like his hero and mustache muse, Salvador Dali.

Vlad the Impaler

Before vampires made tween girls swoon with their bare-chested, fresh-faced charms, they wore mustaches and impaled people on sharpened sticks. “Team Vlad” t-shirts have surprisingly not sold well in stores.

Saddam Hussein

According to a leaked CIA memo, Iraq’s WMDs were hidden in Saddam Hussein’s lush Arabian mustache.

The Godfather

Don Corleone’s mustache will make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Snidely Whiplash

Snidely Whiplash spent his career trolling around Canada abducting young women and tying them to railroad tracks. His numerous murder attempts were finally ended, not by Dudley Do-Right, but by an angry damsel who fought back by wrapping his mustache around his neck and choking him with it.

Adolf Hitler

The most infamous mustache of all time. Hitler changed history in numerous ways, including making this style of mustache (not to mention the name Adolf) verboten forever more.

Boris Badenov

A product of the same School of Villainry as Snidely Whiplash (Step 1: Grow mustache. Step 2: Clasp hands together menacingly in front of you), Boris Badenov lived a life of terrible frustration. Not only were his evil plots consistently foiled by a squirrel and a moose, he could never get Natasha Fatale to see him as more than a partner in crime, despite his debonair, “bad enough” mustache. Perhaps because she was seemingly a full six feet taller than him.

Bill the Butcher

We “Know-Nothing” about Bill the Butcher’s stache except that it died a true American when its owner expired.

Dick Dastardly

In his attempts to stop his racing opponents through cheating, this “double-dealing do-badder” deployed a variety of traps from his race car, the Mean Machine. But none were as effective as a nozzle that dispensed mustache wax onto the road.

Augusto Pinochet

Augusto Pinochet’s mustache took over his upper lip through an oppressive military coup.

What are some other infamous mustaches from history and fiction? Add to our list in the comments!

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 EJ Munoz November 10, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Pancho Villa!

2 Jason November 10, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I can’t Believe that you didn’t mention Magnum PI or Hulk Hogan! Wow! Talk about Iconic facial hair!

3 Andrew Barbour November 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Come on, you HAVE to include Robert Mugabe in there as well.

4 Rob November 10, 2010 at 11:28 pm

This article is for ‘INFAMOUS’ moustaches, not just ‘famous’ moustaches :)

5 Justin November 10, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Two more great mustaches:
Yosemite Sam
Wyatt Earp (

6 AJ November 10, 2010 at 11:48 pm

What about Che?

7 Gary V November 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

No Freddie Mercury? Only a mustache could hide his overbite….

8 J.A. November 11, 2010 at 12:21 am

I’m sorry, but you have a “Most Infamous Mustache” list and you left off Kaiser Wilhelm II, the man had one of the most outragous mustaches of all time! Plus he started WW 1 and it dont get much more infamous than that.

9 Ned November 11, 2010 at 12:30 am

Quite an oversight not to include Nietzsche and his legendary beard.

10 Henry November 11, 2010 at 12:38 am

Ambrose Burnsides

11 Squeeter November 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

Oh man, you missed some, for instance:

*Freddy Mercury
*Salvatore Dali (Mentioned, yes, but that mustachio is art incarnate)
*Clarke Gable
*Hulk Hogan

Let me know what you think of these staches!

12 Seth November 11, 2010 at 1:22 am

The fact that Rocky and Bullwinkle have both their villains on here…. is amazing. I was happy.

13 Tor Nilsen November 11, 2010 at 1:29 am

Thanks guys, a good chuckle is just what I need in the morning!

14 Will Drew November 11, 2010 at 2:44 am

Burt Reynolds!

15 Isaac November 11, 2010 at 3:40 am

How are you going to forget Sam Elliot?

16 MountainDan November 11, 2010 at 4:35 am

I guess it’s part of a beard, but Fidel Castro?

17 rad November 11, 2010 at 4:38 am
18 JS November 11, 2010 at 5:15 am

Any mustache list that doesn’t include Rollie Fingers is instantly invalid.

19 BRZ November 11, 2010 at 5:59 am

Definition of Infamous:
having a bad reputation; of bad report; notoriously vile; detestable

This is not a best staches of all time list; it’s “The 12 Most INFAMOUS Mustaches of all Time”.

Nice list; made me chuckle.

20 G. Blessing November 11, 2010 at 6:00 am

Professor Fate!

( jack Lemon Character in the 1960s(’63 IIRC) “The Great Race” movie)

21 Darren November 11, 2010 at 7:27 am

Hulk Hogan? Rollie Fingers? Burt Reynolds? Seriously folks, do people not know what “infamous” means?

22 Tim November 11, 2010 at 7:44 am

Well I must disagree.. everybody knows Sadam Husseins and Hitlers beards!

23 Markus November 11, 2010 at 7:54 am

Funny article :)
While I agree 100% that Kaiser Wilhelm II. should be in the list, it is historically incorrect, if not to say absurd that he somehow single-handedly caused WW I. I am German myself and recognize the horrible crimes that have been commited in the name of that country in the last century. However, let’s keep things separate and not fall for the common misconception that the entire German history was destined to lead to Hitler. The Kaiser Wilhelm beard has gone out of fashion for good reasons, but even he wasn’t powerful enough to decide European history alone. For people interested in the subject I highly recommend the new biography by Christopher Clark :

Greetings from Hamburg!

24 Stephen November 11, 2010 at 7:54 am

Salvador Dali. wicked stache.

25 Mark Nelson November 11, 2010 at 8:05 am

Andrew Barbour, I can’t help but wonder if Mugabe’s mustache is truly a planned mustache, or a “my-razor-doesn’t-actually-reach-there” mustache.

Love it.

26 Doctor Zee November 11, 2010 at 8:38 am

The John Waters/Sander Cohen!

27 Pete Zefo November 11, 2010 at 8:58 am

Nancy Pelosi?

28 Patrick Fisher November 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

My 12, in no particular order.
1.) Joseph Stalin
2.) Adolph Hitler
3.) Charlie Chaplin
4.) Rollie Fingers
5.) Tom Selleck
6.) Salvador Dali
7.) Friedrich Nietzsche
8.) Mark Twain
9.) Albert Einstein
10.) Hulk Hogan
11.) Frank Zappa
12.) Sam Elliott

29 justin November 11, 2010 at 9:58 am

Che Guevara and Fidel Castro should be on this list as well.

30 Curtis November 11, 2010 at 11:04 am

I’m glad someone else mentioned Burt Reynolds. I was hoping I am not alone in the Burt Reynolds camp.

31 J.A. November 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

I never said that Wilhelm II single handedly started WW I, however he is the driving force of the actual war. You however are the absurd one if you think that Germanys wars were started by someone other than Germany, that sounds like you’re trying to pass the buck.

32 Dan November 11, 2010 at 11:51 am

Ahem. Nietzsche? He has the best one I’ve ever seen.

33 willo November 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm

The key word is “infamous”
I also nominate Kaiser Willie and Dr. Fu Manchu

34 Matti November 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I would add Friedrich Nietzsche, Salvador Dali and Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I.

35 Anna November 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I have to say, I was saddened to see Genghis Khan on there. The man was not so much infamous as misunderstood. He created the first major governing system that allowed religious freedom and kick-started international trade in a time of stagnation, helping to spread technology and education. Sure, he conquered and killed, but so did the Romans.

Take a look at Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (Jack Weatherford) sometime, and remember that the people who wrote our histories were the conquered.

36 Markus November 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm

@ J.A.

if you say I was trying to pass the buck, it seems you understood my comment exactly the way I did not want it to come across. True, you didn’t say single handedly, but I guess I took your word too literally – which my (American) father says is typical for us Germans :). I apologize.
My point, however, was not that Germany was innocent of starting either war (god forbid!) but rather that (1) Individuals – even monarchs and especially the Kaiser under the 1871 constitution – normally don’t have enough power to cause such events on their own, and that (2) WW I was a conflict between several imperial powers caused by their conflicting interests and complicated alliances. Germany played a major role, but not in the same way as in 1939. I hope you agree, because it seems most (international) historians see it this way, too.

Kind regards!

37 Joe November 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Agreed that Fu Manchu should be on the list. He has a style of stache named after him for Pete’s sake!

38 Joe November 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Also Satan himself is often portrayed with a mustache. It doesn’t get more evil than that!

39 Linda P. November 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Jimmy McMillan

40 Chris Kavanaugh November 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I am saddened to see sir Richard Burton; the explorer, linquist, swordsman,writer,diplomat ignored on both lists. If you want to read a rousing biography do pick up any of several. You will find yourself seeking out his many books still in print from 1001 Arabian Nights to his haj to Mecca in mufti.

41 Chris Kavanaugh November 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I also take exception to Vad Dracul. His brutality is repungant today, but certainly effective. Imagine a ottoman army again invading Wallachia ( modern Romania) and coming upon a plain of impaled ottoman prisoners in the thousands.They went home.
People today express deep hostility to Islam over 9/11 and that geopolitical conflict; issues over integration in Europe, headscarves in France and Mosques in NYC.
I do not advocate a jingoistic ‘nuke em’ all’ solution. But ol Vlad knew his enemy and had a clarity of intent.

42 Bernie November 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Chris, surely it’d make you HAPPY not to see Richard Burton’s name on a list of the most infamous mustaches of all time?

43 Gray November 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm
44 Trevor November 11, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Saddam Hussein’s lush “Persian” mustache?

I think you might be confusing Iraq with Iran there.

That’s kind of like calling Bono Scottish.

45 Wayne November 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Wow, the IN-famous? IN-FAMOUS?

46 crash November 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Clearly you missed a few. However, I commend you for taking part in the Movember contest to raise awareness for prostrate cancer. Myself a few hockey buddies are taking part since we get to go on the ice at a Minnesota Wild NHL game and meet the players and some other cool stuff.

My one buddy is growing a Tom Seleck stache – so far it looks pretty awesome.

Nice list by the way.

47 Bryan November 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Really, truly astounding how many comments don’t seem to understand the word infamous. Nearly half of them seem to be suggesting mustaches of their favorite hero’s! Did they even read the article?!?

48 Clockwork November 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

People need to look up “infamous”.

49 Tubby Mike November 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm

True, true. But is it the mustache that’s infamous, or the person?

50 Frank November 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday
Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid
2 of the coolest infamous movie characters of all time….

51 Anna-Lisa November 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I know he’s fictional, but you have to include Hercule Poirot.

52 Big Daddy November 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Dali & Ned Flanders?

53 joedink November 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm

my ex wife has a great one !!!!

54 Pepper November 12, 2010 at 1:40 am

Seriously, where is Tom Selleck and Albert Einstein?! hmmmm?

55 Andrew November 12, 2010 at 3:13 am

@tubbymike – the stache is iconic to all the listed so… Both

@J.A. Wilhelm II was not the initial , however he happened to be the leader of the losing side of WWI but Europe in the last 19th and early 20th centuries was a powder keg waiting to erupt as the new emerging powers were looking to flex their technological and military muscles. The definig event to cause the war was the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife by a Serbian assassin group hired to aid Serbian independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to which Ferdinand was the heir apparent to the throne. To say Wilhelm started the war is inaccurate at best, since Germany was allied with the Ausrto-Hungarians and the Ottomans he would not have ordered such a hit.

56 akira November 12, 2010 at 3:32 am

Three words. Lee Van Cleef.

57 Chris November 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck had an infamous mustache. You will still see Van Dyck’s in today’s trailer parks typically combined with a mullet.

58 Nate November 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Evil Spock’s mustace\goatee.

59 TimothyPilgrim November 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

How many times must it be pointed out that this is a list of INFAMOUS mustaches? Not only do readers not read the title of the article, but they also don’t read the comments telling them to read the title!

Tom Selleck? Hulk Hogan? Albert Einstein? Seriously folks, smarten up. You’re making the rest of us look dumb.

As for me, I rank Hitler’s at the numero uno infamous mustache of all time. Like the article says, he killed it for the rest of us, which is too bad because it’s the only one I can grow!

60 JK November 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm

These comments are so depressing. What chance do we have if so many people don’t know the meaning of “infamous”? Come on,its a list of dictators and cartoon villains, didn’t your 3rd grade teacher teach you to look at the context if you don’t recodgnize a word? Did someone at a frat party tell you the secret to looking cool in a moustache conversation is to be the first one to bring up Tom Seleck?

61 JR November 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Alright, even if you don’t know what infamous means, you still don’t see the theme?

62 Chris kavanaugh November 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Oliver Hardy should be emulated for that moustache, not corporal Shicklegruber.
I mentioned Burton after his ommision in the first article. In a way though, he was infamous in London society. He was courting a young lady of society. he was nicknamed ‘ruffian dick’ since challenging two university students to a duel after they commented on his huge moustache. Her mother confronted him at a formal party ” Mr Burton, as ophelia’s mother, I feel it my duty to inquire as to your intentions?” Burton replied ” dishonourable madam, strictly dishonourabe” bowed and left.

63 Brawny and Brainy November 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

What about Mike Menzter?!?!?

64 Brawny and Brainy November 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm


65 Lao Tzu November 12, 2010 at 6:06 pm

It appears that a lot of people here did not understand the word INFAMOUS, I know you are mostly americans ,but come on WAKE UP FWS

66 Tryclyde November 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

This is just what it’s like teaching my 5th and 6th grade students reading comprehension. Most of the time, they find it extremely difficult to grasp the concept of context clues or questioning what a word means when they don’t understand it. However, it’s 1,000 times more worrisome when adults fail to do this.

67 Tryclyde November 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

…And Lao Tzu, don’t you dare come here and insult an entire country. Not to mention that your grammar is horrendous and you shouldn’t be talking.

68 Johnny Mac November 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Infamous mustache…Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

Look at that thing!

69 Chris Kavanaugh November 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Lousy, er LaoTzu,
I assume you’ve actually read your namesake’s writings and will make a rapid retreat.
Use your time well; perhaps read Confucious and learn a more politic means of discourse.

70 Gautam November 14, 2010 at 9:32 am

Saddam wasn’t Persian, he was Iraqi.

71 Jared November 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Two things:

1) Fu Man Chu is not on here. This list is a disgrace without it.

2) Saddam and all other Iraqis are NOT Persian, they’re 100% Arabs. That difference is a big part of the reason that Iran is at odds with the rest of the Middle East- culturally and ethnically they are different groups. I don’t mean to be all librarian-with-a-ruler-in-hand on this one, but it’s a big enough difference that it should be corrected.

72 Iranon November 15, 2010 at 8:09 am

I can think of a number of tyrannical rulers from the Horn of Africa who had quite impressive looking ‘staches. First of all, there was Mohammed Siad Barre, the last ruler Somalia had before it descended into anarchy in the early ’90s. Among his many dubious achievements, this individual (whose mustache bore a disturbing resemblance to Hitler’s) invaded Ethiopia during the 1970s, turned his country into a police state, and reduced one of its cities, Hargeisa, to rubble when suppressing a rebel uprising during the final years of his reign. Then there’s Isaias Afewerki, the current president of Eritrea, and one of the heroes of that country’s long struggle for independence. While an admirable character in many respects – due to his courage, discipline and simple way of living – this individual has unfortunately become quite the despot, cracking down on the press in his country (to such an extent that Eritrea has one of the worst records – if not THE worst – in the world when it comes to freedom of the press), press-ganging his nation’s youth into years of military service, and refusing to relinquish power.

Finally, surpassing both these men in the notoriety stakes is Ethiopia’s former Marxist ruler, Haile Mariam Mengistu, who was complicit in the murder of the country’s previous ruler, the Emperor Haile Selassie (admittedly not a terribly nice individual himself), and who attempted to turn his country into arguably the most Sovietized Communist country outside the USSR itself. Not only did he launch a campaign of “Red Terror” in the ’70s that killed thousands (including countless children whose bodies were reputedly left in the streets for the hyenas to feed on), and inflict horrors upon the population comparable to those of Pol Pot’s Cambodia, he was also content to let millions of his people starve during the ’80s, preferring to divert any aid money his country received into the military, who at the time were fighting a war against Eritrean separatists and other rebels. Upon falling from power in 1991, he fled to Zimbabwe, where he was given sanctuary by Robert Mugabe, and remains to this day. Unfortunately, from all accounts, his successor, Meles Zenawi (who also sports a mustache, interestingly enough), isn’t much better!

73 J November 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

The mustache is a powerful thing… It seems to be taking over the internet (for a good cause as we all celebrate the most entertaining charity/awareness month there is: Movember). A newish blog I came across recently did an Ode to Movember post that’s pretty funny:

74 CJ November 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Great stuff. I know these guys weren’t infamous, but it’s hard to believe that Groucho Marx and Cesar Romero haven’t made any of the mustache lists. True, at first Groucho’s was just black grease, but he did grow a real one later in life. And Cesar Romero was so cool he refused to shave his and as the Joker just white greased right over it. That makes them both kind of the Yin and Yang of Hollywood mustaches.
Also…Ned Flanders, anyone?

75 Tim November 20, 2010 at 1:16 am

The American Mustache Institute invites you to Vote for Mustached American of the Year!

76 Randy November 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Well check this out. You can raise awareness of cancers affecting men and help give shoes to kids in other countries who have none.

77 Clint November 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Frieda Kahlo!

78 Beowulf87 December 1, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Nietzsche needs to be on this list!

79 Jim November 18, 2012 at 5:22 am

What about Salvador Dali?

80 Adam March 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Does no one understand what the word “infamous” means? This list nailed it.

81 Alex March 31, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Francisco Franco, obviously!

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