TV

Here Are The Great TV Mustaches That Colin Farrell’s ‘True Detective’ ‘Stache Is Up Against

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Season 2 of HBO’s True Detective premieres on Sunday. The second iteration of Nick Pizzolatto’s serial drama focuses on a string of murders connected to the vast transportation system in the Los Angeles area. It stars Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, and Colin Farrell’s mustache.

That little critter hugging Farrell’s upper lip is nothing short of mesmerizing. It stole our attention when the trailer dropped, and it’s sure to steal every scene it’s in during the show’s forthcoming eight-episode run. If there aren’t at least three scenes where Farrell’s got donut crumbs stuck in that thing, there’s no way True Detective should qualify for awards consideration.

What about the #FarrellStache, though? Will it qualify, when all is said and done, for inclusion among the most iconic mustaches in television history? Time will tell, but here’s a look at the great ones that Farrell is unwittingly up against.

Nick Offerman

Of all the mustaches in the TV history, Offerman’s is the most likely to smell like bacon. His flavor saver not only fit his Parks and Recreation character like a glove, but it propelled Offerman’s career into a different plane of existence as he became an authority figure on masculinity.

Alex Trebek

High Rollers
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The most distinguished of all the mustaches to grace our televisions is without a doubt the lip broom of longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. It gets bonus points for longevity and for evolving over time. What started out as a full-on porn mustache morphed into something you’d expect to see on your sommelier.

Dennis Franz

1999 Dennis Franz star in year 6 of the tv series "NYPD Blue."
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I’m pretty sure the whole point of Franz’s mustache was to give other actors something to focus on during Andy Sipowicz’s classic tirades on NYPD Blue. Plus, this lip sweater looked particularly magnificent in juxtaposition to the baby faces of David Caruso and Zack Morris.

Ned Flanders

No one does dadcore harder than Homer’s Bible-thumpin’ next door neighbor. Of all the mustaches in the history of television, one could argue that Flanders’ caterpillar is the fullest and most consistent. We probably wouldn’t recognize him without it.

Gabe Kaplan

Gabe Kaplan In 'Welcome Back Kotter'
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Everyone knows that you can’t mentor Sweathogs unless you prove that you can grow a conversation piece on your upper lip. Especially if you’re going to open with a Groucho Marx impersonation on your first day. Next to young John Travolta’s flippant expressions and Farrah Fawcett hair, Kaplan’s ‘stache is the most important fixture on Welcome Back, Kotter.

Sherman Hemsley

The Jeffersons
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What is there to say about Helmsley’s mustache that hasn’t already been said about George Jefferson’s attitude? It’s animated, it’s memorable and it was a fixture on CBS for more than a decade.

Tom Selleck

Magnum In London
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Selleck’s porn ‘stache in Magnum P.I. is so iconic that an introduction seems gratuitous. His mouth brow became a sex symbol in and of itself, so much so that it probably should have been listed in the show’s opening credits. They simply don’t make mustaches like his nowadays.

Dr. Phil

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno-Dr. Phil McGraw
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I’m embarrassed to admit it, but there’s just something comforting about the broom growing on Dr. Phil’s upper lip. There’s never really a non-creepy way to talk about tweens getting plastic surgery, but if he’s dispensing life advice and teaching people how to deal with their cheating spouses, the ‘stache helps infinitely.

John Ratzenberger

Every bar needs at least one mustachioed gentleman downing domestics on the regular. Cliff was that guy on Cheers, and that was especially fitting because he was also a mailman, and mustaches just look like they belong on mailmen. You can’t argue with science, people.

Bryan Cranston

Heisenberg is most fondly remembered for his bald head and goatee combo, but his transformation “from Mr. Chips to Scarface” wouldn’t have been possible without the quivering whiskers on Cranston’s lip in the show’s early goings.

Honorable Mentions

Steve Harvey

John Slattery on Mad Men

Longtime Philadelphia news anchor Jim Gardner

Ted Lange on The Loveboat

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