The toothbrush moustache is a moustache style. The sides of the moustache are vertical (or nearly vertical) rather than tapered, giving the moustache hairs the appearance of toothbrush bristles that are attached to the nose. It was made famous by such comedians as Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy. The style first became popular in the United States in the late 19th century—from there it spread to Germany and elsewhere—reaching a height of popularity in the inter-war years, before becoming unfashionable after World War II due to its strong association with German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
The style originally became popular in the late 19th century in the United States.It was a neat, uniform, low-maintenance style that echoed the standardization and uniformity brought on by industrialization, in contrast to the more flamboyant moustaches typical of the 19th century such as the Imperial, Walrus, Handlebar, Horseshoe, and Pencil.
Charlie Chaplin was one of the most famous wearers of the toothbrush moustache, first adopting it in 1914 after his first film, "Making a Living", for his Mack Sennett silent comedies.In a 1933 interview, Chaplin said he added the moustache to his costume because it had a comical appearance and was small enough so as not to hide his expression. Adolf Hitler was a fan of Chaplin films, but "there is no evidence (though some speculation) that Hitler modeled his 'stache on [Charlie Chaplin]", according to cultural historian Ron Rosenbaum. Chaplin took advantage of the noted similarity between his on-screen appearance and that of Hitler, such as in his 1940 film The Great Dictator , where he wore the moustache as part of two new characters that parodied Hitler.
The style was introduced in Germany in the late 19th century by visiting Americans.Prior to the toothbrush, the most popular style was called the Kaiser moustache, perfumed and turned up at the ends, as worn by Wilhelm II, German Emperor. By 1907 enough Germans were wearing the new trimmed down and simple toothbrush moustache to elicit notice by The New York Times under the headline "'TOOTHBRUSH' MUSTACHE; German Women Resent Its Usurpation of the 'Kaiserbart'". The toothbrush was taken up by German automobile racer and folk hero Hans Koeppen in the famous 1908 New York to Paris Race, cementing its popularity among young gentry. Koeppen was described as "Six-feet in height, slim, and athletic, with a toothbrush mustache characteristic of his class, he looks the ideal type of the young Prussian guardsman." By the end of World War I even some of the German royals were sporting the toothbrush; Crown Prince Wilhelm can be seen with a toothbrush moustache in a 1918 photograph that shows him about to be sent into exile.
Hitler originally wore the Kaiser moustache, as evidenced by photographs of him as a soldier during World War I.There is no agreement as to what year Hitler first adopted the toothbrush. Alexander Moritz Frey, who served with Hitler during World War I, said Hitler wore the toothbrush in the trenches after he was ordered to trim his moustache to facilitate the wearing of a gas mask. Cultural historian Ron Rosenbaum instead says Hitler did not wear it until late 1919; he was also photographed c.1921–1924 with a more traditional moustache in between wearing the Kaiser and toothbrush style.
Despite the photographic evidence of his much larger moustache during the First World War, Hitler's sister-in-law, Bridget Hitler, said she was responsible for giving Hitler his toothbrush moustache before the war—considered by most scholars to be fiction designed to cash in on Hitler's notoriety. Bridget claimed that Adolf spent a "lost winter" at her home in Liverpool in 1912–13. The two quarreled a lot, mostly, she said, because she could not stand his unruly Kaiser moustache. He cut it, as she says in her memoirs, but that in doing so—as in most things—he went too far.
After World War II the style fell from favor in much of the world, due to its strong association with Hitler, and also became known as the "Hitler moustache".
Artist Steve Ditko's original design for fictional character J. Jonah Jameson, a supporting character in the Spider-Man comics, sported a toothbrush moustache, apparently meant to make him seem Hitleresque and thus more loathsome, considering his extreme antagonism to Spider-Man, and most appearances of Jameson since his creation have maintained the style or a variant thereof in the comics. However, Jameson as portrayed by J. K. Simmons in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film trilogy features a pencil moustache instead.
Ron Mael of the Los Angeles-based rock band Sparks maintained a toothbrush-moustache throughout most of the 1970s and 80s. Upon achieving mainstream success in the United Kingdom in 1974 with the song "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us", The Economist noted that "a whole generation switched on Top of the Pops , saw Ron Mael's moustache, and ran out of the room, crying, 'Mum! Dad! Hitler's playing the piano on 'Top of the Pops'!'" (The Sparks song "Moustache" addresses the problem, with the lyrics "And when I trimmed it very small/My Jewish friends would never call.")
In 2009, British comedian Richard Herring, while sporting a toothbrush moustache, created a stand-up show titled Hitler Moustache, to see if he "could reclaim the toothbrush moustache for comedy—it was Chaplin's first, then Hitler ruined it."
In May 2010, former basketball star Michael Jordan appeared in a Hanes commercial wearing a toothbrush moustache.Reaction from the press and public was unfavourable. Jordan's friend Charles Barkley said, "I have got to admit that I don't know what the hell he was thinking and I don't know what Hanes was thinking. I mean it is just stupid, it is just bad, plain and simple." Jordan has not been seen with it since.
An extreme variant of the toothbrush moustache narrows it to the philtrum only; Robert Mugabe, for example (see image) wore this style.
Notable people who groomed a toothbrush moustache during some time in their lives.
The Great Dictator is a 1940 American political satire comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, scored by, and starring British comedian Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other films. Having been the only Hollywood filmmaker to continue to make silent films well into the period of sound films, Chaplin made this his first true sound film.
Hans Michael Frank was a German politician and lawyer who served as head of the General Government in Poland during the Second World War.
A moustache is a strip of facial hair grown above the upper lip. Moustaches have been worn in various styles throughout history.
The Tramp, also known as The Little Tramp, was British actor Charlie Chaplin's most memorable on-screen character and an icon in world cinema during the era of silent film. The Tramp is also the title of a silent film starring Chaplin, which Chaplin wrote and directed in 1915.
Ronald David Mael is an American musician, songwriter, composer and record producer. He is the keyboard player and principal songwriter in the band Sparks which he founded with vocalist, occasional songwriter and younger brother Russell Mael in 1971. Mael is known for his quirky and idiosyncratic approach to songwriting, his intricate and rhythmic keyboard playing style and for his deadpan and low key, scowling demeanour onstage often remaining motionless over his keyboard in sharp contrast to Russell's animated and hyperactive frontman antics. Ron Mael is also noted for his conservative clothes and unfashionable moustache. The Mael brothers are the founders of Lil' Beethoven Records.
The walrus mustache is characterized by whiskers that are thick, bushy, and drop over the mouth. The style resembles the whiskers of a walrus, hence the name.
Ronald Rosenbaum is an American literary journalist, literary critic, and novelist.
Nazi chic is the use of Nazi-era style, imagery, and paraphernalia in clothing and popular culture, especially when used for taboo-breaking or shock value rather than out of genuine sympathies with Nazism or Nazi ideology.
"Fake Mustache" is also the name of a book by Tom Angleberger.
Djuhri Masdjan, better known as Jojon,, was a veteran Indonesian comedian. A one-time member of the Jayakarta group, along with Cahyono and Uuk, he was easily recognized by his Adolf Hitler/Charlie Chaplin look alike Toothbrush moustache. After becoming a solo act, he played a significant supporting role on many TV shows such as SBY and Kerajaan Sahur.
The Ducktators is a 1942 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes directed by Norman McCabe. The short was released on August 1, 1942, and satirizes events of World War II. The title is a pun on dictator.
Adolf Hitler's sexuality has long been a matter of historical and scholarly debate, as well as speculation and rumour. There is evidence that he had relationships with a number of women during his lifetime, as well as evidence of his antipathy to homosexuality, and no evidence of homosexual encounters. His name has been linked to a number of possible female lovers, two of whom committed suicide. A third died of complications eight years after a suicide attempt, and a fourth also attempted suicide.
Back from the Front is a 1943 short subject directed by Jules White starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges. It is the 70th entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians, who released 190 shorts for the studio between 1934 and 1959.
The possibility that Adolf Hitler had only one testicle has been a fringe subject among historians and academics researching the German leader. The rumor may be an urban myth, possibly originating from the contemporary British military song "Hitler Has Only Got One Ball". Nevertheless, research, eyewitness testimony and historical study have been unable to prove, nor disprove, the suggestion. Despite the speculation, a book published in 2015 asserts, on evidence from an enforced medical examination Hitler underwent in 1923, that he in fact had unilateral cryptorchism; that is, he suffered from an undescended right testicle.
Facial hair in the military has been at various times common, prohibited, or an integral part of the uniform.
Hitler: The Rise of Evil is a Canadian television miniseries in two parts, directed by Christian Duguay and produced by Alliance Atlantis. It stars Robert Carlyle in the lead role and explores Adolf Hitler's rise and his early consolidation of power during the years after the First World War and focuses on how the embittered, politically fragmented and economically buffeted state of German society following the war made that ascent possible. The film also focuses on Ernst Hanfstaengl's influence on Hitler's rise to power. The miniseries, which premiered simultaneously in May 2003 on CBC in Canada and CBS in the United States, received two Emmy Awards, for Art Direction and Sound Editing, while Peter O'Toole was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Hans Friedrich Wilhelm Hugo Koeppen was an officer in the Prussian army, the German Reichswehr, and a participant in the first car race around the world.
Alexander Moritz Frey (1881–1957) was a German author known for his fantasy books. He was also known for his satirical columns in the press.
Emin Xhinovci is a retired Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) insurgent and restaurant owner from Mitrovica known for his striking resemblance to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Isidore Heath Hitler, formerly Isidore Heath Campbell, sometimes called "Nazi dad", is a white supremacist and self-described Neo-Nazi who attracted national media attention in December 2008 after the ShopRite in Greenwich Township, New Jersey refused to make a cake celebrating his son Adolf Hitler Campbell's third birthday. A Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Wal-Mart later baked and inscribed the cake. Campbell was featured in a documentary, Meet the Hitlers. He is also founder and leader of the pro-Nazi group Hitler's Order.
Hitler loved Charlie Chaplin films