Bearded & Tschorn: Calling on Southland celebs to give lip service
The collective charity mustache farming effort known as Movember marked its first week on Saturday, and upper lips around the country are starting to fill out with the "hairy ribbons" being grown to raise money and awareness for men's health issues.
Early on, impressed with the facial forest being cultivated by KNBC's Chris Schauble, I threw down a challenge that my team (Media 'Stache) could triumph over him and his team (Mo Casters). Unfortunately, my zeal for competition outstripped my understanding of the finer points of my employer's guidelines for volunteerism and charitable activities -- which make it a bit of a sticky wicket to try and beat the bushes for donations to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
But then I remembered what the Movember Foundation's Adam Garone told me when we first spoke. "The money we raise is great, but what's far more important is the awareness," he said. "Men really don’t like to talk about their health, so the best thing guys could do is, when they go home for Thanksgiving with their mustache, is use it as a conversation starter to talk about the issue with their fathers and brothers.”
There's plenty of 'stache growing time left between now and Turkey Day so I've decided that if I can't drum up the dollars, I can at least dedicate myself to amping up the awareness side of things. And the best way to do that is to get some high-profile folks to cultivate their cookie dusters. I won't rest until the TV screens, boardrooms and halls of power across the country are sporting lip spinach. A few from my Southland short list follow on the next page. If there's anyone else you think should make a dash for the 'stache between now and the end of the month, post your suggestions in the comments.
The KTLA crew -- (If I can't get/shame/cajole/beg some of my fellow Tribune compatriots to ride the 'stache train, I might as well fold my tent. After all, Schauble's got the support of Conan* Nolan, who seems to be insulating his upper lip.) Participants could include morning news anchor Frank Buckley, weatherman (and resident loose cannon) Mark Kriski, anchor Micah Ohlman (a voice that begs to be accessorized with a bountiful mustache), reporter Jaime Chambers and entertainment anchor Sam Rubin (who would then have lip-leverage to taunt fresh-faced Ryan Seacrest into the fold of the facial-haired, no?)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger-- His mustache could be the "Determinator" in raising awareness to a whole new level.
Stephen Colbert -- So he's not from around these parts, but the man did shave his head for the troops, so he's probably game to step away from the razor for a few weeks, right?
Phil Jackson -- The coach of the Los Angeles Lakers rearranges his face furniture so much it's hard to keep track. So what's the harm in taking one for the team?
Conan O'Brien-- Who wouldn't want to see an inter-show 'stache-off between the "Tonight Show" host and his longtime sidekick/announcer/comic foil Andy Richter?
Jay Leno -- Come to think of it, we'd also like to see the guy who titled his memoir "Leading With My Chin" lead with his upper lip, too.
Perez Hilton -- Since the celebrity blogger was spotted walking in a Pink Dress Collection runway show to benefit breast cancer research -- and he presumably has a prostate -- the least he could do is grow a mustache for a few weeks. (Or the least he could do is doodle a lip mullet on his own photo.)
George Lopez -- To promote the comedian's new late-night talk show (which premieres tonight on TBS, by the way) members of the media were mailed miniature water coolers. If you really want us to gather around and chat, grow us a mustache. Then we'll talk.
So gentlemen: Is it grow or no-grow?
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: Among the local personalities we'd like to see grow a mustache for the Movember movement to raise money and awareness for men's health issues are, from top, comedian George Lopez, "Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien and KTLA's Frank Buckley. Credits: (top) Ethan Miller/Getty Images, (middle) Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times and (bottom) KTLA
*[updated 11/10/2009] In an earlier version of this post, Conan Nolan's first name was spelled incorrectly.