All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
keeping up appearances

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Beardpocalypse now: Conan O'Brien not the only one to take off a tonsorial trademark

May 3, 2011 | 10:58 am

Rage_weddle_beard Yes, as expected, comedian Will Ferrell made good on his threat to shave off Conan O'Brien's beard on  "Conan" Monday night (the much-hyped Beardpocalypse). But, interestingly enough, that was actually the second-most interesting beard-removal story to come out of the last two days.

On May 1, Gary Weddle, a 50-year-old middle school teacher living in East Wenatchee, Wash., shaved off an impressive faceful of fur he'd been cultivating for nearly a decade.

What made Weddle's whisker whacking so noteworthy was that the beard was the result of a vow he had made nearly 10 years ago: that he wouldn't shave until Osama bin Laden had been captured or killed.

It will be hard for anyone who hasn't grown a beard past the five-month mark to fully appreciate the intestinal fortitude Weddle's whiskers required. I know from where I speak, having grown out a skunk-striped solidarity beard in advance of covering the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships. At six months, when it was barely casting its own shadow, I felt felt like my chin was wearing a straitjacket.

According to Reuters, Weddle's beard had grown to some 15 inches. Once he was sure the news reports weren't a joke he began to prune his facial forest, first with a pair of scissors and then with a razor.

Weddle wasn't apparently the only one happy to see the beard go away. He told Reuters his wife Donita "is just full of smiles."

-- Adam Tschorn

More 'Bearded & Tschorn' coverage from All The Rage

With Bin Laden dead, U.S. man finally shaves

Photos: Middle school teacher Gary Weddle of East Wenatchee, Wash., before, left, and after removing the beard he vowed not to shave off until Osama bin Laden had been caught or killed. Credits: Donita Weddle; Dan Wheat / Associated Press