Talk:Toothbrush moustache

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Hitler's mustache[edit]

Who was first wearing this type of moustache? I always thought Chaplin used this style to ridicule Hitler not the other way round. See "This moustache is most famous for having been worn by film star Charlie Chaplin and later by dictator Adolf Hitler." It would be nice to see some facts :-)

  • Chaplin was wearing his moustache in character on film as far back as 1914, long before Hitler became a public figure. I also rather doubt that Hitler chose his mustache after Chaplin. It is true that Chaplin used the similarity to great effect in The Great Dictator.--Pharos 09:19, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Hitler did choose his mustache after Chaplin; on a TV show featuring several well-known comedians (dead and alive) they said Hitler was a fan of Chaplin and deliberately shaved his mustache in the same way. Jerkov 20:46, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I've also read that Hitler deliberately modelled his moustache after Chaplin's. Can't recall exactly where I read this, but it was likely a primary source such as one of Albert Speer's books. In any case, Hitler was known to have been a fan of Chaplin—he had a print of The Great Dictator (which was otherwise banned in Axis territories) sent to him for his own private viewing. It's recorded that he saw the film twice. —Psychonaut 22:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
HItler's fascination with "The Little Tramp" during his days in Vienna, to the point of copying the moustache and trenchcoat, etc, is talked about in William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich Rifter0x0000 (talk) 18:15, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

It's very likely that Hitler modelled his mustache after Gottfried Feder. -- 02:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I have always been under the impression that the style was not unusual in the 1920s and 1930s. In photos from the late 1920s and early 1930s, I've seen quite a few moustaches that look like less-bushy versions (i.e. narrow but not as dense); the version made famous by Adolf Hitler, Charlie Chaplin, and Oliver Hardy is denser/bushier than most. Brianlucas 23:12, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

It's been reported in The Telegraph and UKTV History that Hitler wore a fuller moustache prior to 1915, and had to trim the ends off so it would fit under the gas masks worn by troops in the First World War. Apparently he left the bushier bit in the middle intact. Brianlucas 23:12, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Dennis M Giangreco, a noted military historian at the United States Army's Command and General Staff College says (in reaction to that Telegraph item):[1]
I have no doubt that this tale will gain currency simply by being repeated a lot, but moderately trimmed mustaches extending fully across the upper lips did not impede the wearing of WWI gas masks ... The shape of the fuzz on Hitler’s face is simply his personal fashion statement.
Read the whole thing for more detail. Cheers, CWC 14:26, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I've read a couple places that the mustache was pretty popular in germany at the time before world war 2, it became popular amongst the working class because all the upper class had extravagant mustaches, and they were like, 'hey fuck you guys and your crazy mustaches, we dont need that'..... not sure if it's really true, too lazy to look for source (talk) 04:55, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

It's already in the article - "The moustache became popular during the 1920s as a response by working-class men to the flamboyant, flowing Kaiser-style moustaches of the upper classes." -- Bobyllib (talk) 18:32, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

On the questions above, there is speculation, but not a lot of evidence. We can say safely Chaplin began wearing it sometime after 1915, based on photographic evidence. There is disagreement on when or why Hitler began wearing it, with multiple conflicting POV's including from primary source (people who knew him at the time) and secondary source (later historians). The Chaplin influence is speculative, no documentary evidence. Green Cardamom (talk) 21:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)


The history of the toothbrush moustache in this article is complete inacurate. This type of beard was known long before Charlie Chaplin or Adolf Hitler. Take a look at the german Wikipedia Article for Schnauzbart (moustache). The first carrier of this type of moustache are Frederick I of Prussia (1657–1713) and Philip William, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt (1669–1711). It became popular with the invention of the Safety razor with disposable razor blades by King Camp Gillette in 1901, because it was easy to groom.--MBelzer (talk) 16:06, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

The article actually is unclear on the origin of the style or why it became popular, so it's not "inaccurate" it just "isn't". The links you provided don't say much but I can use this information to research further and flesh it out, the notion of the safety razor is intriguing if I can find reliable sources to back it up. It looks like what happened was the safety razor (1901) allowed for easy daily shaving, so many people got rid of their facial hair, but for some reason the curves of the top lip made it dangerous with this type of razor so many just left that section unshaven. But I'll need to find reliable sourcing before adding to the article. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 18:28, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately I am unable to find reliable sourcing to confirm that the safety razor led to the popularity of the toothbrush. It may be conventional wisdom as seen in the user comment of this source[2] (search on "safety") but it's not a reliable source ("he told me so it must be true"). There are also stories that the style became popular during WWI, to make it easier to wear gas masks. These stories sound good, and good sounding stories tend to become received wisdom - until someone researches and debunks it. What we need is a cultural historian publishing in a reliable source before we can say anything about it along these lines. Also, there may be antecedents of the style with Frederick I of Prussia but did they call it a toothbrush or even give it a name? Surely human beings have worn this style as long as razors existed ie. at least 5,000 years. This article is really about the modern phenomenon. But if there are sources for earlier instances they can be included as part of the history. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 18:44, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Cultural implications[edit]

It would be interesting to know - although it is a probably unknowable now - what a toothbrush moustache meant at the end of the nineteen century, and in the early part of the twentieth century. How common was it? What did it say about the person wearing the moustache? Why did Chaplin and Hitler choose to wear such moustaches? Were they common amongst poor people, were they a sign of self-discipline, was there a military regulation that favoured them over other moustache styles? From what I have read Hitler was ridiculed in Britain for his moustache, so it was presumably a Central European rather than British style. Time magazine mentions Gottfried Feder's moustache in [this article] from 1941, so presumably by that time the style was notorious in the US as well. Has anybody written on this kind of topic, that we could reference? -Ashley Pomeroy 22:39, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the moustache meant anything. It was probably just a random trend because a lot of people seemed to of had them in the early twentieth century. Chaplin just chose a random moustache style with his clothes when he went into films in 1914 and Hitler adopted the moustache because people told him he looked like Chaplin. I know Hitler thought Chaplin was Jewish and didn't really like him (although he thought The Great Dictator was pretty funny), but he thought the moustache would endear him to people. The British probably ridiculed Hitler for his moustache because they needed to make fun of Hitler somehow.

Before his rise to power Hitler was ordered to trim his mustache in order for gas mask issued to the German soldiers would fit properly.

Removed some[edit]

I just removed James Joyce from the list on this page, since the man had no toothbrush moustache at all! -The Bold Guy- 12:04, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm surprised to see that this article is relatively unaffected by vandalism. I half-expected to see George W. Bush, Barack Obama, etc. in the list of people wearing this type of mustache. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little bit disappointed, though. :P (talk) 08:13, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

What about Mugabe?[edit]

Have you seen a recent portrait of Mugabe? Would you clasify his facial hair as a "toothbrush moustache?" Can we put him under the list of noteable wearers of this style? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

It seems perhaps a little too narrow. BodvarBjarki (talk) 17:35, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Richard Herring[edit]

Is Richard Herring and his "Hitler Moustache" routine worth including in this article? It's relevant, and [3][4][5] sourceable -- Bobyllib (talk) 01:04, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I'd say so, just add it and see if anybody objects. (talk) 15:07, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
My opinion is that it is being given too much prominence. Herring is not widely known outside of the UK (all tours and Radio/TV appearences are UK only) and as the show was fairly recent (2009), we do not yet know if it will still be remembered in future years. It might be more appropriate to rename the section "Fictional characters" to "Appearance in popular culture" and include it here as a line such as "Richard Herring in the stand-up show, 'Hitler Moustache'". If people are still talking about this show in years to come then it can be revisited (talk) 02:12, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Seriously?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

José Morales? moustache?[edit]

Having seen photos of all three José Morales (see disambiguation page) I cannot see evidence of a moustache in any of them. The two living Morales are easy to find, here is a link to a group photo showing the Peruvian fooballer, fourth from left at the front, he does not appear to have a moustache. I suggest "Jose Morales" is removed. Richard Avery (talk) 12:11, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Green tickY Done. Green Cardamom (talk) 14:17, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

List of notable people[edit]

I've added citations for verification, and removed any names without pictures. Also removed some where the length of the moustache is somewhere between a "long toothbrush" and a "short moustache" - given the negative reputation of the toothbrush (Nazi's), I believe it needs to be unambiguously a toothbrush to be included in the list. So if the picture is ambiguous, it will either need a different picture, or text from a RS. Green Cardamom (talk) 16:11, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

File:Rally to Restore Sanity Photo 2010 Shankbone.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Michael Jordan's toothbrush[edit]

I'm no expert on Michael Jordan, but of the few pictures of him sporting a toothbrush on Google Images, it's not clear that 1. it's real and not photoshopped or 2. a temporary look for a commercial or movie role or 3. a temporary joke. If someone can confirm that he actually wore this style, seriously, in his every day life, for a period of time, we can add it back. I'm sure there is an ESPN article about it or something. Green Cardamom (talk) 21:04, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

OK a Google search confirms he wore the moustache during a Haines fruit of the loom commercial in 2010, which is where those pictures on Google are from, and was seen with it at a press conference around the same time in 2010. It appears to be a short term style of a month or two. Is a month or two notable? Probably. I'll add it back with a description.
Funny enough, Michael Jordan is mentioned in the main source of our article, Rich Cohen's "Becoming Adolf", where he says:
"..The moment he appeared in the press with the Toothbrush mustache is like the moment Michael Jordan appeared on the basketball court in Bermuda-length shorts"
Maybe Michael read Cohen's article and got the idea to start a new trend. Green Cardamom (talk) 21:19, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

The reference for this is comedy central's tumblr page. Can someone put a better link in 4 August 2014. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, now cites Yahoo! Sports. And I fixed the other dead link. thanks. -- GreenC 00:29, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

People with toothbrush mousatche[edit]

I added the following inline note in the list of people with a toothbrush:

Note: People on this list should have an [image] link, or otherwise the person should be removed from the list due to lack of verification. Don't remove this notice or image links (as has already happened before), thank you for your help in keeping this article verifiable and accurate.

I'm repeating that note here since inline notes are often deleted. Someone today tried to delete all the image links. Please keep an eye on that list and make sure they all have image links for verification. Green Cardamom (talk) 16:46, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

'Hitler smiley' image[edit]

In regards to the picture File:Rally to Restore Sanity Photo 2010 Shankbone.jpg. I believe the smiley-hitler is a political statement. Please see the book cover of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left. It would make sense to see the smiley-hitler as an anti-protest at that particular protest rally: the author of the book, Jonah Goldberg, was a recent guest on the Jon Stewart show[6], who was the host of the rally where the sign is being displayed. A Google search of 'smiley hitler' overwhelmingly ties back to Goldberg. I think we should be careful how the image is used and its context, so as not to be dupes spreading a seemingly joke picture that is actually an offensive political message (ie. liberals = fascists) and/or marketing the book and extremest ideology of Goldberg. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 17:45, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Pop culture[edit]

The below list of toothbrush moustaches in fiction (popular culture) is unsourced and indiscriminate to have every cartoon and fictional character. If someone wants to write a prose history of significant characters and works in relation to the toothbrush, that would be great, here is the raw data:

-- Green Cardamom (talk) 00:10, 28 October 2013 (UTC)