8 Outrageous Beards You Could Only See on TV

Evan Lewis
LAST MAN ON EARTH, GAME OF THRONES, WALKING DEAD

Clockwise from left: Ray Mickshaw/FOX, Helen Sloan/©HBO/courtesy Everett Collection, Gene Page/AMC

Hairy Tales

Manly man characters like Game of Thrones’s Tormund Giantsbane, Vikings’s Ragnar Lothbrok and Fargo’s Bear Gerhardt are members of the bearded elite, and glorious, year-round beards are growing freely all over the face of popular culture. The ones here are not those beards. For many men participating in the annual cancer awareness campaign No-Shave November, facial hair is not our default state. So in the spirit of a month dedicated to experimental patches and soulful scruff, here are a few TV figures who have briefly dabbled in the art of not shaving (though often unintentionally). Let them serve as beard-goal inspiration...or as a warning on how not to go wild.

Rick Grimes , The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 9

Gene Page/AMC

Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)

When you’re scraping together whatever resources you can find just to survive in a world filled with ravenous undead, keeping a clean cut look doesn’t rank very highly on the list of approved blade uses. The harsh reality of having nowhere to call home, on top of a series of devastating losses, prompted Rick to grow out a grizzly sorrow beard that lingered with him until his arrival at Alexandria on Season 5. Plus: What Will Happen to Rick and Other Walking Dead Characters on Season 6?

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, Will Forte

Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Phil Miller (The Last Man on Earth)

For Phil, the beard is something of a state of mind. He grew it out while wandering alone, believing he was the only person still alive in the world. But once he found someone to impress, he shaved it off, which changed his character dramatically. But during Season 2, after a six-month road trip away from Tucson, the beard made a reappearance, along with a throwback to the originally awkward Phil. Plus: Will Forte on the 'New and Improved Phil'

Movember - Beard - Arrow - Oliver Queen

The CW

Oliver Queen (Arrow)

In his everyday crime fighting, Oliver Queen sports some rugged perma-stubble, but before he returned to Star City, he was stranded on a covert prison island without reliable access to shaving supplies. It's no surprise, then, that his beard became as wild as his surroundings. And Queen was on that island long enough to provide years of flashbacks on the show, revealing years of glorious growth. Plus: Get Ready for Another Epic Arrow-Flash Crossover

Movember beards - Parks and Recreation - Ron

NBC

Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)

Swanson is a paragon of upper lip adornment, and he would fit right into a gallery dedicated to No-Shave November’s moustache-focused cousin, Movember. But when the normally beardless moustache maestro fled to his not-so-secret cabin in the woods to live off the land and hide from one of his manipulative ex-wives (Tammy 1, not 2), he somehow grew an impressively full beard in only three weeks.

Game of Thones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christi

Helen Sloan/©HBO/courtesy Everett Collection

Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones)

Jaime underwent some significant changes while he was escorted across Westeros in the custody of Brienne of Tarth. Probably one of the most life-altering changes was the loss of his sword hand, but a close second would be the beard that put a damper on his clean-shaven golden boy look, which did so much to solidify his visual identity in the rich and privileged Lannister family.

How I met your mother, Josh Radnor

Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother)

Beard removal can be a liberating experience for the temporarily scruffy. At the end of November, there are all kinds of things you can do with any unwanted face fuzz. When Ted decided to shave off his break-up beard and move on after his split with Robin, he went from full beard to smooth skin, with quick transitions along the way as "Chester A. Arthur" and “Persian night club owner.”

Movemeber - beards - Lost - Jack

ABC

Jack Shephard (Lost)

Jack had fallen on some hard times when he grew out his beard, but Lost’s audience had no idea what those were. Although most viewers theorized his drug-addicted facial hair phase was something he grew out before he crash-landed on the Island, the big twist revealed it was something he grew after he left the Island and tried to get back. Plus: 7 TV Time Jumps That Were Done Right

Noam Galai/WireImage

Noam Galai/WireImage

Stephen Colbert ("The Colbeard")

There is a long pedigree of late night talk show hosts growing out their facial hair, from Conan O’Brien and David Letterman’s writers’ strike solidarity beards to Jon Stewart’s serious director beard, which he grew on the set of Rosewater. One of the more recent and better-received late night beards was Stephen Colbert’s, affectionately dubbed "The Colbeard." Even though it only stuck around during the gap between The Colbert Report and the start of Colbert’s tenure on The Late Show, it was fun while it lasted, before he sent it off in style.

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