We’ve all had the experience: You’re at the Ordway, pre-ordering your intermission cocktail or flipping through the program and suddenly, from high above the rest of the crowd, you see him. Tall, handsome, expertly dressed, and sporting the best mustache in the Twin Cities.
Tempo board member Thomas Bakken recently won City Pages’ 2012 “Show Us Yer ‘Stache” contest – with a (Laurel and) Hardy 46.2% of the vote. Feel free to congratulate him at the World Premier of Doubt on January 26th, or the next time you see him out and about in St Paul. You can’t miss him!
What’s the history of this particular mustache?
This ‘stache started over five years ago as part of a mustache contest between the guys working on our floor. I am still winning that contest. Most participants caved to pressure from girlfriends or wives. One sympathizes.
Any advice to men who want to grow a mustache like yours?
It takes time to really grow it out, but the result is worth it. I’ve found it has improved my confidence — if you walk around with a mustache like this, you have to own it. I occasionally get stares and funny looks, but I am confident that this mustache looks good and fits my face well. Choosing a good mustache wax is also key: I recommend Skippy’s Mustachewax from Trondheim.
What’s your all-time favorite celebrity ‘stache?
It may be a bit cliche, but golly do I like Dali!
Do you ever get any weird or discouraging comments about your mustache?
Not really. At least not ones that I hear. Certain family members initially threatened to cut it off while I slept, but they now embrace it. I enjoy hearing the honesty of small children who declare to their parents, “Dad, that tall man has a funny moustache!”
Did you have a campaign strategy during the contest?
On the first day of voting, I sent out a mass email and a Facebook post, and it took off from there! I received votes from around town, around the state, around the country, and around the world. I know of votes that came in from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Nigeria, China, and Japan. I am extremely grateful to friends and family who were willing to vote and re-post the link on Facebook and Twitter!
What do you think gave you an edge?
I tried to make my mustache the focal point of my photo by avoiding distractions (like hair on my head or anything in the background). In other words: This is a moustache contest: here is my mustache. Again, I think having a fantastic network of family and friends who know me and my mustache was key to victory.
–Interview by Jessica Armbruster of City Pages