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What’s On Your Upper Lip, Sam Elliot?

By Staff | Apr 22, 2008

When you think of a man, who do you think of? Ok, now who do you think of when you think about a man’s man? Take that person and multiply him by steak, and then add a mustache.

You’re thinking about American acting great Sam Elliott, aren’t you?

Me too.

Sam Elliott was born out of the ashes of cigarette butts and dry earth. His voice, growling over movies and television, can be identified in a moments notice and celebrated just as quickly. You hear him in Chevy commercials, adds for the Toyota Tundra, and he’s the voice of Coors Beer (as well as many others). His rough, scratchy cadence is nearly the equivalent to 10 men shouting, “America! America!” and then blowing something up. Something huge.

Sam Elliot first got his start in a bit part in the 1969 classic, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” From there Elliot hit the TV circuit, playing roles with masculine appeal. From “Mission: Impossible” to “Gunsmoke,” Elliott became an ordinary face. In early movies like, “The Game” or “Molly and Lawless John,” Elliott performed many scenes without a shirt and in 1978’s “The Legacy,” he shed he clothes for the greatest nude scene in history. OK, I haven’t seen it, but c’mon. It’s Sam Elliott. His recent work in the Coen brothers film, “The Big Lebowski” pushed him to bigger roles in “The Hulk,” “We Were Soldiers,” “Ghost Rider,” and “The Golden Compass.”

So, here at Graffiti, we thought it foolish and entirely un-American to not dedicate a page to what makes Sam Elliott so great – his mustache. Out of all the ridiculous mustaches seen in film and television, Sam Elliot reigns supreme in our eyes.

Young Mistakes

In the 1976 TV mini series, “Once an Eagle,” Sam Elliott is nearly unrecognizable. Not yet privy to the power and wealth his infamous mustache will grant him, Elliott’s brain is obviously not functioning. In fact, scratch that. The world is not ready for what’s to come. That’s it. Obviously not the fault of the great Sam Elliot, 1976 was not a year in which Elliot felt compelled to grant Earth this luxury.

The Dude Abides In 1998, Sam Elliott took one of the most sagacious and charismatic roles in cinematic history, of all time, ever. Cast as the narrator and labeled as “The Stranger,” Elliot’s smokey tones get us through the story and sprinkles his excellence all over the film. With lines like, “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes, well, the bar eats you,” and “Say friend, you got any more of that good sarsaparilla?” Sam Elliot demonstrates his dominance as greatest narrator ever.

The Form

Sam Elliot’s mustache is like baseball. It changes just enough to let you know it’s not lazy, but generally stays immovable. We can see here from an early photo that while Sam Elliot’s mustache is in tact, it pales in comparison to the older, whiter version that we know today. Studies on Elliot’s mustahce have wielded some pretty amazing results, with 50 percent of 18-34 year olds cowering in awestruck amazement when shown his picture magnified a local Chicago skyscraper, while the other 50 percent began to speak in tongues mustaches and vow to grow their’s as soon as possible. And yes, even the women.

From it’s hearty structure to the perceived softness of its bristles, Sam Elliott’s mustache has appeared in many films and dreams across America. Elliott was once quoted as saying, “I don’t want to be known as a sex symbol. There’s a great stigma that goes with that tag. I want to be Sam Elliot.” Yea, Same Elliot, sex symbol.