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“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of The Beard Circuit

“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of The Beard Circuit (photo)

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Previously on “Whisker Wars,” Beard Team USA founder Phil Olsen called Jack Passion “the Tiger Woods of beards,” but we’re assuming this refers to his many championships, not his lady skills. A rivalry is brewing in the full beard natural category between two-time world champion Jack Passion, Bryan Nelson of the Austin Facial Hair Club, and Myk O’Connor of the Gotham Beard and Mustache Association. However it was quiet woodsman Aarne Bielefeldt who took the crown at the first U.S. Beard and Mustache Competition in Bend, Ore. Bearding is a sport, and these guys are fierce competitors.

The next stop on the so-called Beard Circuit is in Ohio. After his controversial decision to emcee the U.S. competition, Jack Passion is back in the ring for the Ohio Beard Championships. His coach/captain Phil Olsen is judging the competition, but there won’t be any favoritism, right? But, even with Phil on the bench, Jack’s victory isn’t guaranteed since Aarne Bielefeldt is there to defend his title and several local characters have shown up to represent the Buckeye States. Notably absent are the members of the Austin Facial Hair Club who are in Galveston, Texas, trying to raise funds to send the group to the world championships in Norway. The event requires everyone to come in Dickensian costume, but, at least according to team member Allen Demling, many of the attendees came dressed as “pricks.” The team was having a hard time raising money to represent Texas in Norway.

Across the country, Myk O’Connor was preparing to host the Big Apple Beard & Mustache Competition. His beard coach/girlfriend, Karolina, met at the Alaska beard competition and this year, at his competition, he’s planning on proposing to his long-time girlfriend.

Back in Ohio, the full beard natural category will be judged on density, pattern, texture, and length. Rookie Mike Scanlan has a five-foot beard and a local advantage, while Aarne has the power of the reigning national champion, and Jack has a two–and-a-half foot long red waterfall attached to his face. The judges have a lively deliberation about whether Mike Scanlan’s length should trump Jack Passion’s fullness and Aarne’s grey mane. Eventually the winners were announced: Aarne took third, and the close tie between Jack Passion and local boy Mike Scanlan was broken by none other than Phil Olsen. A few cries of * cough * bias * cough * were heard, but Jack still reigned supreme.

Down in Galveston, the boys are getting creative in their fundraising. Alex LaRoche’s kissing booth rakes in a whole two dollars, which should buy some in-flight headsets for at least one team member on the way to Norway. But they have to get to Norway if they are going to de-throne Jack Passion.

Meanwhile, Myk is simultaneously trying to prepare for the New York City championship and his proposal to Karolina. Many ringers have come in for the competition, including Jack and Aarne and Trevor Cranmer, a local favorite with a Jack-sized chip on his shoulder. There are many rounds of competition, but the main event is once again in the full beard natural category. Once again, Phil Olsen is on the judges’ panel, but he has opted to abstain from the category. Third place goes to up-and-comer Brian Redbeard. Second place is reigning national champion, Aarne, meaning that Jack Passion and his beard, Big Red, take the top prize. Then Myk brings Karolina on stage and with an adoring, cheering crowd watching, he proposes. When she says yes, the crowd goes wild. While Jack may have taken the crown, Myk got the real prize.

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New episodes of “Whisker Wars” airs on IFC on Fridays at 11 p.m. ET


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…