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“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of Reindeer Games

“Whisker Wars”: The Recap of Reindeer Games (photo)

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Ladies and Gentlemen, bearding is a sport. Not a sport like playing for the NY Yankees, but better, because you can’t have an awesome beard and play for the Yankees. In “Whisker Wars” we are chronicling the adventures of a bearded band of boys a.k.a. Beard Team USA as they make their way to the World Beard and Mustache Competition in Norway. In the last episode they merry men were competing in Texas. On a roll of the dice, current US title holder Aarne Bielefeldt took top honors, besting two-time world champion Jack Passion. This week the bearded warriors are heading to Detroit to once again face off in the ultimate facial hair challenge.

Beard Team USA is in the Motor City, for one of the few remaining national competitions before the world championships. But Beard Team USA is lacking their star players. Current national champion Aarne Bielefeldt doesn’t need to prove anything any more. He has the beard to beat. And a velvet jester hat too. As for the other ringer in the Full Beard Natural category, Jack Passion, well he has a beard modeling gig. No, we don’t know that was a thing either. Where was the beard modeling booth at the high school career fair? Also missing from the Detroit competition are the members of the Austin Facial Hair Club, who are deciding whether to secede from the Beard Team USA union. With the two strongest contenders out and Austin not showing up at all, New York’s Myk O’Connor hopes to score a late season win and ride in to Norway on a wave of victory. Unfortunately a bunch of other people have the same idea.

Since Austin isn’t heading North to Motown, Miletus Callahan-Barile decides to head even further north to Anchorage, Alaska and the Mr. Fur Face Competition. Miletus hopes to bring home the gold in one of the few competitions that recognizes his beard — The Donagal a.k.a. The Alaskan Whaler. But Miletus isn’t just there for fun, he also wants to seek the counsel of the Alaskan Beard Club, a group that is recognized by the World Beard and Mustache Association (WBMA) and that has nothing to do with Phil Olsen and Beard Team USA. If Austin’s going to go it alone, the Alaskans would be a great ally and role model. Miletus is trying to roll out the Southern charm and extend an olive branch, but some of the Alaskans aren’t as friendly as Southerners. When the man who won the 2010 championship for his Alaskan Whaler sees a Texan vying for the Alaskan Whaler crown, he retires to bathroom to shave his moustache and vie to reclaim his title. Miletus tries not to take it personally, and opts to take in some local color, including running with the reindeer, Pamplona-style. The deer win, almost.

Back in Detroit, Myk is scoping the competition. Burke Kenny, the styled mustache champion and best-groomed winner from Austin, makes a surprise appearance. In a surprise move, he’s going to be competing against Myk in the Full Beard Natural category. In Anchorage, Craig Miller, the defending Alaskan Whaler champion, is sans mustache and ready to compete against Miletus for the title of best Donagal.

Myk takes the stage in Detroit, but taking the crown away from Burke Kenny with his signature hat-tip-and-wink competition is going to be hard. Myk does the only thing he can: Buys all the judges a beer. The judges announce the third place winner, the second place winner, and very slowly, the first place winner as Burke Kenny. Myk doesn’t place, again. He tries not to take it too hard, but his chances of placing in Norway seem slim.

Back in Anchorage, Miletus is taking part of a traditional Alaskan beard ceremony: The Petting Zoo. The gents line up and the ladies cop a feel …of the beard. Then the competitors take the stage. In a surprise, Miletus beats the local incumbent champion! He calls his Austin Facial Hair Club teammates, but no one believes him. Would you? Then Miletus makes his other big move and asks the Alaskan team for sponsorship to become an independent club, separate from Beard Team USA. Back in Austin, the members of the Austin Facial Hair Club prepare to leave Beard Team USA. They draft their by-laws and then in true Texas style head to the tattoo parlor to make it permanent.

Out in the hills of California, Aarne has been drafting a manifesto of his own. He is forming his own club. The one rule? No trimming, not even split ends. He may be the only member. But he just might like it like that.

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

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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

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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.

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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

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