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THE MODERN MULLET: DON’T CALL IT A MULLET COMEBACK (EVEN THOUGH IT KINDA IS)

THE MODERN MULLET: DON’T CALL IT A MULLET COMEBACK (EVEN THOUGH IT KINDA IS)

David Spielman
9 minute read

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Eastbound & DownKenny Powers (Danny McBride) and his majestic mullet in HBO’s Eastbound & Down.
Photo Credit: MovieStillsDB

We’re all familiar with the iconic hairstyle that is the mullet. As the saying goes, it’s business in the front and a party in the back. Well, believe it or not, the modern mullet, which is really just a hairstyle in which one’s hair is cut short at the front and sides, while the back is left longer, is making a big time comeback in the first half of the 2020’s.

To understand the history of the mullet and how it made its inevitable, triumphant return to the mainstream, we must first understand the origins of this epic hairstyle’s hero’s journey, from its 1980's zeitgeist, to its reemergence in 2009 via one of the greatest television characters of all-time, Kenny Powers, in HBO’s Eastbound & Down, and, finally, how this killer hairstyle came back guns hot for another round of being awesome in the 2020’s.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Eastbound & DownKenny Powers and his luscious mullet locks make a “Real American” entrance.
Photo Credit: HBO

Though the mullet hairstyle itself can be traced back to a similar hairstyle worn by natives in ancient Britain under Roman occupation in 1st-century AD, the actual term “mullet” (at least according to the Oxford English Dictionary) was coined and popularized by New York hip-hop trio Beastie Boys in their 1994 song “Mullet Head” (from Ill Communication) with the following lyrics:

Number one on the side and don't touch the back

Number six on the top and don't cut it wack, Jack

Fresh lyrics for a fresh cut, indeed. After all, what other haircut keeps your hair out of your eyes while providing much-appreciated protection and warmth for your neck?

We’ll wait.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party Music Video When the Beastie Boys weren’t fighting for the right to party (watch the video HERE ), they were fighting for the right to rock a mullet.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Keith RichardsKeith Richards (here with bandmate Mick Jagger) sports a killer mullet in the 1970 documentary Gimme Shelter (watch the trailer HERE), directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin.

Cut to 1970’s America. Rock stars like David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Little Richard, Keith Richards, and even Paul McCartney are all rocking the ‘do that is the mullet. If you were looking to tell the world that you were ready to party and that you were ready to party right fricking now during the decade, why wouldn’t you let your locks flow in the back? We’ll never know. However, what we do know is that the trend of letting your hairstyle make a statement about your attitude towards partying continued to flourish without a hint of irony through the 1980’s and 1990’s, sported by the likes of Gallantry Man legends like Don Johnson in Miami Vice

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Miami Vice“Looks like there’s a murder in-progress, because my mullet is killing it.”

…to Country music superstars like Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt, and Billy Ray Cyrus, and, yes, even the most badass Gallantry Man golfer of all-time, John Daly .

The Modern Mullet 20220110 John DalyImagine being as awesome as John Daly’s mullet circa the Open Championship in 1992.

One could argue that the mullet really began to get satirized via the in the mainstream at the dawn of the 21st century, specifically in 2001 with the release of both Jennifer Arnold’s documentary American Mullet (you can watch the trailer for the flick, which chronicles the phenomenon of the mullet as well as the kind of epic people that rock it, HERE ) and Dennie Gordon’s Happy Madison comedy Joe Dirt (you can watch the trailer for the cult classic, which follows a L.A. radio station janitor who travels far and wide in order to locate his long-lost parents, HERE ) in 2001. In Dirt, the protagonist (played by David Spade), for whom the eponymous movie is named, sports a larger-than-life mullet hairdo.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Joe DirtEven smoke shows like Jaime Pressly (Jill) can’t resist the mullet. Just ask Joe Dirt.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Joe Dirt 2

Have you seen the 2015 sequel to Joe Dirt, Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser (watch the trailer HERE)? You should. Watch it for free on TNT if you have cable TV HERE!

The mullet’s popularity continued to taper during the aughts. However, in 2009, the tide began to turn around as Gallantry Man legend/hero Danny McBride brought the mullet back to life with a vibrancy that hadn’t been witnessed in years via his character Kenny Powers the HBO comedy classic, Eastbound & Down.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Eastbound & Down

Nanci Cascio, Eastbound & Down Head Hairstylist, works her magic on the iconic Kenny Powers mullet (you can watch an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at her mullet-making process, in which she knots handmade hair into Danny McBride’s existing hair, HERE).

Eastbound & Down took the country, and, by extension, the world, by storm upon its release. 2009. Gallantry Men everywhere took notice. At the beginning of the series, we meet Kenny Powers, once a highly sought-after baseball pitcher with an incredible professional career, now down on his luck as a result of his outrageous ego and short fuse. Forced to move in with his estranged brother and take a job as a substitute gym teacher in his hometown of Shelby, North Carolina, Powers begins to plot his comeback.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Adam Yauch

Late Gallantry Man legend “Master of Ceremonies Adam” aka MCA (Adam Yauch) of the Beastie Boys.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Danny McBride Danny McBride, the genius behind Kenny Powers, as MCA in the music video for “Make Some Noise” (watch it HERE), the first single from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, the final album from the Beastie Boys. Like we always say, there are no coincidences. Talk about full circle, right?

If there’s one thing that forces to be reckoned with like the mullet and Kenny Powers hate, it’s losing. Like the beautiful mullet itself (McBride sports one on the show courtesy of extensions to his actual hair), Powers has seen better days. And, just like the mullet, Powers is determined, come hell or high water, to see that his God-given talent gives him the comeback (albeit long-winded) that he rightfully deserves.

Coincidence? Yeah. We think not.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Eastbound & DownPowers and his best friend, Shane Dog (Jason Sudeikis), most likely noticing some awesome Gallantry EDC nearby.

If loveable blowhard Kenny Powers cracked the door for the mullet to make its triumphant future return, the 2020’s have seen that baby get blown wide the f open. Like so many 90s trends, the jaw-dropping hairstyle that is the mullet has unironically made its way back into the zeitgeist, particularly via an iteration known as the “mullet fade”, which in actuality is really just a sleeker, cleaner, and more versatile cut updated for modern times.

Everyone’s rocking the mullet these days. Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) dipped his toes in the mullet water when Netflix’s 1980’s-setStranger Things debuted in 2016. Soon thereafter, Joe Exotic of Tiger King and Country superstar Morgan Wallen (his Dangerous: The Double Album was the best-performing album of 2021) proceeded to straight-up cannonball up in this piece.

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Stranger Things

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Tiger King

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Morgan Wallen

In other words, the unapologetic force of nature that is the mullet had once again become synonymous with taking names and kicking ass (again, we don’t believe in coincidences in this house). So, if you’re looking for sweet photos of modern mullet styles to show your barber, check out “30 Stylish Modern Mullet Hairstyles for Men” from Haircut Inspiration HERE.

Today, thanks to nature running its course, the mullet easily retains its legacy as the most recognizable hairstyle of all-time. God bless the mullet, indeed.

If you already have a near-effortless mullet (or you simply want a great everyday carry comb for a hairstyle that could serve as a warm-up for a future mullet), you’ve likely come to the point in your life where you feel like you can handle the great responsibility that comes with the great power that growing out a legendary mullet gives a man. As such, you know that your guys at Gallantry will not leave you empty-handed. It’s just not our style to ever leave you in a position wherein you’re not always literally the most stylish man in the room, projecting unmatched charisma by way of just every day carrying extremely cool gear from Gallantry.

Enter the money EDC WWII combs from Standard Issue 1942. These incredible combs are real Americans, made in the USA just like Kenny Powers, so you know that these bad boys are not only the real deal, but that they are also most certainly Kenny Powers-approved. Pick some up, then sit back and relax as your hair becomes the talk of the town – and, yes, that means even if you don’t have a mullet (the comb really is that awesome)!

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Eastbound & Down“I see you with that Standard Issue 1942 WWII Class A Comb from Gallantry, playboy! Get some!”

THE STANDARD ISSUE 1942 WWII CLASS A COMB

THE STANDARD ISSUE 1942 WWII CLASS A COMB BLACK/STAINLESS

THE STANDARD ISSUE 1942 WWII CLASS A COMB BRASS/MAHOGANY

The Standard Issue Comb is inspired by the original WWII Comb/Class A that served soldiers without fail. Hand-assembled in Boise, Idaho, the 7.6-inch retro grooming tool is a laser-cut, hand-polished compact version of the original. To achieve its finishing touch, its truly classic look, the comb’s integrated leather sheath is tanned in Missouri by Hermann Oak Leather Co. Flip it out like a pocket knife any time during the day and run it through your hair to maintain a look so fresh, so winning, that it may even actually intimidate lesser looks.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Based on the original WWII Comb/Class A
  • Stainless steel material
  • Made in Boise, Idaho
  • Stamped by Stimpson Company in Florida
  • 4.5”L x 1.2" H x 0.25” W (closed)
  • 7.6” L (open)
  • 2.19 oz.

Standard Issue 1942 WWII Class A Comb

Standard Issue 1942 WWII Class A Comb

$59.95

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] The Standard Issue Comb is inspired by the original WWII Comb/Class A that served soldiers without fail. Hand-assembled in Boise, Idaho, the 7.6-inch retro grooming tool is a laser-cut, hand-polished compact version of the original.… read more

Standard Issue 1942 WWII Class A Comb

Standard Issue 1942 WWII Class A Comb

$59.95

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] The Standard Issue Comb is inspired by the original WWII Comb/Class A that served soldiers without fail. Hand-assembled in Boise, Idaho, the 7.6-inch retro grooming tool is a laser-cut, hand-polished compact version of the original.… read more

The Modern Mullet 20220110 Danny McBride“Non-Gallantry Men are out. Gallantry Men, Gallantry EDC, especially The Standard Issue 1942 WWII Class A Comb, and mullets are in!”

STREAM EASTBOUND & DOWN TODAY!

If you’re looking to get your fix of Eastbound & Down on the reg again, you can stream the series on HBO Max HERE. Meanwhile, if that’s not enough of the Gallantry Man legend that is Danny McBride for you, go ahead and check out the season 2 premiere of his newest series, The Righteous Gemstones, HERE.

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