Paul Branham of Rex Wax Fights For American Way

Paul Branham of Rex Wax Handmade Moustache Wax is behind a campaign to get Tom Selleck to be a judge at Beard and Mustache Nationals. He agreed to let me ask him why.

You ought to buy some Rex Wax, by the way. I and several friends and acquaintances have used it, and it's great stuff.

Giant: Are you a beard competitor? Tell me about your interest and involvement in competition beards and mustaches.

Yes, I am a beard/moustache competitor. I made my debut at the 2011 WCB&MC held here in Portland, Oregon. I think it's a very interesting experience. It's a great bit of fun and provides an opportunity to meet new folks. As a competitor, at this point, I'm not a contender for any prizes, as there are folks with much more impressive facial hair than my own out there, and i'm not keen on buying/wearing costumes, which seem to have bearing on your placement. I go for fun. If, someday, I should win something, I'd be tickled pink, but also very surprised --maybe when i'm old and gray and compete in the "wizard" category.

G: You've got some pretty impressive facial hair, and you sell mustache wax to those who also want to grow amazing facial hair. Tom Selleck's mustache is pretty straightforward. What makes him qualified to be a judge at U.S. nationals?

Thank you. Yes, Mr.Selleck's moustache is pretty straightforward, "classic", I prefer to call it. It's not always the outrageousness of one's facial hair that makes one great, Mr. Selleck's 'stache is an icon, just as much as he is, and they'r forever entwined in the hearts and minds of the people. His moustache has been a fixture on television and movie screens for some thirty years. Tom Selleck tops the list of many, many people's (men's and women's) favorite 'stache. His moustache inspired countless thousands of young men in the eighties to sprout some lip hair and continues to have that influence to this day. Tom Selleck is synonymous with

G: Tell me a little about the responses you've gotten from people on YouTube, FB, etc. How are people reacting? What the most surprising response been?

The response from Facebook has been pleasantly surprising. When I started the campaign, it began with serious intent, to get Mr. Tom Selleck to be a celebrity judge at the Nationals, but it was also being used as a promotional tool for Rex Wax. I was busting my ass trying to get the word out and work the campaign on my own, but was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the project. The fan-base, while supportive, was initially very slow in growing, until I put the word out that I was looking for folks to jump on as admins and help out.

Allie Astell, a lovely, tech-savvy lady from the U.K., jumped on board and really got the ball rolling. She has been such a blessing in helping this campaign. Also, John from GAFBO (Great American Fierce Beard Organization) has been kind enough to work out a letter that we're sending off to Mr. Selleck's management team. I'm hoping to get people on board to do an Andy Dufresne-style campaign of bombarding his management's office with actual, letters. Use that snail-mail, people. Our presence on YouTube is fairly new. I mentioned the campaign, in it's inception, at the end of a Rex Wax commercial that I had posted to my personal YouTube channel, but have since made an official channel: TomSelleckUSAJudge and have, so far, made one video, a personal plea to Mr. Selleck to attend the festivities, and a call to action for people to spread the word and make their own video responses as well.

G: This petition is a great way to raise awareness for competitive beard growing. Do you realistically hope to be able to bring Tom Selleck on board? What, in a word, is in it for him?

Yeah, it IS a way to raise awareness for the competitive facial hair scene, but that circuit is doing a pretty good job on drumming up their own publicity, what with the United States' great showing at the World competitions this year in Norway and upcoming programs like "Whisker Wars" from IFC that follows around the fellas from the AFHC (Austin Facial Hair Club). Those guys are awesome. Facial hair and general acceptance of facial hair, is pleasantly on the rise.

The idea for having Mr. Selleck was simply from the fact that I'm a super huge Magnum, P.I. dork and, as I mentioned earlier, when I think of celebrity 'stachery, Tom is the only person who comes to mind. It just seemed right that Tom should judge at the Nationals. If this were the 1800s and it was a marching band competition, I'd be on the campaign trail to get John Phillip Sousa to appear, it would only be right. Same with Tom.

What's in it for Mr. Selleck??? Hmm...R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect and admiration of hundreds of hairy men (and the ladies who love them), cigars and drinks. That, and a good time.

G: What do you want people who like this idea to do? How can they help?

If you're interested and want to help the cause, you can "Like" our page on facebook ( and share it with everyone you know, begging them to do the same. Leave a post on the page or send a message with an email address if you're interested in having a hard copy of the letter to Tom's management team to send out through the post. (It would be so awesome if they had a mailbag FULL of letters from people asking Tom to come) or you could make a video response (keep it appropriate) and link it as a video response to my video on the TomSelleckUSAJudge YouTube channel.

Basically, any way you can think to spread the word, do it. If you're going to be a background person at the TODAY show, make a sign "GET TOM SELLECK TO THE NATIONALS!" or something similar. Get the Facebook page out there, if a Facebook campaign could get Betty White to host SNL, anything is possible (love you, Betty).