The American Mustache Institute, a partially serious entity that promotes the “sexually dynamic lifestyle” of the mustachioed American male, has a new leader and a new home.
Self-professed doctor, Aaron Perlut, 42, who claims to hold a Ph.D. in “nuclear mustachology,” has run the group from his home in St. Louis. His aggressively mustachioed face will front the organization no longer.
The group has advocated for mustaches, generally, as a lifestyle choice for men. In 2012, the group staged a rally and, later, a march in Washington, D.C., calling for a $250 tax credit for Americans with mustaches. This year, AMI pushed for the formation of a congressional facial-hair caucus. While the organization’s detailed history claims it was founded in 1965 by Dr. Schnurrbart Snor, it was, in fact, founded by Perlut in 2006.
This has all been done under the leadership of Perlut, a marketing strategist and online Forbes columnist originally from Virginia. In media appearances over the last several years, Perlut has donned a lab coat and stethoscope, confounding interviewers and claiming a niche as America’s most noticeable mustache advocate.
On Friday, Perlut handed AMI’s leadership over to Pittsburgh native Adam Paul Causgrove, 29, its new president and CEO and last year’s Mustached American of the Year award winner. The transition happened at a news conference in Pittsburgh, where AMI will henceforth be based, and where Causgrove works as a fundraiser for the University of Pittsburgh.
“It’s written in the Dead Sea Scrolls that each time a mustache is shaved, an angel dies in Heaven and falls to Earth,” Perlut said at the event, attended by Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith. (That is not true, to ABC News’ knowledge.)
“It’s a very bittersweet moment for me, in that I’ve led this organization for more than 20 years, and we’ve achieved great things, but we also need some new blood to take us in a new direction,” Perlut said, before ceremonially presenting Causgrove with a Billy Ocean cassette tape.
Perlut removed a pair of tear-away pants and gave them to AMI’s new leader.
“It is with moderate humility and extreme attractiveness that I take this position. I’d like to say ‘you’re welcome’ to everyone in Pittsburgh for bringing this honor to the city,” Causgrove said, claiming AMI’s presence will bring an economic windfall of up to $1.3 trillion to Pittsburgh in the next year.
Causgrove cited no evidence for his claim, which almost certainly is not based in fact.
In a moment of mustache bipartisanship, Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., celebrated the move in jointly released statements.
“The American Mustache Institute’s decision confirmed what we already knew – that Pittsburgh is not only one of the country’s most livable cities but one of the most stylish,” Casey said. “From the handlebar to the horseshoe, Pittsburghers can do it all. With football season around the corner, this announcement will up the pressure on the Steelers’ Brett Keisel to grow something truly extraordinary this year.”
“Pittsburgh was and continues to be home to many of our nation’s greatest mustachioed men,” Toomey said. “Whether it be former Super Bowl winning Coach Bill Cowher or current all-star closer Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh has certainly seen its fair share of individuals that succeed due to hard work, ability and intimidating facial hair. With this in mind, it only seems fitting that Pittsburgh be the home of the American Mustache Institute.”
Today, AMI released video of Friday’s news conference, proving that it actually had happened and allowing its followers to share in the catharsis of change. In October, Pittsburgh will host the next ‘Stache Bash without Perlut’s leadership for the first time.
Asked what’s next for him, Perlut said: “Pants. Pants are next for me. That’s it.”
Perlut added that he will focus on his marketing business, after using AMI as a professional learning experience, and on Rally St. Louis, a regional promotion initiative. Perlut said he also intends to open a bar in downtown St. Louis this year.
Perlut added that he will also be “doing stupid stuff.”
Just not with mustaches.