Lew Zealand has a lot going on.
Take a look at that guy. He has a ridiculous-sounding nname, he’s got a bright red clown nose and bulging eyes, a wide idiot grin, a blindingly red tuxedo jacket, a Shakespearean-era ruffle around his neck, and (as we learned with his action figure) wide-hipped matador pants.
Oh, and he throws boomerang fish.
But there’s one aspect that I’d like to focus on, and that’s his mustache. Lots of Muppets have mustaches, like the Swedish Chef, Waldorf, and Floyd. But Lew has made the brave-yet-daring decision to not only sport this 70s-era fashion choice, but to curl it into several points.
To be fair, Lew does do the same thing to the hair on his head, but I have to assume that was just so it could match his epic upper lip. Pointy hair is a fashion choice, but a pointy mustache is a statement.
Amidst the wacky persona, loud outfit, and striking ‘stache, it almost seems like his boomerang fish are the least interesting things about him. It sort of reminds me of my high school and early college days, when I sported long hair past my shoulders, plunging sideburns, a goatee, glasses, and loud or ironic graphic t-shirts. (Leave me alone, it was the ‘90s.) Much like Lew, I had a lot going on visually, and in retrospect it probably distracted from people seeing the real me. But I digress – back to the guy who throws fish.
In the 2015 sitcom The Muppets, Lew traded his Big Top outfit for a flannel shirt and (for the most part) traded his fascination with fish for a job as… a key grip or something? But the mustache remained. Unfortunately, this is probably the least interesting Lew has ever been since his inception, and Lew would go on to be the poster child for the “normalization” of the Muppets in this era.
All of this is to say that I have sympathy for Lew Zealand and his bizarre choices for his outward appearance. Does he put extra points on his mustache to add flourish to his on-stage persona? Does he feel like he has to add more and more to his appearance so he’ll stand out against the more popular Gonzos or Rowlfs of the world? Did he make a unique decision before his first on-screen performance and now he feels like he’s stuck with it for eternity?
And then regarding the mustache itself, does it just grow that way? Does Lew have a styling routine every morning? Does he use product? Mustache mousse, perhaps? Is mustache mousse a thing that even exists? Should Lew invest in his own mustache mousse company, make a quick million, and then use his newfound fortune to fund his pursuit of the aquatic arts? Is Lew’s mustache sharp?
There a lot to Lew Zealand – including his career choice, attire, behavior, and facial hair – but it’s the whole of these hyper-specific elements that makes Lew Lew. And every point on that silly mustache is important for who he really is.
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com