In Honor of Raider Todd Christensen (R.I.P.), The 10 Greatest Man Perms in History

Raider Nation is in mourning and even Raider haters are tipping their brewskis upon learning five-time Pro Bowl tight end Todd Christensen died during a surgical procedure in Utah Wednesday morning.

He was 57.

In honor of the one-time possessor of the best man perm on the planet, we present 10 others who have/do rock the hairstyle with gusto.

(Make sure to let us know who we missed in the comments below.)

1. Phil Spector

In Honor of Raider Todd Christensen (R.I.P.), The 10 Greatest Man Perms in History

No, it's not real, but even former New York Yankee Oscar Gamble had to feel jealousy pangs when seeing the legendary record producer/murder defendant whip out that medicine ball-sized 'do in court. By the way, that is Phil Spector, right? I didn't accidentally grab Al Pacino?

2. Danny McBride

In Honor of Raider Todd Christensen (R.I.P.), The 10 Greatest Man Perms in History

The Eastbound & Down star goes more Jheri curl than classic 'fro on his hilarious HBO comedy about a former big league (and bigger ego'd) baseball pitcher. McBride's mullet-shaped top is at its most powerful when he comes out of the surf with his body board, flapping those black locks from side to side like a shaggy dog just out of the shower.

3. Lindsey Buckingham (Buckingham Nicks era)

In Honor of Raider Todd Christensen (R.I.P.), The 10 Greatest Man Perms in History

With the White Witch by his side, the talented singer/songwriter/guitarist made a critically acclaimed album that did so poorly in sales they thought they were done. Soon, Mick Fleetwood scooped Buckingham up for Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey insisted it be a "package deal" with Stevie Nicks and music/hair salon history was made. 4. Mr. Brady (Robert Reed)

The Brady Bunch, which somehow lasted five seasons on ABC (and forever in syndication), initially featured patriarch Mike Brady with closely cropped straight hair. Then he and Carol took the whole clan and Alice to Hawaii and--poof!--a poofy hairdo for dad. It seemed as ridiculous as the bad luck idol plot for those episodes until, five years after the series left the air in 1974, I moved to Hawaii for a summer in that tropical humidity and--poof!--a poofy hairdo for me.

5. Kenny G

Kenneth Bruce Gorelick woos the ladies with his smooth saxophone playing, and then seals the deal with his flowing curly locks. OK, I'm only a fan of his music if it and KOST-FM are my only choices in the dental chair. But more evidence of the power of the Kenny G perm is his status a scratch golfer, pilot of his own seaplane and early investor in Starbucks. Let the panty dropping begin!

6. Luke Spencer (first run)

Anthony Geary, the actor who played Luke on General Hospital from 1978-84, left the daytime soaper and then returned from 1993 to now. He's probably a nice enough bloke. But it's his character 1.0 and that receding mop that was on his head that had Laura Webber (Genie Francis) and college-age women (and some men) swooning.

7. Justin Timberlake (later 'N Sync era)

In Honor of Raider Todd Christensen (R.I.P.), The 10 Greatest Man Perms in History

Back when you thought he would be the first member of 'N Sync to come out, Justin went with this curly thang. So much for silencing those rumors. For those keeping score at home, this was in between the bleaching and frosted tips and before the (vomit alert!) cornrows. That was followed by a slightly less 'fro-y style, a return of his natural brown color and eventually his current conservative rockabilly cut. The gay talk? Gone! (Not that there's anything wrong with gay talk.) 8. Jeff Lynne

I'd assumed--making an ass out of you and moi--that Jeff Lynne's man perm disappeared the second or third time he walked away from ELO. Was he sporting one with the Traveling Wilburys? Can't remember. I do know that Mr. Blue Poof was back in a recent documentary that had Lynne re-recording the old Electric Light Orchestra hits because now the sonic perfectionist has the time to make them perfect. This genuinely seemed to be an internal compulsion, not a commercial one. We'll turn to stone when that hairdo is gone.

9. Bernie

In Honor of Raider Todd Christensen (R.I.P.), The 10 Greatest Man Perms in History

The high school student from Room 222 on ABC from 1969-74 was played by actor David Jolliffe. Bernie (a very white ginger) was a friend of Jason (very African-American). While jive-talking Jason sort of ruled their classrooms, and Bernie was more of a sad sack, the redhead was top dawg when it came to a far larger, rounder 'fro. Of course, that might only be because Jason's pick got lost in there.

10. Harpo Marx

In Honor of Raider Todd Christensen (R.I.P.), The 10 Greatest Man Perms in History

It's the one, the only, HARPO! (Sorry, Groucho.) The silent member of the Mark Brothers from 1905-49 sported a man perm at a time white guys were oppressing black guys instead of stealing their styles (hair, fashion, music). Check that: white guys have always stolen black guys' music. The point is, Harpo's antics, harp playing (not stolen from blacks) and, yes, that pile of blond follicles ensured your eyes were always on him whenever he was on the screen.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >