AN insurance expert has become a nine-time world record holder after placing a number of objects in his facial hair.
Toothpicks, drinking straws, paper straws, golf tees, last year’s bauble plate, chopsticks, forks, clothespins and pencils have all found a temporary place in Joel Strasser’s beard.
The record holder is most recognized for his Christmas beardament (beard decoration) challenge – a record he set four different times.
In 2022, he broke the record again by placing 710 clip-on ornaments in his beard.
In discussing his latest achievement, the gregarious Strasser identifies himself as a “weirdo.”
“As I broke it for the fourth time, I talked to my witnesses,” he said jokingly.
“I’m like, why am I doing this again? This is so stupid!”
How did it start?
He started stuffing pencils into his beard to make sure his students pay attention in class.
“I used to walk around the classroom when people weren’t paying attention and just put things in my beard,” Strasser told The Sun.
An observant student noticed and told him to shoot for world records.
That student excited the teacher on a new journey; Strasser created a YouTube channel to showcase his bearded skills.
“I wanted to make a video trying to see if I could break the world record for most toothpicks in a beard. And I broke it,” Strasser said.
The video proved that Strasser could break the world record; now he wanted the recognition of the main record holders.
“So after I broke the toothpick world record, I was unofficially like, I’ve got to make this official and I’ve got to figure out how to get it so I have a certificate and everything.”
There have been many objects in the beard
Strasser developed several techniques for all of his beard athletics.
He explains that objects with clips require different techniques than toothpicks or spaghetti.
“With the bumps, with their little clips, you have to be really intentional, it’s very annoying.“
“It’s also very painful. If you put that much in, there’s always hair stuck in the feathers. And you’re trying to pull them out gently without removing too much hair.”
Strasser doesn’t know if he’ll hold his beard record next year.
He said, “It’s a super annoying record. I don’t know why I keep doing it.”
Strasser’s wife isn’t always the biggest fan of the beard.
“She wishes I had a short beard again,” he jokes.
While her wish for a five o’clock shadow and aftershave doesn’t come true, the beard has taken the couple to a lot of fun places.
“We’ve been to LA twice and we recently went to Rome to appear on an Italian TV show,” said Strasser.
“And when we were in Rome, she said, okay, I’ll stop complaining about your beard now.”
The couple has even been on TV shows such as The Kelly and Ryan Show and Jay Leno.
To keep your beard looking fresh and luscious, he suggests two things: “Beard oil” and “Don’t put junk in your beard.”
Strasser’s award-winning beard can be found on his Instagram @joelnert and YouTube at the same handle.