July 25, 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like Hemingway lookalike season


Look for Ernesto in Spring 2019. If not for Hemingway’s beard, read it for Fidel’s.

This year, as in every year since 1981, Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West hosted its beloved Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest to celebrate the author’s birthday. On July 21, 2018, Papa would have been 119.

Two years ago, one Dave Hemingway (no relation to the funny talking and Last Interview Series-participating Ernest, but the name can’t hurt) took home the gold, That victory came after seven years of tough losses, making it perhaps one of the great human interest stories in modern beard competition history.

Until now, that is.

In last weekend’s installment of the challenge, Michael Groover emerged victorious after entering the contest for nine long years. If you feel a vague sense of recognition upon hearing Groover’s name — perhaps you’d know him better as Mr. Paula Deen? That’s right: this year’s winner is none other than celebrity chef Paula Deen’s husband, and you better believe Paula was there to cheer him on.

Groover mowed through 150 other beardos from all around the world, like so many hunting trophies scattered across the savannah.

For more beard content, click here. For more Hemingway content, click here. (Or here.)



Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.