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David Letterman's Beard Has Had A Better Life Than Most People

A beard-volution of epic proportions.
03/07/2017 10:51am ET

David Letterman’s beard has enjoyed a better life than most things since its debut in 2015. It’s been to India for a trim, rubbed elbows with the Obamas, been jogging in St. Barths and now, it’s taking up much of the cover of New York Magazine.

Photographed for a cover story teased by “David Letterman returns for one issue only,” the former late night funnyman wears his iconic beard, a pair of orange sunglasses and a beanie. According to the mag, the image was shot on Letterman's way out of his meandering, cutting interview.

Letterman explained to New York that “great things have happened” to him since growing the beard, including being mistaken for artist Chuck Close and telling strangers on the street he’d been fired from his television show.

His friend Paul Shaffer once called Letterman’s beard the “porcupine on his chin,” and we can’t help but obsess over its impressive lushness at any given opportunity. It seems to have a character all its own. What better time than now, then, to revisit how the beard evolved?

Check out Letterman’s incredible beard-volution below.

Pre-beard, May 2015
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
It's hard for us all to recall a time when there was no beard at all, like during the final broadcast of the "Late Show with David Letterman" in May 2015.
May 2015
Michael Hickey via Getty Images
The beard in its humble beginnings at the Indy 500 in May 2015. Who could have guessed what was to come?
October 2015
Mike Coppola via Getty Images
Quite the impressive showing at the 7th Annual Little Kids Rock Benefit in New York City in October 2015.
November 2015
Mike Coppola/MJF2015 via Getty Images
It was almost at full Santa Claus mode at the Michael J. Fox Foundation Gala in New York City in November 2015.
November 2015
Ron Hoskins via Getty Images
Full, fierce and fabulous on the campus of Ball State University, Letterman's alma mater, in November 2015.
March 2016
Splash News
The beard was catching all that St. Barths sweat on a jog in March 2016.
May 2016
Brent N. Clarke via Getty Images
It was looking pensive and prim at the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony in New York City in May 2016.
May 2016
Drew Angerer via Getty Images
Nearly scratching Michelle Obama's face off with its fullness during a comedy show for members of the military in May 2016.
May 2016
NurPhoto via Getty Images
The beard served as Dave's best accessory at the White House for the Nordic State Dinner in May 2016.
May 2016
Michael Hickey via Getty Images
Worn with a sun-kissed glow at the Maxim Indy 500 Party in Indiana in May 2016.
October 2016
Ilya S. Savenok via Getty Images
Looking like a Brooklyn hipster at the The New Yorker Festival 2016 in New York City in October 2016.
November 2016
Leigh Vogel via Getty Images
Looking serious(ly full) at the Lab School Of Washington's gala fundraiser in Washington, D.C. in November 2016.
November 2016
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images
Impressing the smile off of Tom Hanks at "A Tribute To Tom Hanks" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in November 2016.