George Clooney & The Flowbee

Fifteen years ago, while living in New York, trying to get bylines in GQ, Esquire and Details, anytime I learned George Clooney was doing press for a new movie, I would pitch this story: I wanted to get together with Clooney and have him teach me how to cut my own hair. At some point in college, I met an actor who’d worked with him on O Brother Where Art Thou and he told me that Clooney or someone else on set made a crack about how funny it was for “a guy who cuts his own hair to be playing a character obsessed with his pomade.”

Today on CBS Sunday Morning, Tracy Smith finally got Clooney to come clean (2:28). “Years ago, I bought a thing called a Flowbee…. [pointing to his house] I still have it.”

The Flowbee was invented by Rick Hunts. As it was when its first patent was issued in 1987, the Flowbee is still made in Kerrville, Texas. In addition to George Clooney, the astronauts on the International Space Station have relied on the Flowbee to keep their zero gravity hair under control. For me, no moment in Flowbee history was more impactful than its thinly veiled cameo in the opening sequence of 1992’s Wayne’s World, “It certainly does suck!”

Update 12/1/2020: Both GQ and Esquire posted stories today about this today. Guys, where were you 15 years ago?