The List: 10 great moments in face-painting history

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From the May 9, 2013 edition

With the clown-faced, non-knowing-how-magnets-work rap duo Insane Clown Posse rolling through town this week, we thought we’d take a look at 10 less embarrassing examples of face paint in pop culture.

10. William Wallace in “Braveheart”

Wallace’s impassioned speech — “They’ll never take our freedom!” — before leading his men into battle is made even more powerful by the addition of blue face paint. Maybe General Custer should’ve tried the same thing.

9. Tammy Faye Bakker

The late wife of a fallen televangelist was famous for her iconic overabundance of makeup, but did you know she was an ardent supporter of LGBT rights? Check out the great doc “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

8. The Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz”

An allergic reaction to that shiny metallic paint actually landed original Tin Man actor Buddy Ebsen in the hospital. He switched roles to play the Scarecrow after that.

7. KISS

KISS was one of the biggest rock bands of the ’70s, and one of the main reasons was their wild face paint. Remember when they ditched the stuff in the ’80s and everyone freaked out — that was not cool, guys! The band eventually returned to the face paint ways and all was forgiven.

6. The “I Like Turtles” Kid

His zombie face paint didn’t dampen his proclamation of turtle love on the local news in the YouTube sensation that’s gotten more than 40 million views.

5. “The Crow”

Brandon Lee’s iconic performance (and a killer soundtrack) made this film one for a generation; but would it have had the hero not donned a Joker-who’s-been-listening-to-The-Cure-too-much look?

4. Tobias Funke, Blue Man Group understudy

In one of our favorite “Arrested Development” subplots, David Cross’ character paints his face (and everything else not covered by jean shorts) in an unsolicited bid to join the famous group. “I’m afraid that I just blue myself.”

3. Eddie Murphy in “White Like Me”

This is one of the greatest SNL skits of all time. But it’s not as simple as wearing makeup and a mustache to get into white man character. You must also watch lots of “Dynasty” and read many Hallmark cards.

2. Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie’s most remembered and adored era was his Ziggy Stardust phase. Who knows if the face paint — and coordinated outfit — contributed to the musical greatness, but it can’t hurt, right?

1. The Joker

The iconic clown face of Batman’s nemesis was taken to menacing new heights with Heath Ledger’s maniacally haphazard look in “The Dark Knight.”