TODAY   |  December 07, 2012

David Axelrod shaves moustache for charity

President Obama’s top adviser shaves off his moustache of 40 years on the set of MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ to complete a deal he made post-election saying he’ll part with the hair if $1 million was donated to epilepsy research.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's a big day for david axelrod , president obama 's campaign adviser, and for his 40-year-old mustache. he said if he could raise $1 million for epilepsy research, he would agree to shave it off. david is across the street right now with joe and mika , with his wife susan axelrod there on the set of nbc's " morning joe ."

>> i hear savannah.

>> good morning. hi willie , hi, savannah.

>> good morning, joe, good morning, susan and good morning david and good morning david 's mustache. you have about ten seconds to live.

>> and good night, david 's mustache.

>> we'll be cutting off your mustache in just a minute. why?

>> well, we're cutting it off because there are people who have lost a lot more than a mustache to epilepsy, 50,000 people a year lose their lives, people like our daughter lauren, mike barnacle 's wonderful daughter julia have lost so much because of epilepsy and have fought through some very difficult times, so we're trying to raise some money for research, and we have. we made a challenge a month ago, if we could raise $1 million in a month i would shave my mustache off on this show.

>> and we did it.

>> let's go.

>> willie , what do you think?

>> i don't know that i would trust mika .

>> does this hurt.

>> did you practice?

>> no, i've never done this before.

>> is there a professional in the house?

>> should i let a professional do this.

>> steve, take it away.

>> here's the man.

>> i don't think i want to see this.

>> i'm -- i'm grateful for professionals.

>> okay.

>> so while that mustache goes away. no shrinking.

>> wow.

>> 40 years ago i had a scar under my mustache.

>> i thought you'd step in with the straight razor in this operation. what happened?

>> mika was willing to straight razor and --

>> i was not going to let joe scarborough near my neck with a straight razor .

>> diplomatic negotiations between the two.

>> david , i think you're a courageous man to be chatting with a razor in your face. how attached are you to this mustache? you've had it longer than i've been alive.

>> i've been staring at it for 40 years. i've been up all night, to be honest with you.

>> oh, good lord.

>> a little unsettling but people have lost more than a mustache.

>> here we go.

>> we were just talking about sweeney todd . willie , can you imagine all the mustard that this mustache has absorbed in chicago over the past 40 years?

>> this is like an archaeological dig .

>> oh, my goodness.

>> this is a good look.

>> does susan have a microphone on. wondering how she feels.

>> one more minute while this is occurring. talk to willie quickly about your daughter and how she inspired you and david to make this.

>> our daughter inspired us to get involved. there was a real void out there for people crying for research in epilepsy, so that's what this is all about. that's what cureepilepsy.org is all about, and it's been a tremendous year, and this is a great way to cap it off.

>> you know, savannah, and willie , some unusual suspects stepped forward to help out. donald trump was one of the first to call, contributed 100,000. mark cuban committed 200,000. the president stepped in, george clooney , tom hanks , carole king .

>> my gosh.

>> it's a great cause.

>> it took david 's mustache to bring donald trump and president obama together.

>> guys, we're going to check back in with you when it's all said and done, and thanks so much for letting us share this moment.

>> willie , savannah, thanks very much.

>> thank you.

>> we're almost done here.

>> we're almost there.

>> i think he was a little nostalgic there. 40 years with the stach sgle when you lost your muttons that was tough.

>> when i lost my afro, that was really --

>> almost there.

>> getting close.

>> wow.

>> he's got a lip. not