The Alcoholic Horndog Tenured Professor Stereotype: Animal House
Two weeks ago, Post Academic launched the series “The Alcoholic Horndog Tenured Professor Stereotype,” which reviews movies that have helped contribute to the bad reputation of professors. Each movie is analyzed in terms of Hot Pepper Rating, Fashion Sense, Likeliness of Having an Undergrad Piece on the Side, Boozing and Drugging Quotient, Financial Fakery, Teaching Talent (or Lack Thereof), and Quotations. Then the stereotypes are debunked, lest you mistake your professor for an Alcoholic Horndog. And now … an assessment of Donald Sutherland as Professor Jennings in “Animal House.”
Meet the Professor: Donald Sutherland, Professor Jennings, English
Hot Pepper Rating: Low. Donald Sutherland is actually a good-looking guy, but he plays the role with such skeeviness that he eliminates his natural appeal.
Fashion Sense: Low. He’s rocking the professor-as-beatnik look.
Likeliness of Having an Undergrad Piece on the Side: High. He stole Boone’s girlfriend! He might try to steal yours!
Boozing and Drugging Quotient: High. Literally, as in he’s a stoner.
Mental Condition: See above.
Financial Fakery: Low. This may be the most authentic element of the movie. His clothes are worn, and he appears to enjoy couch-surfing.
Teaching Talent: Low. No one was supposed to learn anything, especially Milton, at Faber College.
Quotations: “Don’t write this down, but I find Milton probably as boring as you find Milton. Mrs. Milton found him boring too. He’s a little bit long-winded, he doesn’t translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible…. But that doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility for this material. Now I’m waiting for reports from some of you… Listen, I’m not joking. This is my job!”
Conclusion: If I were to blame anyone for the stereotype of the Alcoholic Horndog Tenured Professor, I would blame Donald Sutherland and the writers of “Animal House.” This movie is a comedy classic for a million and one reasons, but it did professors no favors.