Post Academic

The Alcoholic Horndog Tenured Professor Stereotype: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Here’s the latest in the Post Academic 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. Today’s installment covers the movie version of Edward Albee’s play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in which Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor guzzle and gorge on every piece of scenery in sight.

Meet the Professors: George, a history professor saddled with a dull job and a lame home life full of brawls with his wife Martha.

Hot Pepper Rating: Low, low, low.

Fashion Sense: Perhaps one of the schleppiest professor characters caught on film.

Likeliness of Having an Undergrad Piece on the Side: Low. Few would get near him unless they had a serious Daddy Complex.

Boozing and Drugging Quotient: No dialogue beats this film when it comes to capturing sheer drunkenness. See the quotations below.

Mental Condition: Speaking of Daddy Complexes, Martha is the daughter of the president of George’s university, which is the kind of incestuous job situation that might drive anyone to booze. These two are so bonkers that they manage to infect a younger professor and his wife who unwittingly go to their house after a party.

Financial Fakery: Pretty authentic here. Usually the quotations appear last, but one line in particular says so much: “I hope that was an empty bottle, George! You can’t afford to waste good liquor, not on YOUR salary!”

Teaching Talent: It’s a good thing the audience doesn’t get the opportunity to see George at work in the classroom. To extrapolate from the script, he’d probably wind up passed out with his head stuck in a wastebasket.

Quotations: “You can take over a few classes from the older men, but until you start plowing pertinent wives, you really aren’t working. The broad, inviting avenue to man’s job is through his wife, and don’t you forget it.”

“George is bogged down in the history department. He’s an old bog in the history department! That’s what George is. A bog! A fen! A GD Swamp! Swamp! Hey, swamp! Hey, swampy!”

Conclusion: This movie will give aspiring professors and maybe even a few current ones nightmares. Many of those nightmares will involve swamps. If you’re considering going into the profession, and your family members bring it up, change the subject quickly or make them watch “Tenure” as an antidote.

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