Post Academic


The Alcoholic Horndog Tenured Professor Stereotype: Tenure

Post Academic recently 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 … a look at the low-key, low-budget Luke Wilson vehicle, “Tenure”:

Meet the Professors: 1. Luke Wilson, Professor Thurber, English, a decent guy just trying to get tenure

2. Gretchen Mol, Professor Grasso, English, a newly hired rival professor from Yale

3. David Koechner, Professor Hadley, aka Professor Bigfoot, anthropolgy, a hard-core Bigfoot enthusiast and peddler of male enhancement pills

Hot Pepper Rating: High. The production crew attempts to make him look as schleppy as possible, but it isn’t easy.

Fashion Sense: Low.

Likeliness of Having an Undergrad Piece on the Side: Low. Satires on academia almost always rely on the horndog stereotype, but Professor Thurber declines when a student offers herself to him.

Boozing and Drugging Quotient: High. Professor Bigfoot tries to take ecstasy, and is disappointed. He also turns to selling “Herb Erect” to make some extra cash.

Mental Condition: Poor. Professor Thurber suffers from Daddy Issues since his father was a more successful English professor, and Daddy tells Professor Thurber, “You should be farther along.”

Financial Fakery: Low. This movie nails the economic condition of academics, from the shabby apartments to the fact that Professor Bigfoot doesn’t have a car. The best touch is when Professor Thurber brings a $6.99 bottle of wine to a faculty dinner and forgets to take the tag off. Naturally, the department chair is appalled.

Teaching Talent: Difficult to rate, but it should sound familiar. Professor Thurber is a great teacher who won’t get tenure because he doesn’t have enough publications. Professor Grasso is a self-admitted bad teacher who will get tenure because she’s from Yale and is published in prestigious journals. Thurber and Grasso’s peers are backbiting technophobes who are more concerned with pissy politics than teaching, and you can take the “pissy” element literally.

Quotations: “Pack your bags for Turdville State!”

Conclusion: “Tenure” often strays into cutsey indie-flick territory, and the ending is an easy way out. That said, it is one of the few movies that finds a little dignity in the academic profession and doesn’t assume that professors are lazy, drunken louts.

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.

The Alcoholic Horndog Tenured Professor Stereotype: Back to School

Welcome to the new series that looks back on the origins of the professor stereotype. Professors aren’t really incompetent alcoholic horndogs or snotty creeps, but professors come in handy if a screenplay needs an alcoholic horndog or a snotty creep. Post Academic will be highlighting a few movies and debunking their professor stereotypes. We’re starting with one of the classics in professorial film … the Rodney Dangerfield vehicle “Back to School,” which features not one, not two, but three professor stereotypes, which will be 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. Let us know of any professorial movies we should cover!

Meet the Professors: 1. Sam Kinison, Professor Turgeson, History
2. Sally Kellerman, Professor Turner, English
3. Paxton Whitehead, Professor Barbay, Economics

Hot Pepper Rating: Low for Kinison, high for Kellerman.

Fashion Sense: Kinison and Kellerman look about right, especially Kinison’s atrocious haircut. Barbay wears a bowtie and a tweed cap.

Likeliness of Having an Undergrad Piece on the Side: High, at least for Kellerman. Frankly, it would have been more accurate if Kellerman’s character went for the guy who played Rodney Dangerfield’s son.

Mental Condition: Kinison’s character is a Vietnam Vet with a racist streak who likes to scream at his students. Whoever wrote this movie must have had the world’s worst History 101 course.

Boozing and Drugging Quotient: Barbay hates fun. Kellerman looks like a lover of a nice Chardonnay. The meds that Kinison’s character would require are not recreational.

Financial Fakery: Barbay’s character a vintage car. Most professors I’ve seen drive deathtraps. Then again, Barbay’s character teaches economics.

Teaching Talent: Teaching skill is not evident, but the professors appear in the classroom on a regular basis, which is more than can be said for other movies that feature professors.

Quotations: Rodney Dangerfield’s character on dating teachers: “I think I’m attracted to teachers. Yeah, I took out an English teacher. That didn’t work out at all. I sent her a love letter… She corrected it!”

Conclusion: This movie takes advantage of multiple professor stereotypes, especially regarding Kinison, who seems more interested in pushing his personal issues on his students than on teaching. At the very least it features a female college professor as a sexual predator rather than a male one, even if the object of her lust is Rodney Dangerfield.

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