There's an awesome graphic that's been circulating the interwebs recently, called "TV University." It's somewhat of a misnomer, but it basically creates the faculty of a college out of film and TV characters. Many of the choices are utterly inspired, like having The Dude teach philosophy or Franklin (GOB's politically incorrect, ebonics-spewing puppet on Arrested Development) teaching African-American history. It got me thinking about who I would put in my own version...
First of all, they have some real people (not characters) in there, which is no fun, so I replaced them with fictional picks.
Dean (currently Clint Eastwood): I'm not sure if they mean a specific Eastwood character - I think they just mean the man himself. And he's cool and all, but if you want someone who's cool, fictional, and has experience running a successful school, then look no further than Professor X from the X-Men series.
Public speaking (currently Billy Mays): Is there a smoother talker on screen than Nick Naylor in Thank You for Smoking?
Choir (currently Neil Patrick Harris, apparently just as himself): Will Schuester from "Glee"! Come on! He actually plays a choir teacher! And he's just wonderful.
Film (currently film critic Armond White, who admittedly seems made up sometimes): The obvious choice is Guido Conselmi from 8 1/2, but a much more fun choice is the title character from Ed Wood. He's just so resourceful and innovative!
Culinary arts (currently chef and professional shouter Gordon Ramsay): Jack Tripper from "Three's Company!"
Dean of the art school (currently PBS painter Bob Ross): It has to be someone who has a demonstrated interest in multiple art forms...how about Maude Lebowski of The Big Lebowski? Or if you want to get more obscure (well, not for people my age), Doug's artsy sister Judy Funnie from "Doug" worked across many mediums.
Music (currently John Williams): Cosmo Brown, the sharp and snappy composer in Singin' in the Rain. Give the man a job so he can stop suffering and finally write that symphony!
Football coach (currently OJ Simpson): I'm not too well versed in football flicks, but I saw Remember the Titans once and bawled my eyes out, and I assume this had something to do with Denzel Washington as coach Herman Boone being inspiring and heroic.
Bill Nye can stay, because he's Bill motherfucking Nye. And I think there are some more real people on here, but I don't know who they are.
Next are the categories for which they have appropriately fictional choices, but ones I felt could be better.
Dean of the business school (currently Gordon Gekko from Wall Street): Gekko's a little too 80s. In these times we need a quick thinker and good adapter, which is why I nominate Jack Donaghy from "30 Rock." The man created porn for women, for chrissakes!
Dance: I'm not sure who the girl is in the current picture, but can she be a better dancer than ballerina Victoria Page from The Red Shoes?
Student advisor: Again, I don't know who the guy in the picture is (I think he's from "Lost"?) but the man with all the answers, all the time, is Mr. Feeney from "Boy Meets World."
Political science (currently Merkin Muffley from Dr. Strangelove): Muffley doesn't really seem to know the ins and outs of politics. Two people who do: Jefferson Smith from Mr Smith Goes to Washington (using his powers for good with his impassioned filibuster for justice), and Mrs. Iselin from The Manchurian Candidate (using it for evil by manipulating her husband's corrupt senate campaign).
Psychology (currently Hannibal Lecter): Lecter used to be a psychiatrist, but as of late he's pursued...um...different interests. I'd pick someone who's still fresh in the field - Martin Dysart from Equus. Unlike many other films that deal with psychology in a gentle, touchy-feely way, the majority of this flick is just doctor and patient going brutally mano a mano.
And finally, if the university received a generous endowment and could add more departments and beef up their staff...
Accounting: Louis Tully from Ghostbusters!
Agriculture: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean (one fat, one short, one lean!) from Fantastic Mr. Fox are disgusting and terrible people, but they run pretty tight farming operations.
Anthropology: There are very few anthropologists on screen, and even fewer that are tap-dancing bombshells from 1940s musicals. That's right, I'm talking about Claire Huddesen from On the Town (you can see my more in-depth look at Claire and her cohorts here).
Broadcast journalism: Ron Burgundy from Anchorman. After all, he IS the balls.
Creative writing: Jack Torrance from The Shining. His writing is definitely...creative...
Community advocacy/leadership: Leslie Knope from "Parks and Recreation!"
Education: Bertram Cates from Inherit the Wind (and real life). The man is arrested for teaching evolution to his students in the 1920s, and but keeps fighting for his right to teach it. That's dedication.
Environmental science: Pochahontas, of the eponymous Disney film, will teach you to understand and respect your world. And through song, dammit!
Hospitality management: For the restaurant sector, it would be Rick Blaine from Casablanca (he's doing something right if everyone goes to Rick's) and on the hotel side of things, Norman Bates from Psycho (despite some stabby tendencies, he's quite diligent about motel upkeep).
Nursing: Carla Espinosa from "Scrubs!"
Negotiation: Vito Corleone from The Godfather - how much better of a teacher can you get than someone whose offers are never refused?
Religion: Why not go right to the source? Jesus on "South Park" seems like a laid-back, easy to talk to guy.
Zoology: Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! (And no, I'm not implying that the dwarves are animals, but she has that animal posse.)
Director of student life: Max Fischer from Rushmore. He's so good at overseeing a multitude of clubs!
Head of the dining hall: Chef from "South Park!"
Career services: Frank Abagnale from Catch Me If You Can. He can show you the path to any career you want. No, seriously, any career, if you're not too finicky about illegal activity.
Who would you hire?