It’s back-to-school season, and you know what that means, kids: nine glorious months of academic angst pining for that dreamboat professor. But if you don’t have the pleasure of sizing up the hunks destined to steal your heart on campus this semester (because you’re way too old, like me), at least you have the next best thing: memories of those academic aces whose smarty pants you were dying to get into.
In tribute to your school-boy fantasies of yore (and to satisfy my own; this one’s for you, Mr. Harris!), I’ve compiled this list of entertainment’s hottest know-it-alls, plus one real-life model-turned-math teacher who’s causing gay boys around the world to break out the rulers. How do you measure up?
Will Schuester, Glee. Between sparring with ne’er-do-well cheerleading coach and glee-club-hater Sue Sylvester and lending a comforting ear to members of William McKinley High’s New Directions, it’s a wonder Mr. Schu had any time for a personal life. But by the end of the show’s run, he was married to his “high school sweetheart” Emma Pillsbury, raising son Daniel, and occasionally showing us why he’s still the only J. Crew-clad principal in Ohio who we’d let tickle our ivories.
Prof. Henry Jones Jr., Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. That suit. Those glasses. That whip! You’d only have to tell us to shut up and sit down once, Mr. Jones.
Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights. Firm-but-fair Coach Taylor is known ‘round East Dillon High as a “molder of men” — and it’s easy to see why: With his quarterback frame and sexy southern drawl, we too would fall in line at the drop of a ball. Time to hit the showers!
Dan Dunne, Half Nelson. Sure, he has a nasty drug habit, but a stint in rehab would be worth it if those get-lost-in-me eyes were staring back at us in class every day.
Sam Coulson, Never Been Kissed. In my world, it was called Kiss Me Everywhere Right Now, which spawned the NSFW sequel Get in My Bed, You Sexy Beast.
Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother. More like, How I Met Your Naked Body in the Teacher’s Lounge One Day and We Never Told Anybody About It — Not Even That Skank Who Stole You Away From Me.
Travis Manawa, Fear the Walking Dead. Mr. Manawa’s speech about man vs. nature in the context of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” will become much more relevant to his students in later eps of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, the much-anticipating spinoff series to The Walking Dead. But for now we’ll just savor the setup that he’s a good dude about to have his bickering blended family thrust into the zombie apocalypse — and keep our fingers crossed that he survives long enough to take his shirt off.
Ross Geller, Friends. There was something sexy-saurus about NYU professor of paleontology Ross Geller. Even the dudes couldn’t hide their affection for him… when grades were due, anyway.
Hank Moody, Californication. What happens when a can’t-say-no-to-temptation teacher is let loose on a college campus? Shenanigans, and David Duchovny’s bare butt in season three of this successful Showtime series.
Scott Delacorte, Bad Teacher. Justin Timberlake plays a “yes man” with a penchant for dry humping. Take what ya can get, bros.
John Pressman, Admission. I’d totally let Paul Rudd be the big spoon. Does anybody else find the older, wiser, love-handled Rudd totally turn-up-the-AC-in-here more attractive than during his skinny-mini Clueless days? Can’t just be me.
Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little Liars. Never trust a man who dates his 16-year-old students. Unless they look like Mr. Fitz. Hey, isn’t that what age-of-consent laws are for?
Colin Forrester, Gossip Girl. This walking Ralph Lauren ad never stood a chance with Serena with Lonely Boy in the picture. He should’ve offed him — if only to save us from seasons five and six.
Phil Wenneck, The Hangover. Mention of Phil being a teacher in The Hangover is so quick you might’ve missed it. But it’s safe to assume you’d be drunk in love if he were the head of your class.
Julian Parrish, Hellcats. Whether he’s playing pre-law prof Parrish in the short-lived, Bring It On-esque CW series _Hellcats_ or devilishly handsome playboy Brian Kinney on Queer As Folk, we’d happily pull an all-nighter for Gale Harold.
The Professor, Gilligan’s Island. I mean, who else you gonna bang on that island?
Craig Robinson, Mr. Robinson. Funny guy Craig Robinson gets his comeuppance starring in this school/night club-set comedy that lets him show off his sharp wit, though that’s ultimately a little too dumbed-down to last very long.
Ronny McCarthy, The McCarthys. Against his better judgment, Ronny accepts the assistant high school basketball coach job in Boston instead of a more exciting opportunity to spread his wings as a guidance counselor in Rhode Island. Sounds like the perfect slapstick situation for a gay character, don’t ya think? Neither did the rest of America; the McCarthys was cancelled earlier this year, despite a full season.
Jeremiah Lasky, Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Move over, Zack Morris. There’s a new looker on campus, and he’s after Kelly Kapowski’s pom-poms.
Pietro Boselli, World’s Hottest Math Teacher. Boselli, 27 (above), blew up on social media earlier this year when one of his University College London students posted a pic of him (and his Superman-like physique) to social media. As a result, he was outed as a sometimes model who specializes in computational fluid dynamics specifically as applied to the design of turbo machinery. Say what?! Either way, we’d be the a to his b+fyesplease any day. Up, up and away.