Hot for Teacher

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"Hot for Teacher"
Van Halen - Hot for Teacher.jpg
Single by Van Halen
from the album 1984
B-side"Little Dreamer"
ReleasedOctober 27, 1984[1]
LabelWarner Bros.
Producer(s)Ted Templeman
Van Halen singles chronology
"Hot for Teacher"
"Why Can't This Be Love"
Audio sample
"Hot for Teacher"

"Hot for Teacher" is a song by the American rock band Van Halen, taken from their sixth studio album, 1984. The song was written by band members Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, and produced by Ted Templeman. It was released as the fourth and final single from the album in October 1984. It was the final single released by Van Halen's original lineup.

The song features Alex Van Halen's double bass drum performance, and its music video, featuring the band as both adults and young students. Unusually for a single, it begins with a 30-second drum solo, followed by another 30 seconds of instrumental introduction. The ending of this song comes from a studio outtake from the band's club days, entitled "Voodoo Queen".

The lyrics describe a young man's infatuation with his attractive female school teacher, with a double entendre perhaps implying a sexual encounter ("I think of all the education that I missed / But then my homework was never quite like this"). The Parents Music Resource Center protested the song due to its sexually suggestive lyrics and music video.[citation needed]

In 2009 it was named the 36th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video (directed by Pete Angelus and David Lee Roth,[5] and produced by Jerry Kramer and Glenn Goodwin, choreographed by Vincent Paterson with concept/treatment by Anthony Nasch) was filmed at John Marshall High School,[6] with Phil Hartman performing the voice of Waldo, the video's protagonist (played by actor Keith Kessinger). Waldo, an awkward boy with large glasses and a bow tie, is put on the school bus by his over-protective mother. He is terrified by the unruly kids on the bus; the driver played by Roth, tells him "siddown, Waldo!" as the opening riff begins. Along with Waldo, the "kid versions" of Van Halen face the trials and tribulations of grade school. Two models appear as teachers in the video, Donna Rupert (runner up in the 1981 Miss Canada pageant), who plays the chemistry teacher, and Lillian Müller, who plays the Phys Ed teacher.[7] Both teachers tear off their dresses to reveal a bikini, to the cheers of the students. At the end of the video, the kids are shown to have grown up to become a gynecologist (Alex Van Halen), a sumo wrestler (Michael Anthony), a psychiatric hospital patient (Eddie Van Halen), and a game show host (Roth). While it is said that no one was sure what Waldo grew up to be, the video hints at him becoming a pimp, the total opposite of his child self. This is intercut with scenes with the band members dressed in red suits and dancing to the song under a disco ball. Initial controversy arose when the video showed all the band members performing a quick crotch-grab during the " bad..." part of the chorus; at first, the 1980s NBC late-night show Friday Night Videos black-box censored the crotch-grabs but eventually relented and removed the black-box from their video.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song appears in Guitar Hero World Tour[9] and Guitar Hero Van Halen as one of the most difficult songs on the setlists. In an advertisement for play testers for future Guitar Hero games, released by Neversoft in 2008, "Hot for Teacher" was one of four songs applicants had to be capable of playing to receive the job.[9]
  • The song is mentioned by the character Barney Stinson on the TV show How I Met Your Mother in episode 22 in season 6. Barney was quoted talking about demolishing a building and references the song - "As head of the project, I get to decide how we knock it down. I'm torn between training an actual coyote to use an ACME dynamite plunger, or hooking up a fuse to Eddie Van Halen's guitar that goes off the second he hits the last note to "Hot For Teacher."
  • Keith Kessinger (who played Waldo in the original video) recorded a "one man band" version of the song in 2011, entitled "Hot For Waldo (Waldo's 'One Man Band' Performance of Van Halen's 'Hot For Teacher')," and filmed a video for it and dressed like his old character once more.[10]



Chart (1984) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[11] 89
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[12] 83
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 56


  1. ^ ""Hot For Teacher" Anniversary & Fun Facts!". 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. ^ Bukszpan, Daniel; Dio, Ronnie James (2003). The Encyclopedia of Hard Rock. Barnes & Noble Publishing. ISBN 9780760742181. The album also featured plenty of guitar-dominated heavy metal, such as "Hot for Teacher" and "Panama." which became hits in their own right.
  3. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (January 9, 2016). "Van Halen 1984 anniversary". Loudwire. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  4. ^ " music". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  5. ^ " - Van Halen - "Hot for teacher"".
  6. ^ "Hot For Teacher, Van Halen". VH1's Pop-up Video. 1997.
  7. ^ "Hot for Teacher" Anniversary & Fun Facts!, Van Halen News Desk
  8. ^ "Varsity Blues (1999)". IMDb.
  9. ^ a b "Test the New Guitar Hero!-Neversoft is hiring now!". Become A Video Game Tester. 3 December 2008. Archived from the original on 2014-12-09. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 41, No. 15". RPM. 15 December 1984. Retrieved 12 June 2017.

External links[edit]