Whenever we traffic in Ivy stereotypes, it’s mostly in jest. The Brown blazers, the Princeton tweedies, the Yale omnisexuals. We’re just having fun — it’s not like these horrific caricatures actually exist.
If only. Thanks to the combined power of YouTube and the public servants at Inside Higher Ed, we will never have to apologize for another object-in-Harvardian-rectal-cavity remark again. Because somewhere in the bowels of Harvard’s economics department, someone thought it would be a good idea to make a welcome video for incoming students. And who do they choose as the department’s public face? The respected
Harvey Mansfield Amartya Sen? The beloved Greg Mankiw? Nope. They choose John Y. Campbell and Edward L. Glaeser, two professors who undoubtedly mean well, but whose screen presence rates somewhere between that of Al Gore and a modest pile of cucumber salad.
The results, below, are tremendous. Just don’t forget to pinch yourself every ten seconds as a reminder that these people are real — and utterly oblivious to their own absurdity. (Not for long: a repentant Ed Glaeser called the video “an act of folly” in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed.) Also, is it just us or is Glaeser doing a spot-on Steve Carrell?:
Then came the inevitable spoofs. Neither is as funny as the original, but they both have their moments: