You might wonder, why do we always see Ivy League characters in books, movies, and on television? Well, when you get 7 of the country’s most prestigious schools together with Cornell, their combined influence and effrontery is bound to influence pop culture. Here begins IvyGate’s 2-part “investigation” of Ivy League schools and their fictitious alumni. To begin, Brown University:
The first person we’ll examine is Hermione Granger…oh, wait…that really happened.
Okay, let’s move on to our next, and certainly most famous and relevant Brunonian: Brian Griffin. No student could typify Brown University more with his contrarian nature, sickeningly left-wing agenda, air of superiority, and casual (causal?) use of alcohol, pot, and various other drugs. Most notably, however, he didn’t graduate, rounding out the underachievement of all Brunonians! Like most Brown students he has very little to put on his résumé, besides things like a hydroponics lab and that one summer in high school spent working to cure Koalas with an extra nipple.
Does anyone remember Clippy, the talking paperclip from Microsoft Word? Well, if you ask him where he went to college, you’ll find out it’s Brown. Clearly, this Brown alumnus took a bit too much acid and de-realized himself into a computer animation.
Even Otto Mann, the bus driver from the Simpsons, attended Brown…it seems that the media thinks the typical Brown student is a cartoon; a drugged-out one in a dead end job. With a school name as unimpressive and bland as “Brown,” creating cartoon affiliates functions as a kind of chromatic upgrade. What can you expect from a University that your iPhone won’t capitalize as a “proper” noun?
Moving on to our next school, Columbia University:
Everyone knows that Columbia students have a passion for activism and hipster fashion. Peter Parker, with colors a-clashin’, takes to helping the world, by criminal smashing. With tight clothes and the idea that he himself can save us, Spider-Man’s alter ego fits right in at Columbia (or its Marvel Universe stand-in, Empire State University). It makes sense that Spidey, an aspiring photojournalist, would attend the only Ivy League University to have a professional school in a state school major.
Marshall Eriksen, of How I Met Your Mother, attended Columbia Law School. So did the super-hero Daredevil. While Marshall became an environmental lawyer, Matthew Murdock, much like his buddy Spider-Man, dressed up in a tight costume and beat the piss out of criminals. Do we see a trend? They all think they can save the world—tight clothes optional, but preferred.
Famously, Andy Bernard attended Cornell Universtiy and can’t stop talking about it. Like any Corny Cornellian, he likes to let people know that he went there, even though no one knows what or where it is! His parents don’t respect him, his employees won’t listen to him (going to the point of stealing his identity), and like any Cornellian, he works at a paper company rather than an investment bank like everyone else in the Ivy League! He completes the Cornell package by having severe personal issues that result in an anger problem. Ironically, in one episode, it’s his former boss, rather than Andy, who threatens to jump off the roof—perhaps the show’s writers thought it would be too “real” for a Cornellian to perform. (Hey, we can say it—we at IvyGate don’t have morals.)
In the original script of the Broadway show Avenue Q, the character named Princeton curiously attended Cornell (his parents must have had higher expectations). Jobless, hopeless, and singing songs about how he’s a racist and a porn addict, the only thing not-so-Cornellian about him is his mutant-monster girlfriend. Everyone knows Cornell has the hottest girls in the Ivy League! If you didn’t know it, IvyGate just said it, so it must be true. (Don’t worry; it’s a numbers game).
With Dartmouth College, it’s just too easy. Who reading this knew that awkward, nerdy kid in high school whom you always thought should have been quiet and studious, but had a vox that clamantis-ed way too loudly in deserto? Well that’s what you have in McLovin and every other Dartmouth student: that nerdy kid who, whenever you see him, you can’t help but think: “I remember when I had my first beer.” For some reason, he still thinks that drinking beer, though we’ve all done it, makes him exceptional (oh, and that he joined a frat).
Hailing from Dartmouth, we also have Stephen Colbert. Not only does he epitomize the Dartmouth man with over-bearing right wing opinions, but he also played second fiddle to someone else (i.e., Jon Stewart) for a number of years, like any good Dartmouth man (e.g. Geithner to Obama, Rockefeller to Ford, Webster to Harrison, Tyler and Filmore—where the heck is a Dartmouth president???). However, being fictitious, he was finally able to gain prominence with his own show.
So what have we learned today? Well, you’ll have to wait for part 2 to hear the thrilling conclusion. Check back soon; besides, IvyGate always has the information most relevant to the (read: your) world.