Revising Cinema History: When Anthony Michael Hall Stuck a Pen Up His Nose, He Transformed From “The Brain” to “The Hunk”

In The Breakfast Club, the geek played by Anthony Michael Hall says: “You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms and most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.”

By the end of the film, we’re meant to see each protagonist as fully-fleshed humans. Teens who embody characteristics of every high school archetype. But Anthony Michael Hall totally ruins his character arc when he uses his mouth to stick a pen up his nose and wonders, “Am I a walrus?” In that brief moment, he goes from “the brain” to STONE COLD HUNK. 

Yes, Anthony Michael Hall, you are a walrus…if walrus is code for Sexiest Mofo in the Room. Back in the ‘80s, Hall was the go-to-geek in movies starring Molly Ringwald. He never strayed far from his inherent geekiness. Braces? Check. Awkward demeanor? Check. Performer at a carnival filled with bizarre and grotesque acts such as shoving swords down your throat? Not sure, but very possible!

At some point in our lives, every single one of us has absent-mindedly chewed suggestively on a writing utensil and pontificated about life. That’s a hard fact and there’s no point denying it. So don’t act like you can’t identify with Anthony Michael Hall’s awkwardness. But most of us have our “am I a walrus” moment in the privacy our own homes, late at night, with an empty carton of Häagen-Dazs in our laps, and no one around to judge us. 

Anthony Michael Hall’s Brian exposes his vulnerabilities in front of his tormentors. He shows a level of bravery we don’t expect in one-dimensional stock geek characters. Next to the navel-gazing insecurities of the other characters in detention with him, Brian’s lack of self-consciousness is absolutely thrilling. It’s distracting, really.

At the end of the day, it’s indisputable proof that if more people stuck pens up their noses, we’d find ourselves living in a much sexier world. 

Here’s the thing: guys like Chris Evans are sexy, for sure. But I’ll take Anthony Michael Hall sticking a pen up his nose using mouth gymnastics over Chris Evans rocking America’s Ass any day. For one thing, you know what they say about guys who use their mouth to stick pens up their nose, right? They have big pens.

And then there’s the indisputable fact that Sigmund Freud famously said “using your mouth to stick a pen up your nose is the road to darker pleasures.” Let’s just say I wouldn’t kick Anthony Michael Hall out of bed for spilling a little ink. 

So for #ManCrushMonday, we here at Gleek would like to celebrate Anthony Michael Hall’s under-appreciated sex appeal. He’s both the hunk we never knew we needed, and also the hunk we deserve.  

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