Hot for Teacher

"Hot for Teacher"
Van Halen - Hot for Teacher.jpg
Single by Van Halen
from the album 1984
B-side "Little Dreamer"
Released October 1984 (US) [1]
Length 4:44
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Ted Templeman
Van Halen singles chronology
"Hot for Teacher"
"Why Can't This Be Love"
Music video
"Hot for Teacher" on YouTube

"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, and was the final single released during the band's 1974–1985 era, but not the final single released by the Van Halen brothers, Roth, and Anthony. A pair of new recordings from their 1996 compilation album Best of - Volume I, "Me Wise Magic" and "Can't Get This Stuff No More", would be released as singles in 1996 and 1997 respectively.

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 demo from the band's club days, entitled "Voodoo Queen".

Musical style

The song is a mixture of glam metal,[2][3][4] heavy metal,[5] hard rock,[6][7] and speed metal.[4]

Music video

The music video (directed by Pete Angelus and David Lee Roth,[8] 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,[9] with Phil Hartman performing the voice of Waldo, the video's protagonist. 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 "si'down, Waldo!" as the opening drums begin. 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 (1981 Miss Canada pageant runner up), who plays the chemistry teacher, and Lillian Müller, who plays the Phys Ed teacher.[10] 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.

An 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 added black-box censor bars to the crotch-grabs but eventually relented and removed the black-box from their video.


In 2009 it was named the 36th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[11] Chuck Klosterman of ranked it the sixth-best Van Halen song, calling it "the encapsulation of almost everything Van Halen is known for, all within the space of five minutes: Athletic drumming, an extended guitar introduction that transitions into a thick principal riff, vocals that are spoken more than sung, two interlocked solos, and lyrics that are technically demeaning but somehow come across as non-toxic and guileless."[12]



Chart (1984) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[13] 89
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[14] 83
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 56
Chart (2020) Peak
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[15] 23


  1. ^ ""Hot For Teacher" Anniversary & Fun Facts!". 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. ^ Dean, Matt (2011). The Drum: A History. Scarecrow Press. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-8108-8171-6.
  3. ^ Popoff, Martin (2014). The Big Book of Hair Metal. Voyageur Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-62788-375-7.
  4. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo (November 22, 2018). "11 More of the Heaviest Hair Metal Songs". Loudwire. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  5. ^ Bukszpan, Daniel (2003). The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. Barnes & Noble Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7607-4218-1. The album also featured plenty of guitar-dominated heavy metal, such as "Hot for Teacher" and "Panama." which became hits in their own right.
  6. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (January 9, 2016). "Van Halen 1984 anniversary". Loudwire. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  7. ^ Elliott, Paul (November 29, 2020). "Van Halen: a guide to their best albums". Classic Rock. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  8. ^ " – Van Halen – "Hot for teacher"".
  9. ^ "Hot For Teacher, Van Halen". VH1's Pop-up Video. 1997.
  10. ^ "Hot for Teacher" Anniversary & Fun Facts!, Van Halen News Desk
  11. ^ " music". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  12. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (October 6, 2020). "All 131 Van Halen Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best A look back at the band's formidable legacy". Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  13. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  14. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 41, No. 15". RPM. December 15, 1984. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  15. ^ "Van Halen Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 13, 2020.

Further reading

External links