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September 22, 2014

The Five: The thinking woman's sex symbol

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 6th 2006 11:01AM
Jon StewartWhat does it take to be a thinking woman's sex symbol? The definition really comes from what it doesn't take. You don't need to be conventionally handsome. You don't need a full head of shiny hair or photo-ready pearly whites. You don't need six-pack abs or hardened pecs. You certainly don't need a hot car or a fat wallet. What you do need is smarts and a wit best described as "acerbic."

Now, this whole "the five" thing is pretty rough. Only five slots for television's sexiest smarty-pants doesn't make things easy. There was no room for Steve Coogan, Charlie Rose, Bradley Whitford, Naveen Andrews or David Duchovny. So, the order here is arbitrary, and well, let's just preface this list by saying that we're talking about television stars here. This means that even the nerdiest of nerds is a far cry from dogsville, but these five all have one thing in common - they've got it going on upstairs.

5. Anthony Stewart Head as Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Giles with his dusty books and fancy, archaic notions about civility. We know he has a bad boy streak from his Ripper years, but it's the library-bound, glasses-adjusting Giles that smart girls love.

4. Christiane Amanpour, CNN
I know. I know. I only have five slots, and I blow one on a chick. Well, this one is for the ladies who love ladies. Even if you're not batting for Sappho's Sluggers, you're allowed a girl-crush or two. This spot was a real toss-up between Christiane and The X-Files' Gillian Anderson, but hardcore international correspondent Christiane is one of the only people, male or female, to make it through the Colbert interview segment with panache.

3. Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Do I have to explain this choice, thinking ladies? I didn't think so.

2. B.J. Novak as Ryan, The Office
B.J., don't let those Zach Braff comparisons get you down. He may have written Garden State, but you write for The Office. You're not just another pretty face, and everyone knows that thinking chicks would rather bang a writer than an actor unless that actor is...

1. Hugh Laurie as Gregory House, House, M.D.
I think the expression "thinking woman's sex symbol" was actually brought back into circulation for Dr. House. He's got wit. He's got game. He's got bad boy attitude, and he needs to be saved. He's also got the largest collection of rumpled, vintage-Ts I've ever seen, but that's a subject for a different day, a different list.

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JW

Good list, but I find it hard to believe Jon Stewart isn't no. 1. You did leave out one big gun though - George Clooney

January 18 2007 at 8:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
msdamselfly

Hugh Laurie IS a writer. I came across his mystery novel at the library just the other day.

He's also a musician, making him a triple-threat sex symbol.

Since you emphasized this is about TV actors, I'll forgive the absence of Alan Rickman.

November 13 2006 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bess

Toss in singing, guitar playing Giles and he moves WAY up the list for me. Good fun!

November 13 2006 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Althea

BJ Novak is an Okay choice, I guess, but how could John Krasinski be left off the list? Give me the funny, sexy, intelligent John Krasinski over BJ Novak any day.

November 12 2006 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PJ

What a yummy list!! I completely agree with Pat - Jon Stewart and Rupert Giles - could it get any better!?! The runners up aren't so shabbey either Naveen Andrews and David Duchovny. I particularly enjoy that you included a woman (girl-crush or otherwise - good choice on Christiane Amanpour). Not sure I agree with Laurie's House. While House is definitely an engaging character and quite nice on the eyes. For me, his (House's not Laurie's) sexist attitudes drop him off this list for me.

November 12 2006 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dan

Seriously flawed list, as I don't see my name up there anywhere. I'm not saying I should be #1, but certainly 3 or 4.

November 09 2006 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cindy

No doubt at all Hugh Laurie number 1.

November 08 2006 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
foggymoontour

Love the top 3 choices - Jon Stewart and Hugh Laurie were no-brainers, but seeing BJ Novak on the list made me squeal with glee. Okay, I didn't actually squeal out loud, but I was squealing on the inside.

November 07 2006 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lacey

That is a fantastic list.
Hugh Laurie would undoubtably be my number 1 as well.

November 06 2006 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pbh89

Jon Stewart is a pretty boy! He's very handsome~

November 06 2006 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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