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March 2, 2015

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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