8 Celebs Who Have Taught College Classes

From Kanye West to Amal Clooney
By Margeaux Klein,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2015 9:08 AM CDT
Amal Clooney will teach at Columbia Law School in New York City this spring.   (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)

(Newser) – With their surreal and sometimes bizarre lives, it's not surprising that celebrities are occasionally the subjects of college-level classes (The Sociology of Miley Cyrus, anyone?), but some A-listers have also been inspired to get behind the lecture podium, too. Below are eight celebs who've moonlighted as college professors:

  • Amal Clooney: George Clooney recently admitted that "my wife is the smart one," and it seems that New York's Columbia Law School agrees. The Ivy League university invited the human-rights attorney to join the faculty as a guest lecturer this spring.
  • Kanye West: When he's not interrupting speeches at award shows and getting papped with wife Kim Kardashian, the college-dropout-turned-rapper has imparted his own special brand of wisdom to students at Oxford, Harvard, and ... an LA community college.
  • James Franco: Not content with a career as an Oscar-nominated actor, Franco's diverse work experience includes stints teaching filmmaking and screenwriting at NYU, USC, and UCLA. In 2011, it was reported that he was also developing a college course on a subject he knows better than anyone: himself.
  • Oprah Winfrey: Accompanied by multiple bodyguards, the former talk show host and self-made billionaire taught an undergraduate class on "The Dynamics of Leadership" for several semesters at Northwestern University's business school.

  • Kevin Spacey: In 2008, the House of Cards star was a visiting professor at Oxford, where he taught theater. The actor revealed that, following the appointment, his friends began to refer to him as "Professor Spacey."
  • Alec Baldwin: The fiery former 30 Rock actor and Long Island native taught a special summer acting workshop at Southampton College of Long Island University from 2003 to 2008.
  • Questlove: He's best known as the house drummer on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but some lucky NYU students also know him as "Teach." The Roots musician taught courses on Prince and other musical topics to Tisch students in 2013 and 2014.
  • Kal Penn: Having an acting performance critiqued in a magazine is something most actors learn to deal with, but the Harold & Kumar actor might have been surprised to see a review of his teaching abilities from a student who took his "Contemporary American Teen Films" class at the University of Pennsylvania printed in New York Magazine. Luckily, the review was positive. Wrote the student: "He is awesome and funny as hell!"
Click to find out which surprising celebrities were teachers before becoming famous.

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