You’ll Never See Van Halen’s “Hot Teacher” The Same Again
via Van Halen / Youtube
Prepare to see Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” video in a new light – the young actor who portrayed Grover Dill, the bully’s sidekick in ‘A Christmas Story,’ later appeared on MTV as a youthful version of Michael Anthony.
Released in November 1983, ‘A Christmas Story’ became a holiday classic with yearly cable television marathons. About a year later, “Hot For Teacher” was unveiled as the final single from the 1984 album, featuring a video set in a grade school with Van Halen and a cast of child lookalikes.
Yano Anaya, known for his role as “Scut Farkus’ little toadie,” landed the audition after the success of ‘A Christmas Story.’ Excited by the opportunity, Anaya, a fan of Van Halen, felt a strong resemblance to Michael Anthony, thinking, “Holy crap, I look just like Michael Anthony – this is my job.”
Interestingly, Anaya, who had previously portrayed a meme-worthy version of AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, reprised his role in the 2022 sequel, ‘A Christmas Story Christmas.’ Grover Dill, described in the original film as “Mean! Rotten! His lips curled over his green teeth,” earned Anaya a lasting fanbase despite his brief six-day stint on set.
An Unforgettable Encounter with Alex Van Halen
Zack Ward, who played Farkus in ‘A Christmas Story,’ revealed that Anaya and he were deliberately isolated during filming. Director Bob Clark aimed for the other child actors to feel a natural unease when the two bullies appeared on set.
Following his acting career slowdown after a small role in 1985’s ‘Better Off Dead,’ Anaya transitioned to work as a personal trainer. In late 2022, he engaged in a public argument with the owner of the ‘A Christmas Story’ house, but they later reconciled.
Before filming at John Marshall High School in Los Feliz, California, Anaya met Van Halen in their trailer and loved his time on the “Hot For Teacher” set. With a laugh, Anaya recalled the day she was 13 and had a beer with Alex Van Halen, saying:
“I’m drinking a Schlitz beer at 10:20 in the morning – I drank that one beer, and I was so drunk.”
Anaya’s connection with Van Halen included a private performance of “Runnin’ with the Devil” by Eddie Van Halen upon request. A downsized version of the Frankenstrat guitar featured in the “Hot for Teacher” video was recently auctioned for nearly $220,000. Meanwhile, the ‘A Christmas Story’ house in Cleveland was sold in October, with the asking price undisclosed.