Nostalgia made me do it. I admit right here and now that the selection of Anthony Stewart Head as October’s much-delayed Nerd Man of the Month was at least in part* the result of listening to the “Once More With Feeling” soundtrack and remembering just how wonderful Head was as Giles on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” And that voice! No one can deny the magnetic quality of that voice. Le rowr.
A true journeyman actor, Head seems to pop up everywhere and often when you least expect it. After starting off in those God-awful coffee commercials years ago, he ended up on the sci-fi series VR-5. Then later, there was Buffy, which deserves a paragraph of its own. We had the BBC’s “Manchild” series, which I adored. He sang his transvestite heart out in the London revival of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He popped up in “Sweeney Todd.” He rocked in “Doctor Who.” (And what a loss that he didn’t get the part of the Eighth Doctor. He’d have been perfect.) He looked wonderfully confused and stern in “Little Britain.” He’s going to be in the BBC’s “Merlin” series as King Arthur’s father, and he’s got a very disturbing and gory musical film coming out called “Repo! The Genetic Opera.” The man’s even got his own CD, “Music For Elevators.”
As terrific as Head is in all those parts, it's his role as Giles that truly cements his nerd man status. Sarah Michelle Gellar may have been the star of “Buffy” and James Marsters and David Boreanez its heart throbs, but Head was the anchor. A show about teenagers and the pain of growing up needed a strong parent figure and Head’s Giles was always up to the challenge. He was caring and funny and charmingly self-involved – his mid-life crisis after his “kids” went away to college was particularly great. Most of all, Giles was smart and may well have been the first character in the history of television to make research sexy. The true value of Head became clear after he left the show in season 6 when, in my opinion, “Buffy” lost so much of its heart.
Besides the acting skills and genre credentials, by all accounts Head just seems like a nice guy. And we nerdy chicks dig the nice guys. Plus, aesthetically speaking, just look at that photo. What’s not to love?
So, for being a stellar actor, for filling our genre needs, for having a voice that makes us purr, for making Giles awesome and for being a generally swell fellow, The Park Bench is pleased to name Anthony Stewart Head as its October Nerd Man of the Month.
* Agent57 was also kind enough to suggest Head during my plea for nominees last week. Thanks, Agent57!