The Five Best Parts Of Lean On Me That Didn't Involve Crack


Centric, self-appointed television for Black women, was showing Lean on Me the other day. Bedridden with the flu, I, a Black woman for all intents and purposes, watched the whole motherfucking thing. Commercials for Everest College and Scandal repeats and all. Here are my favorite underrated scenes.

1 Mr. Clark whoops the ass of the nefarious gentleman who was beating the brakes off Kid Ray. Armed with little more than a megaphone and the heart of a thousand lions, old ass Morgan Freeman kicked the shit out of a crack dealer with a switchblade, after running at full speed down, like, three different hallways. Didn’t even break a sweat. GLORIOUS.

2 The sexual tension between Joe Clark and Miss Levias when she confronts him after that meeting. “You know, this doesn't surprise me one bit, Miss Levias. I have sensed resistance in you since our very first meeting.” Swoon! And no sexier sentence more wrought with unbridled desire has ever been screamed in a high school hallway than “YOU ARE AN EGOMANIACAL WINDBAG.”


“What do you want from me!?” he shouts all up in her face. And, in my heart, her reply is always, “THE D, MY DUDE.”

joe clark

3 Mr. Clark jumping rope with that little chubby guy whose heart is clearly about to explode from so much physical exertion. I can’t jump double-dutch because I’m from the suburbs, but I do appreciate singing along with a good jump rope rhyme. “How you spell Joe Clark? He’s on time! How you spell Eastside? Eastside High!”

4 When Mr. Clark gets arrested and the little chunk Sams yells, “Yo bitch, vote on this!” while grabbing his fat little crotch. Basically I just love that tiny guy. What a cutie. I hope he didn’t squander his money or whatever happens to child actors.

5 “I don’t have to do nothing but stay black and die.” Ask my mother how often she heard that after I first saw this goddamned movie. Then ask me how many times I got chased through the house with a bat afterward. They used to call her Crazy Joe…

Samantha Irby writes a blog called bitches gotta eat and recently published a book of essays called 'meaty.'


I've actually crossed paths with people who knew Joe Clark in real life, thanks to my Joisey higher education. Apparently, they toned DOWN his personality for the movie. He's apparently that freaking crazy. Also, Eastside High still exists and, save for a new extension they built, looks the same.

Lastly, back when I went to Rutgers, they had separate commencements for the different colleges. Joe Clark was speaking that day…for another college. I had to deal with some boring a$$ veterinarian dude. Heck, I bet 95% of the people who were there didn't remember that. When I found out that deal, I was tight. Heck, I'm STILL tight. I love ol' Joe! :)