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James Van Der Beek plays professor on 'Apt. 23'

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Whether you unabashedly love Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 or think ABC’s show could use a bit of tweaking, one thing’s for certain: James Van Der Beek is killing it in a role he was born to play. The boy whose ugly cry launched a thousand memes has finally grown into his face… and he’s proving himself to be both a great sport and a crack comic actor.

Case in point: This “Beek Sneak of the Week,” in which the actor heads to NYU to guest-teach a class. Though he’s decked out in a suit, a posh bow tie, and glasses that almost certainly contain prescription-free lenses, the assembled undergraduates have no interest in hearing James talk about Hamlet. Instead, they goad their celebrity prof into performing a seminal monologue from Dawson’s Creek — and Van Der Beek eventually complies, slipping on Dawson’s painfully sincere skin and delivering a few of the lines that made him famous. Cue Paula Cole.

Check out the scene for yourself below; Apt. 23‘s second episode airs tomorrow at 9:30. Be there, or be Abby Morgan. And we all know what happens to Abby Morgan.

Read more:

James Van Der Beek: The Beek Is Back

Perfect casting: 30 Stars on Screen as Themselves

James Van Der Beek takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test as ‘Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23’ premieres