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This is one of those childhood memories that have stuck to me through the years. I would have watched it between the mid-1980s and the late 1990s. Someone on a college campus, either a student or a teacher, develops an alter-ego device that turns them from nerd to college sensation. The scene which has stuck in my head has them encountering someone higher up the chain than them, maybe a professor or the dean of the college, and convincing them that they, too, can be seen as cool, culminating in a scene where they're singing "The Wanderer" by Dion and my memory has said authority figure dressed oddly, maybe with a hub-cap on a set of straps as their upper garment.

I remember seeing this in black-and-white (admittedly, we didn't start with a color TV in our household), or at least the muted colors of some of the older films.

This feels like it matches heavily with The Nutty Professor, except I don't see any indication of "The Wanderer" being a song referenced therein.

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I have started to indeed think that the film in question is The Nutty Professor (1963), directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. I've found the scene where Buddy Love gets the Dean to make a fool of himself. It's performing Shakespeare in ridiculous clothing, not "The Wanderer" with the hubcaps. Now, I'm wondering what wires crossed in my head for that...

It would indeed be science-fiction due to the potion concocted for the personality change.

Professor Julius Kelp is a nerdy, scruffy, buck-toothed, accident-prone, socially awkward university professor whose experiments in the classroom laboratory are unsuccessful and highly destructive. When a football-playing bully embarrasses and attacks him, Kelp decides to "beef up" by joining a local gym. Kelp's lack of physical strength leads him to seek a solution in his specialty of chemistry. He invents a serum that turns him into Buddy Love: a handsome, suave, charming and brash girl-chasing hipster.

The scene with the dean

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  • There was a remake starring Eddie Murphy. Have you checked that? Anyway, my first thought was Love Potion No. 9.
    – Spencer
    Aug 8, 2023 at 23:01
  • My memory of it free dates both of those movies. But thank you for the suggestions.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Aug 9, 2023 at 0:07

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