Will Ferrell has been busy working on the second season of the Ron Burgundy podcast on iHeartRadio, which debuted Thursday with Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris as its first guest. While stars frequently make the rounds of the late night circuit to promote their various projects, Ferrell apparently decided to do it all in one night. On Thursday night, he appeared on The Late Show, The Late Late Show, The Tonight Show, Conan, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! despite the fact that the shows film on two coasts and tape at roughly the same time. It’s a feat that only Ron Burgundy could pull off. As for which late night host was his favorite? Christiane Amanpour. “She’s so funny, very highly intellectual,” Ferrell told Colbert of CNN’s Chief International Anchor.
While Ferrell and his Anchorman character Ron Burgundy are both very good at their jobs, there were some highlights of his many, many late night appearances.
During his visit to the The Late Show, Burgundy told Stephen Colbert all about the time he played golf with Donald Trump, where he witnessed the president shoot “90 under par.” Turns out the fictional newscaster also holds a degree from Trump University. “I wrote the check and got three degrees,” he explained.
This was not Burgundy’s first trip to the Ed Sullivan Theater, where The Late Show is filmed. Burgundy explained that he had been there once before in 1964 to see his favorite magician, Fred Kaps. “We had to listen through this incessantly screeching band called The Beatles,” he complained, totally in character as anchorman. “I was like ‘Get off the stage, you bums!’ I don’t know why I had such a visceral reaction.”
During his stopover with Kimmel, the comedian in character as Ron Burgundy performed a stand-up set that included references to
and gave shout-out to Buffalo Wild Wings (“They’re not buffalo. They’re not wild. It’s chicken!”) He then went on to impersonate Jack Nicholson and Jimmy Stewart visiting a marijuana dispensary, explained why “dating is hard” (“Apparently there’s only one woman who’s an exact match. She lives in Borneo.”) After joining Kimmel for a chat, Ferrell explained that his greatest inspiration for his stand-up routine came from other comedians. “It’s the first time I’ve done stand-up,” he said. “I steal a lot of the jokes. But that’s what’s great. You can cherry-pick.”
On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Burgundy decided to shake things up a bit by trying his hand at ventriloquism with the help of a “hipster” dummy named J.J. However, he regretted the decision when J.J.’s refused to cooperate during the set and then told the audience that Burgundy was “nervous because [he’s] not funny and [has] no talent.” Burgundy could no longer control his frustration with J.J. and smashed the dummy into a stool.
When it was clear that J.J. could no longer perform, Meyers invited Ferrell’s Burgundy for an interview to discuss Burgundy’s podcast and dream guest, “the ghost of former president Gerald Ford.” Burgundy explained that “What’s compelling about interviewing a ghost is you can’t see them. You’ll just feel a cold breath on the back of your neck and that’s when you’ll assume they are there.”
On James Corden’s The Late Late Show, Burgundy’s stand-up set included rants about the dentist and other things he “hates” including divorce, taxes, minibars that are just tiny refrigerators, and PayPal. “I have to give you 80 bucks?… You’re just some jerk taking my money!”. As Burgundy was testing the stand-up waters, he also touched on the “hot button topic” of immigration. “President Trump says he wants to build a wall and that Mexico is going to pay for it. Mexico? Are you kidding me?” he asked. “Let me ask you this Mr. President, how do you expect Mexico to pay for this wall? Oh, let me guess: PayPal?”
There was also an animal segment with a keeper from Ron Burgundy’s beloved San Diego Zoo. (No pandas, though.) Corden later asked the famed Anchorman about the phrase “fake news” Ferrell’s Burgundy described it as a “real bugaboo” and shared a story from his own newscasting experience. “I remember back in my day, I prematurely announced that we had won the Vietnam War. That was eight years before it ended,” he said. “I got some flack and I wasn’t a big enough man to correct my mistake on the air.”
On The Tonight Show, Burgundy told Jimmy Fallon all about his favorite ever guest, Kylie Minogue. “You never want to meet your heroes and boy, Kylie and I, from the moment she came into the studio, we just looked at each other and it was on. She just bit me right in the ass,” the fake newscaster turned real podcaster explained, noting that her appearance left them both in the emergency room and left him “covered in cuts” and looking like a mummy. “We’re good friends now.”
After a stand-up routine involving “property” (not props) including a pair of iPhone glasses so “the teens” wouldn’t miss a LinkedIn request, since Conan O’Brien has his own podcast, the two podcasters talked shop. Ferrell’s Burgundy admitted that he initially assumed he was doing a talk show versus being “in a padded room with a microphone.” When O’Brien why he didn’t turn down the opportunity when he learned what a podcast actually entailed, he replied: “It was too much money to say no.” As for what listeners can expect for the second season from the show, Burgundy confessed that while the first season held exciting reveals like the fact Ted Cruz was the infamous Zodiac Killer, the second season will “be a bit of a letdown.” When O’Brien reminded him that he was supposed to be promoting the show, not trashing it on TV, Burgundy shrugged. “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s–t.”
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