Will Ferrell is a machine. In the past ten years alone, he’s starred in no less than 16 movies, many of which are personal favorites of this author. Just last weekend another film starring Mr. Ferrell, The Campaign, opened in theaters across America and actually had a higher weekend box office gross than the reigning movie king, The Dark Knight Rises. I like to think it was the comedic magnetism of Will Ferrell that finally moved Batman out of his #1 weekend movie spot (at this writing, both films have been displaced by The Expendables 2—who can fight the appeal of that many action stars? Not even Will Ferrell, apparently.)
Even though there are many comedic greats like Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, and George Carlin to contend with–not mention more contemporary comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin, and Kevin Hart—Will Ferrell is probably my favorite funnyman. I don’t think I’ve gone a week without quoting Will Ferrell movies in a solid decade, or at least since Elf was released (2003, for those of you keeping score.) How many times have I answered my telephone by saying, “Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?” Let’s just say it’s too many times to admit to you here, dear readers.
Mr. Ferrell gave us the ever-quotable Old School (“Actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot”) and Anchorman (“You stay classy, San Diego”) and we can’t forget our favorite speed-loving NASCAR driver, Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights (“If you’re not first, you’re last.”) I find myself referencing these movies more than almost any other bit of popular culture. That has to be the mark of a good comedian or, at the very least, very talented writers.
Not only has Will Ferrell starred in these fan favorite movies, but he has appeared on many hit television shows throughout his career. He appeared briefly on 30 Rock, had a four episode stretch on The Office, and a minor character on the HBO series, Eastbound and Down. And, of course, who can forget his stint on Saturday Night Live?
I’m not alone in my appreciation of Will Ferrell. In 2009 his comedy special, You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush was nominated for an Emmy, and he’s been nominated for a Golden Globe twice: once for his role in The Producers and again for the comedy/drama Stranger Than Fiction (a personal favorite of yours truly.) In addition, he was the 14th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in 2011.
With accolades like that, who can resist? So go ahead, check out a few of Mr. Ferrell’s fine films. You could start with his most recent DVD release, the Spanish-language comedy, Casa de mi padre, or go for something classic like Zoolander. Your funny bone will thank me.