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‘Anchorman’ visits N.D., does the news

By Staff | Dec 6, 2013

From the time I was in high school to my freshman year of college, the movie “Anchorman” was one of the most quotable films. Young people around here are familiar with the movie, although it may not be the older population’s speed.

Those familiar with the movie were buzzing about Facebook last weekend when they heard that titular anchorman Ron Burgundy (a character played by actor Will Ferrell), was co-anchoring a real newscast, and a newscast at the CBS affiliate in Bismarck, no less.

It wasn’t just Facebook that was abuzz. The Marquee Blog, a celebrity section of CNN, raved about his performance. It took to the blog-o-sphere too. Ferrell was making stops as part of a promotional tour for his new movie, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”. In addition to newscasts, he also did interviews on ESPN, and commercials for Dodge vehicles.

However, if last Saturday’s newscast was a promotional bit, then there was little to nothing about the movie talked about during the 30-minute show. Burgundy delivered news about Christmas trees in Minot, a trash fire near Sam’s Club in Bismarck, kids visiting Santa in Mandan, and a police dummy keeping an eye on speeders in Slope County-all with comedically obvious over-enunciation and in-character. He also engaged in awkward banter with members of the news team, and attempt to throw them off-guard. He put his arm on the shoulder of sports anchor Jon Schaeffer during an over-the shoulder shot, and his head in the shot of co-anchor Amber Schatz while she delivered a story. (This was a gag in the first “Anchorman” movie in which the male news team tried to distract their new female anchor as she was delivering the news.)

There are times I’m wary of sequels. While it’s nice to see a story continue and evolve, sometimes it seems like sequels are made either for the sake of having one or to cash in on what made the first movie great in the first place. It’s more risky when it’s the sequel to a comedy. There’s the risk of jokes being rehashed, trying too hard to elicit a response, or even the risk of just generally not being as funny as the first outing. And combined with a lot of advertising and built-up momentum, if that’s the case then it could pave the way for a huge letdown.

That being said, Will Ferrell should’ve done more of a tour around North Dakota, in my opinion, with stops in not just Bismarck, but also Minot, Grand Forks and Fargo. Although it is nice to have celebrities make stops in our state, isn’t it?

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