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Daily Dose of Doozy #16: Epic Slapstick Battles of History: Will Ferrell


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#1 Rejana Raj

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 08:15 AM

Will Ferrell's Anchorman movie is a spoof on 1970's News channel and it seemed to have taken inspiration from ZAZ's Naked Gun series. They both are similar as they have imitated iconic movie scenes with addition of slapstick humor. The cameos create an exciting effect where one could expect the unexpected comedy. The cameo appearance reminds of It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world (1963). Will Ferrell is influenced by the likes of Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Mike Myers etc.

#2 Martha S.

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:33 PM

1. How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? Be specific.

 

I say this without having seen Anchorman, or any other Will Ferrell movie, all the way through, but: In Anchorman, Ferrell and McKay aren't at all political or topical the way Woody Allen often is. Allen often comments on contemporary mores, especially in his later movies, whereas Anchorman seems 100% silliness to me. It makes fun of a bygone era, and one that's kind of an easy and popular target nowadays; it's not meant to be cutting social commentary. 

 

Anchorman doesn't sustain quite the same rapid-fire pace of jokes and sight gags that the ZAZ movies do, and because of that, it seems to me that Anchorman depends more on mining the era/genre (TV news) it's parodying--a lot of the humor comes from things like the passé costumes and sets--plaid jackets and permed hair, white shoes, mustaches, wide, flamboyantly designed ties, and lots of beige, brown and corduroy, Burgundy's desire to be a with-it single '70s guy.

 

2. We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on Cameos – in the full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene?

 

The cameos in each case are by the anchormen of each "gang."

 

Vince Vaughn has played bad guys and tough guys before, in addition to comedy, so he fits right in as the bully/arch-nemesis who's supposed to be threatening (but is really laughable).

 

Tim Robbins is known off screen for his liberal political activism, and his role as a public-TV news host seems to me like a nod to that, since watching public TV and listening to public radio are often seen as something liberals do.

 

Luke Wilson seem like the least interesting of the cameo choices to me, but before Anchorman he's played a clueless character in movies like Bottle Rocket, and he has that puzzled squint that lends itself to that type of role.

 

Most people would probably recognize Ben Stiller know from similar comedy movies, like Dodgeball and Zoolander, and from his TV shows, and this role is typical Ben Stiller--a caricature of a guy who takes himself very seriously.

 

3. Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course.

 

Ferrell often has a gross-out factor that a lot of classic slapstick doesn't seem to have. Pies mess up people's faces, but they don't get their arms chopped off. I guess I'd say maybe Laurel and Hardy, because their humor seems more aggressive and more often to involve anger. The rumble scene in Anchorman brings the violence of slapstick to a new era. And also maybe W.C. Fields, for the same reason. Ron Burgundy has an anger about him like Fields' characters often do. He's got a score to settle.

 

Ferrell's not as physically adept as someone like Chaplin or Keaton, that I've seen, and he doesn't seem to go in for super-expensive, elaborate, or painstaking stunts, or ones that involve physical risks, like the falling houses in Keaton's movies or the train in The General. When crazy things happen, they're usually a result of the character's craziness, not happenstance, like the Keaton stunts just mentioned or the house falling off a cliff in Chaplin's film (I think it was The Gold Rush?).  

 

Edited to add: The student who goes by the forum name "Schlinged" pointed out the Three Stooges, because of the violence. How could I have missed that! I guess I was thinking back to the really early stuff. But the Stooges are the closest of the all the earlier slapstick acts/actors we've studied when it comes to the level of violence. And, as Schlinged pointed out, in Anchorman there's no real consequence to the violence, as is usually the case with the Stooges.


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#3 pumatamer

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 09:47 PM

Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course. I think the work of Mel Brooks and but also Stanley Kramer. The use of cameos in Anchor Man were clever and make people laugh with anticipation, knowing new faces might pop up. This reminds me of Kramer's It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and all the cameos that showed up in that. 


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#4 rajmct01

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 03:04 PM

I just saw the entire movie. The opening scene reminded me of Ted on the Mary Tyler Moore show. Seeing the entire movie made the scene of the battle of the networks even funnier. Tim Robbins pushing Christina Applegate into the Kodiak Bear exhibit was so contrary to the idea of PBS. I see they had a real TV reporter at the Panda exhibit. I wonder how the network anchors took to this movie?

#5 Thief12

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 12:02 PM

I would say that this bit is different from the previous ones because they're not targeting a specific genre. I mean, even though Anchorman is targeting 1960-70's news and TV shows, a fight scene like this is not something that quite fits that mold. The scene is all over the place throwing jabs at gang films, war films, and even Planet of the Apes like we saw in the Breakdown of a Gag video.

 

But I think that what makes the scene work, beyond the absurdity of the fight, is to see these well-known actors in it (the cameos, like we discussed in the other Breakdown of a Gag video). I mean, Luke Wilson comes first, and it's funny, but then we see Tim Robbins, who might be more known for dramatic roles and very serious political involvements, and that makes it all the more funny. It is all capped with the excess of Stiller's cameo, which just throws everything overboard (in a good way).

 

Since I'm not that familiar with the early comedians (having only seen a handful of Chaplins, and just the clips I saw here from Keaton and Lloyd), I wouldn't be sure where to place Ferrell, in respect to them. It doesn't quite fit with Chaplin, I guess. I would say that he is more in Lloyd's terrain (common guy).


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#6 startspreading

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 09:44 AM

1. How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? Be specific.

 

I think Ferrell’s style is closer to ZAZ’s style. It’s the spoof of a genre, a very broad spoof – from gang fights and “West Side Story” feels – and not a particular spoof like Mel Brooks often did. Woody Allen also does a bit of satire early in his career and spoofs the Bergman style in “Boris Grushenko”, from 1975.

 

2. We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on Cameos – in the full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene?

 

Well, this is a cultural thing. If we don’t know who the people doing the cameos are, they just make no sense. I’m not an American, and I didn’t know those people in the cameos until now. In the full context – and if you are familiar with them – the cameos add a laugh, are a gag in themselves, but are not mandatory for the film to be funny. If you are not familiar with those people, it’s only one less laugh.

 

3. Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course.

 

I’m not familiar with Will Ferrell’s whole body of work, but in this scene in particular I sense violence as the main mean of slapstick comedy – and violence without consequences, because one man loses an arm and he just gets a bit upset. I also see, in this sequence, spoofing in the ZAZ tradition – much closer to ZAZ and a genre spoof than to Mel Brooks and the particular spoof.


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#7 Popcorn97

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 10:19 AM

1. How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? Be specific.

I think Ferrell and McKay almost borrow from each of them. Might not be like from this scene. Its almost like the pie fight scene we saw in breaking down the gag. Ferrell did a follow up to this gag in pt 2. I thought was it was more over the top and much more funny.

 

 

2. We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on Cameos – in the full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene?

They set this cameo gag up for 3 min and 48 seconds then they only fight for 2 min and 15 seconds its almost like a spoof on West Side Story. The cameos add to the wackiness and the zaniness of how the fight will be.

 

 

 

3. Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course. 

For this answer I looked online and it says he was influenced by peter sellers, chevy chase and Steve martin. Comedians always influence other comedians in one way or another.



#8 rajmct01

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 10:04 PM

How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? Be specific.

The scene reminded me of West Side Story. It also felt a bit like Hang Um High. I thinks ZAZ was spoofing TV shows. Mel Brooks was spoofing Alfred Hitchcock. Woody Allen pictures show the same guy (average NY male) put into an odd situation. The character deals with it with his own NY philosophy. New York has more edgy humor.

#9 Schlinged

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 02:15 PM

Questions:
1. How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? 
I'd say Woody Allen and Mel Brooks were more interested in creating more cerebral comedy - thought-provoking - while ZAZ and Ferrell/McKay would mix genres while spoofing more television forms. The fight scene echoed a variety of comparisons, such as the 50's delinquent youth movies including the gang fight mixed with using gladiator movies with the tools such as the trident, net, and horses, along with gross-out humor of the amputation of Luke Wilson's arm ("Oh, I didn't see that coming"). 
 
2. We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on Cameos – in the full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene?
As discussed earlier doozies, cameos bring a familiarity with known actors moving into similar roles or different ones. In the case here with Ben Stiller and Tim Robbins, Stiller a known comedic actor that mines similar veins of comedy while Robbins, having done comedic roles, steps out of his normal element to do a role with total absurdity involved. The cameos themselves are an individual gag with the audience in on the gag.
 
3. Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? I'd go with the Stooges, just for the cluelessness of the characters and the violence. I would also say, hearkening back to ZAZ, but more so Kentucky Fried Movie from the early 1970s as well as a contemporary Naked Gun. Perhaps even the zaniness of the Marx Bros Films could be an influence.

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#10 johnseury

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 08:19 PM

1. F& M's style isn't as manic as Woody Allen or as zany as Mel Brooks. It is close to ZAZ's in that everything is thrown in, including the kitchen sink. I liked the bit where Tim Robbins snuffs out his pipe before the fight. Not only is it a parody of 70s style, but also urban gangs (Wesr Side Story?) and a million other things as well.
2. I kept on trying to identify everyone and could swear that Tony Dow was on Vince Vaughn's team. The cameos just enhance the madness.
3. There's a lot of Peter Sellers in Ferrell but this clip and some of his other works look like a fusion of ZAZ and the slapstick spectacles of the )0s.
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#11 clark2600

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 06:16 AM

1.  How does style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ?  Be specific.  Unlike the seriousness and specificness of Woody Allen, the collaboration of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay is completely off the wall.  The team is moreover more closer to Mel Brooks and ZAZ, where they take a joke and run away with it.  Ex.  when the rival Anchorman Frank Vitchard's arm was severed.  It's just what viewers have come to expect from "that wild and crazy guy," Ferrell.  Even down to the preparing for the duel, armed with battle axes, medieval flail, grenades, whips, even swords, it's a real laugh riot.

 

2.  We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on cameos-in full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene?  The street brawl reminded me of scenes from West Side Story.  There was also a portion of the film consisting of Brian Fantana being dragged that was reminiscent of The Ten Commandments.  These cameos further enhance the realness, the effectiveness, as well as overall credibility of the scenes.  These cameos would over exaggerate, hooping up the scene.

 

3.  Of the slapstick influences we've covered in this class, who do you think influenced Will Farrell as a slapstick comedian?  You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course.  When, I think of someone as radical, "off the wall" humor, Jim Carrey would stay stuck in my mind.  Another would be the buffoonery of Jerry Lewis, maybe even Lou Costello.  Even "no fool like an old fool," Jimmy Stewart.  Maybe, even Hal Roach studios.


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#12 Dubbed

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 01:34 AM

One could argue Woody Allen is satirical in his artistic expressions in the film Bananas. The clip from Bananas presented within the course involved Allen "raiding" a local diner for food for himself and his rebel comrades. He appears to have provided a kind of subversive social commentary on his stance pertaining to war/rebels/invasions. McKay and Ferrell seem to be spoofing television in particular. They are in it for good fun, implementing a rather horrific version of a massive pie fight. This Anchorman clip is geared towards physicality, as opposed to Bananas more intellectual and verbose approach. Both clips are slapstick centric, but use the "rules" to each artist's own personal expression. Whether in possible opposition to war or spoofing an era of television, these two films are rife with humor.

Introducing completely random characters (who just so happen to be comedy stars) doesn't advance the plot in any way whatsoever. Cameos are, however, attention grabbers, and can add different comedic personalities making a scene more interesting. This leads me to address the drawing of the weapons. I thought each character revealing his own was actually very funny (Steve Carell.) Who on earth carries a hand grenade around in their suit? So, while lacking any real purpose for the narrative, cameos just typically generate great laughs. We all love to witness someone strolling into a scene for no reason at all.

I believe Will Ferrell was likely influenced by Mel Brooks. Brooks has had a massive influence on comedic actors for decades. His parodies/spoofs are some of the "go-to" films when studying comedy. Although I didn't compare Young Frankenstein against Anchorman, there is a definite correlation between the two.

Both films are clearly parodies/spoofs of films/television from earlier times. They utilize slapstick working against the predecessors' original premise, which proves for an unlikely relationship bonding these two films to the material having been parodied. Young Frankenstein is more than likely used as a how-to guide in the proper way of crafting a great, memorable comedic film garnering raucous laughter from audiences everywhere.
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#13 felipe1912t

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 09:14 AM

Woody Allen is more satirical than physical, so this specific clip doesn't seem to have any kind of clear reference to his job. Only some lines, linkd with the present (TV channel) may be considered an approach to both works. The fight showed on the excerpt exaggerates the situations by parody, and in that way we have much influence from Mel Brooks's job. Finally, ZAZ is clear referenced when we bring parody to a level almost over the edge of make-believe. After all, we have a little of those three influences on the clip (with more or less presence).

 

The cameo adds another comic element that works here to support the parody by strenghtening the funny situation. Is one more strong element of slapstick throught times.

 

Leslie Nielsen seems to be the bigger influence because of the parody element. None of the classical coemdians had this deepness in movie parody that we would see in Nielsen's job. Speaking of movie studios, it seems to me that Hal Roach would be the best place for a comedian like him to work if we were in 1930s.

 

I'd like to add here my pleasure to be a student in a TCM course one more time. Thanks to Ball State University, Prof. Richard Edwards and TCM for bringing us so enlightenment about this subject! Hope to see more nest year (how about horror movies)? 


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#14 Knuckleheads Return

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 09:08 AM

1. How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? Be specific. A difficult question to answer. As we have discussed, Woody Allen's approach is his use of wordsmithing and conceptual parody, Mel Brooks attempts to be as outrageous as possible (we noted that Gene Wilder had to tone him back so we didn't have "Blazing Frankenstein"), and finally the team of ZAZ use of lampooning and spoofing targeted at a specific genre film. In Ferrell and McKay we see a different totally approach, in my opinion they don't go to the Woody Allen level of wordsmithing most of the lines are just average things used in conversation only attached to a slapstick gag, they are outrageous but in a bullying way and finally they choose an entire field that hasn't been developed a s genre "Newscasters". Unlike team ZAZ specific patterned genre films.

 

2. We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on Cameos – in the full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene?

What I noticed was that the cameo characters don't just disappear after a few moments on screen (think Jerry Lewis, 3 Stooges in Mad Mad Mad Mad World) but rather stay in the fight and actually get pretty nasty ala the Public news guy.

 

3. Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course.

Of the three questions this is the hardest. I am going to go out on a limb and think a little outside the box. Earlier in the class I stated that I hadn't seen any of Charlie Chase's films but when I realized that the character I could not stand in Laurel and Hardy's "Sons of the Desert" I realized that I in fact had seen him before. I would like to propose that Will Ferrell was most influenced by Charlie Chase. I mean we see Charlie portray the nice guy character in "The Pip From Pittsburgh" and then he changes into the despicable character in "Sons of the Desert". Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy reminded me so much of Charlie Chase. He can come at you as so nice etc and then he is leading the guys in a bloody (" I didn't see that coming") street brawl.


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#15 DebraDancer

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 08:49 AM

One heck of a way to end the course with this over the top slapstick fight sequence.

 

It is as over the top as anything ZAZ would produce, with the same amount of wit as a Mel Brooks film. Everything builds up slowly and comes to a fast and furious crescendo like in a ZAZ film, and is indeed as cartoonish as anything Frank Tashlin dished up.

 

The ability to recognize certain stars adds to the fun of the cameo appearances.

 

Will Ferrell had to have been influenced by the Three Stooges with their physical slapstick humor, and Mel Brooks's sharp wit. He also had to have been a fan of ZAZ as he tries to take their work to the next level in this scene.

 

It's been a pleasure learning about slapstick. Would REALLY love the next class to be about Pre-Code.

I heartily second your shout-out for a class on Pre-Code movies! My first exposure to Pre-Code movies was on TCM and I LOVE them. Can't get enough actually. I love to really dig deep on the topic -- like the Noir class last summer.


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#16 Whipsnade

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 04:28 AM

     The spoofing style of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (F&M), in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004), most closely compares with the style of Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker (ZAZ), as seen in “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad” (1988).  Both “Anchorman” and “Naked Gun” parody a “television genre.”  While “Naked Gun” is a spoof of a “Dragnet” style police procedural, “Anchorman” spoofs local news broadcasting in the 1970’s.  The humor in both is rapid-fire and broad-based.  The style of F&M differs from the styles of Woody Allen (in “Bananas” from 1971) and Mel Brooks & Gene Wilder (in “Young Frankenstein” from 1974) by not having either the intellectual depth of Allen, or the subtlety and affection of Brooks & Wilder.  With F&M and ZAZ, the parody is as broad as the humor, and the subject is treated with little reverence.  Though the parallel may be a little forced, “Anchorman” can be seen as a modernized spoofing of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” with Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) in the role of Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) in the role of Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) and Ed Harken (Fred Willard) in the role of Lou Grant (Ed Asner).

 

     The cameos in the fight scene add one of the few subtle elements of humor in this F&M production -- the humor of an inside joke.  They do not increase the make-believe or the slapstick humor of the scene; they add depth to the existing humor.  Of course, the inside joke only works if the viewer is aware of who they are.  Because I do not know them, their real identities add nothing to the scene (for me).  It is an interesting reversal of what some younger viewers may have experienced with the Jack Benny cameo in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963) and really brought home the importance of an historical/cultural context for a cameo to work.  That said, I found the scene to be funny; I just do not “get” the humor of the inside joke.  The start of the rumble parodied Brando’s “The Wild One” (1954), with the circling of the bicycles, before morphing into a “West Side Story” (1961) spoof on steroids.

 

      Because no filmmaker operates in a vacuum, determining who might have influenced Will Ferrell must be speculative and can be perilous.   All filmmakers have been influenced, both consciously and subconsciously, by all the works that preceded their own.  With that said, I see the primary influence to be the “live-action animation” approach of Frank Tashlin and Blake Edwards.  The battle of the news crews, in “Anchorman” reminded me of the scene in “The Good Humor Man” (1950) where the kids defeat the bad guys, using everything available, including musical instruments.  The over-the-top nature of the scene reminded me of  the great pie fight in “The Great Race” (1965).  All three scenes have wild exaggeration, vivid make-believe and cartoonish violence.  With apologies to Frank Tashlin, this scene has the wild look of a Tex Avery cartoon.     

When I watched the complete movie, it was interesting to see that F&M used a combination of animation and live-action to symbolize the union of Ron and Veronica in the love scene.


As the course sadly draws to a close, I will hold my thanks for a posting on the section of the message board that has now been set up for that purpose.


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#17 Russell K

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 11:39 PM

How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? Be specific.

Ferrell does not have the cerebral, dry aspect of Woody Allen.  Ferrell’s humor does not seem to make a political statement. 

 

I do see some limited Mel Brooks influence in Anchorman.  Just as Brooks took on the horror films in Young Frankenstein, westerns in Blazing Saddles, and Broadway musicals in The Producers, Ferrell takes on television news in the late 1970s.  There is some of that element of Brooks, in that the viewer has to understand the source of the gag to fully appreciate the humor of the gag.

 

There is also a good deal of influence from the ZAZ team, and this makes sense to me, considering that many of their films were released and major hits during Ferrell’s formative years during the 1980s.  Some of the scenes in Anchorman are way over the top.  There is some of the deadpan of Leslie Nielsen seen in Ferrell as Ron Burgundy.  Clueless, bungling, and surrounded by idiots.

 

We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on Cameos – in the full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene?

As noted by others, the cameos add to the fun of the fight scene.  As was mentioned in the Slapstick Spoofs Part One content, “A film spoof will mischievously wink at its audience, and we are supposed to notice those ‘winks’ since we are in on the joke.”  All you have to do is change the words “film spoof” to “The use of cameos in film”.

 

Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course.

In reading about Ferrell, it is noted that he was heavily influenced by television, particularly Johnny Carson and the early years of Saturday Night Live!   As mentioned above, the ZAZ team no doubt influenced Ferrell, particularly Leslie Nielsen. 

 

 

Given that his roots were in improvisation with The Groundlings, (much like early SNL members were alums of Second City), it is hard for me to point to one overriding influence, since improvisation - by its nature draws – on all available sources of humor at a moment’s notice and goes with the flow of the scene.  And this reflects what we have learned in the course content regarding the later years of slapstick – it becomes more difficult to point to one identifying influence since comedians today have a century of material to draw from.  


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#18 gtunison

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 10:14 PM

More in the style of ZAZ. Ron is clueless that he is a boob. To that he is a mixture of Nielson and Robert Hays from Airplane in the timing of the lines. Allen's characters are normal everyday people in extraordinary circumstances like a civil war. Brooks pays respect to the genre his is spoofing.

 

It was a take on West Side Story and they wanted to make sure to include all the local stations in the big fight. Very exaggerated without the fine music from WSS.

 

I would say Ferrell was a fan of the Three Stooges, Groucho Marx and Woody Allen.

 


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#19 Higgs5

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 10:10 PM

The film pokes fun of the news content and stereotypical newsmen of the 70s – particularly at smaller local stations.  As with Allen and Brooks characters, Farrell plays the unlikely leading man who wins over his true love. The film has a fair amount of well timed physical comedy – although much of it is crude.  I find Allen’s  and Brook’s films  much more thoughtful, subtle, literary, steeped in film history, and  less offensive than Farrell’s.

The film added celebrities to the mix during the fight scene. It was a way of introducing a number of quirky characters from competing news teams into the fight.

The comedians and directors we have studied so far have established rules and raised the bar and thus elevated the talents and integrity of the people who worked with them.   I’m not sure who  Farrell is trying to emulate.  He is non- traditional and I feel as though other “emerging” comedians in the cast were taken down a notch to match his style. 


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#20 MrZerep

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 09:54 PM

The spoof style of Ferrell and McKay seem to be more violent...really over-exaggerated than Allen, Brooks or ZAZ.  As I watched it it also spoofed the musical West Side Story's rumble scene.  One news anchor had a switch blade.  The brawl ends with the police siren and Ben Stiller yelling "Policia!" and they all scatter, just as the Jets and Sharks in WSS.  It's literally anything goes.  Oh, and when Ron Burgundy says "no touching of face or hair," well- I swear I saw some faces get smacked and one news anchor ablaze!

 

The cameos make the scene interesting in that a favorite comedian/actor can really break away from any character ever performed and have fun.
 
 
I think one of Will Ferrell's influences were The Three Stooges for the physical slapstick.  I'm sure Mel Brooks influenced him, as well.  The brawl in Ron Burgundy echoes another funny slapstick brawl, the ending in Blazing Saddles.
 
It looks like everyone is saying thanks as well in this message.  It has been wonderful to read what my fellow classmates have written and I can now view slapstick with a better appreciation for its actors, directors, writers...from a simple slip on a banana peel, to Dracula scaring Abbott and Costello, to the small screen antics of that crazy red-head ("I'm not a Maharincess, I'm a Henna-rinse-ess!") to the sophisticated humor of the 60s and 70s and today.  I am hoping to see more TCM/Ball University courses in the future!
 
 
In the words of another small screen comedian (who also delved in Slapstick) and I can already visualize the snipets of slapstick as she sings...
 
I’m so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song.
Seems we just got started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’
 
There’s a time you put aside for dreamin’,
And a time for things you have to do.
The time I love the best is in the evening –
I can spend a moment here with you.
 
When the time comes that I’m feelin lonely,
And I’m feelin’ ohooooo – so blue,
I just sit back and think of you, only,
And the Happiness still comes through.
 
That’s why I’m glad we had this time together,
‘Cause it makes me feel like I belong.
Seems we just got started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’

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