We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.


If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.


Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.


Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.


Jump to content


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

  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#41 jay1458


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 93 posts
  • LocationTexas

Posted 29 September 2016 - 11:49 AM

According to the clip, I think the spoof  style of Ferrell & Mckay is more of a slice-of-life type of slapstick (gang fight with chains and knives) than Brooks kind of slapstick however Woody Allen would fall in between with the (Gorilla soldiers).  The cameos in this scene< I think work because they bring a certain type of excitement to the fight. This is a good question because I think there was a combination between Peter Sellers and Leslie Neilson...

#42 redpaws



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 29 September 2016 - 11:44 AM

I could not stop finding classic hero type moments from all my favorite movies-Trinton throwing from Spartacus,Net dragging from Planet of the apes,dance off's with switch blades from West side story,it seemed as though every comic channeled a hero from Charlton Heston to Chevay  Chase in Three Amigio's. Movie infrences Mel Brook style,zany furious pacing ZAZ style,pie in the face meets Keystone cops chaos,its got it all.

  • Dr. Rich Edwards, Russell K and ScottZepher like this

#43 Wampus



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • LocationNorman, OK

Posted 29 September 2016 - 10:58 AM

You guys have answered these really well.


I think Will Ferrell's slapstick style can count Gene Wilder as an influence. He's got the repressed, barely contained insanity that explodes out of him in hilarious fashion like Gene does in his best roles (Producers, Young Frankenstein, Stir Crazy). The main difference is Wilder's characters are repressed out of fear of behaving badly and Ferrell's characters are contained because they want to project an image of cool and power.




  • GeezerNoir, Mandroid51, judith46 and 1 other like this

#44 riffraf


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 171 posts
  • LocationHouston, Texas

Posted 29 September 2016 - 09:50 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.


Ferrell and McKay’s spoof style is far more exaggerated than that of Woody Allen’s but not as extreme as the ZAZ team. So it more closely resembles that of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder’s work on Young Frankenstein in the way that both teams stayed true to advancing the story line sprinkled with short bits of visual slapstick in between plot points but with a more controlled pacing of “outrageousness” than Brooks’ work on Blazing Saddles.  The newsmen rumble was the probably the most over-the-top visual gag in “Anchorman” whereas in the hands of ZAZ, that type of craziness would have been repeated scene after scene.


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?     


I think we all want to see our favourite stars perform or work with an ensemble cast.  From a standpoint of marketing using cameos would come under the idea of a bigger, grander, feature with more stars.  As we learned in class earlier, every comedian in the business wanted to participate in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Gene Hackman practically begged for a role in Young Frankenstein.  Cameo parts expand an actors repertoire and enhance the fans movie going experience either by anticipating a particular actor’s appearance (the Where’s Waldo? factor) within the feature or to satisfy one’s curiosity as how an actor will handle a scene (the What would Jesus do? factor).  ; - )


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.


Will Ferrell seems to play most of his comedy straight, relying on the situation at hand or the verbal banter to set off a gag, so I would think that Peter Sellers must have been a role model for his career.


PS  Once again this has been a great experience participating online with Dr. Edwards and all my classmates, exchanging ideas and truly looking a the history of slapstick comedy with "fresh eyes".  Good to see my "Noir" classmates again & hope to see you all down the line for whatever comes next!  Thank you everybody!  

  • LauranMc1945, Janeko, jay1458 and 4 others like this

#45 TonyZao


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts

Posted 29 September 2016 - 09:42 AM

Ferrell and McKay's style, as shown in Anchorman, embodies every single slapstick characteristic, as defined in the very first day of this course. This scene is absolutely exaggerated, physical, make-believe, ritualistic and, above all, violent. The fact that this is a scene practically independent from the rest of the film (which is a spoof with some slapstick in it) brings it even closer to the standards of slapstick as we've seen it from the 1970's and beyond. Slapstick here is self-conscious just like in Mel Brooks or Woody Allen's films, but no one in the film seems to care about it.


Just like in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, cameos, especially when the actors appearing are comedians, make the whole scene more absurd and at the same time familiar with the audience. The fact that in this fight scene people suddenly appear from nowhere, perfectly equipped for a violent fight while they're only journalists is funny enough; the fact that these people are played by famous actors gives an air of complete absurdity and paranoia to what is going to happen.


Ferrell's style was certainly influenced by many slapstick actors and directors before him. I would say that Peter Sellers and Mel Brooks are the ones with the most influence; the former because the characters played by Farrell are often similar to his own, and the latter because Farrell's general approach to comedy has the same touch as his.


I've much enjoyed these Daily Doses (as I did in #NoirSummer last year) and the main reason for that is because they gave me the chance to think about many things, express my opinions in public and read other people's opinions for the same subject in order to make conclusions. I'd like to thank my classmates and professor Edwards, and hope that similar courses will be made in the future.







  • GeezerNoir, riffraf, DebraDancer and 3 others like this

#46 Barracuda89



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Posted 29 September 2016 - 09:36 AM

1. To me, it seems that the parody style of Ferrell and McKay is most similar to that of Mel Brooks and ZAZ. Like in the scene we viewed yesterday from The Naked Gun, Anchorman is very aware that it is a parody, and isn't subtle about its parody status. Like Mel Brooks's fight scene in Blazing Saddles, some extraordinary events took place in that fight scene in which resources wouldn't have existed before the fight broke out. For instance, there were horses which seemingly appeared out of nowhere during the fight scene in Anchorman, as in Blazing Saddles in which weapons were brandished that were not shown before.


2. Seeing the cameos through the entire scene acts as a great slapstick gag because the audience is never sure when the cameos will stop and each one is a bit more outrageous than the last.


3. It seems as though Will Ferrell was most influenced by Leslie Nielsen, based upon today's daily dose alone, as I have never seen any Will Ferrell movies. He was very serious, as Nielsen's character was in The Naked Gun, yet still made subtly funny physical movements, and had very funny dialogue that most reminded me of Nielsen.

  • riffraf and Russell K like this

"You should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about."--Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

#47 Mandroid51


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 152 posts

Posted 29 September 2016 - 09:22 AM

"Well, it looks like we have ourselves a bilingual blood fest!"

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.

Ferrell and McKay utilize all the tricks that came before them also using exaggeration and specifically targeting our collective memories of the 70's through television. They showed spoof, cameo, exaggeration, physical, word smithing, violence, ritual, and props a plenty...

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 add a touch of charm and a sort of wink-wink nudge-nudge to the audience. We should feel a sense of pride in acknowledgement once we spot the obvious cameos.

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.

Will Ferrell seems to encompass Peter Sellers who could play any character and embodied so many personalities. If I had to pick one it'd be Peter Sellers :)

Just a wave goodbye to all of my fellow peers and a special nod to Ben Stiller who is in my opinion underrated for his impressions and self awareness. When he's at his best there is complete lack of humility that is outrageous! (Rapidly whips head left and right!)

"La policía!"
  • GeezerNoir, riffraf, TonyZao and 4 others like this

#48 Dr. Rich Edwards

Dr. Rich Edwards

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 270 posts
  • LocationBall State University

Posted 28 September 2016 - 08:44 PM

We have reached our final Daily Dose for #SlapstickFall!


This Dose will be delivered Thursday morning, September 29, 2016. 


Thanks to everyone for all the great comments and insights on the 16 Daily Doses!!


I always love reading the great wealth of knowledge, curiosity, and passion of this community!!



  • riffraf, Janeko, Mandroid51 and 3 others like this

Richard Edwards, PhD

Ball State University

Instructor: TCM Presents: The Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock (2017)

Instructor: TCM Presents: Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies (2016)

Instructor: TCM Presents: Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir (2015)



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users