The Comedy Vault – Anchorman.

Anchorman (2004)

Just about the last area of my DVD collection that I have to tap into more are some American comedy films. Now these definitely aren’t low-key, probably not made near where I live, or only likely to be shown on the TV rather late at night, but I thought that I might as well give these a review, although I’m not sure what angle I’ll take. But I was attracted to this film for a few reasons.

Anchorman is a film that is a parody of American local TV news shows in the 70s. The only previous experience that I had of seeing this kind of thing were some of the outtakes the featured on the earlier editions of It’ll Be Alright On The Night, as there were just so many channels in America, and rather a lot of archive to go through.

Although I then went on to see more of these type of shows online, and it also made me realise how far we’d come with technology, with only the ding of a typewriter being a familiar noise back in those days. But this does lead me to Anchorman. The main character is Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell, who I’m fairly sure I also share a birthday with).

He is the main host of a local news show in San Diego, and to put it mildly, he thinks rather a lot of himself, thinking that he has the honour and responsibility of providing only the most important news to his loyal and enthralled viewers. His colleagues are an all-male team, who host the sport, and the weather and so on. But this group isn’t going to be so cosy for much longer.

I was rather amused that one of them was called Brick, because it reminded me of the episode of Goodnight Sweetheart where there was a character from the future called Brick, and he insisted that this was now a common first name, so the one in this film was clearly ahead of his time. They are all suddenly shaken by the arrival of Veronica, who is going to be Ron’s new co-anchor.

Veronica was played by Christina Applegate of Married… With Children sitcom fame (alongside many other things of course), and it was good to see her again. Suddenly there’s a big challenge, but she has more than earned her place on the team. Ron is rather upset about all of this, and soon lets everyone know about it. He’s not so classy now.

Anchorman was rather well received, and it is considered to be one of the better comedy films of its era, with even one or two quotes becoming very popular. DVD extras include deleted scenes and outtakes. There was also the spin-off book Let Me Off At The Top!, where Ron looked back at his career that definitely isn’t as spectacular as he insists. But there seemed to be the potential to explore this character more, and this led to a sequel. I’ll review that soon too.


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