Hey Look, It’s Ron Burgundy at Emerson College
Will Ferrell gave an entertaining, improvised press conference in character.
For today only, Emerson College has renamed its communications school the “Ron Burgundy School of Communications,” to honor the fictional TV broadcaster, played by comedian Will Ferrell, who stars in the upcoming film “Anchorman 2.”
As reported when the school announced the appearance, Ferrell, as Burgundy, visited the campus for a press conference, a renaming ceremony, and a screening of the film. Burgundy expressed graciousness (but no surprise) that Emerson would think him worthy of a namesake. The conference could have been awkward, but Ferrell is a pretty amusing improv performer, and he fielded student questions well. Plus, he did his Boston homework. Asked what he planned to do while he visited, Ferrell as Burgundy gave his short list: taking a duck tour, climbing to the top of Old North Church to see whether the British were coming, sneaking into Fenway to steal a hunk of sod, deep fry and eat it, and going clubbing with Big Papi.
Asked to choose which city was classier, San Diego or Boston (echoing his famous sign-off “You, stay classy, San Diego”) he demurred, though we sense the edge went to San Diego.
“That’s like Sophie’s Choice for me. Golly,” he said. “They’re both beautiful cities on the water, even though Boston’s harbor is completely fake.”
Boston is just one stop on a big tour promoting the film that has seen Burgundy popping up in stranger places than Emerson College, including an actual North Dakota newscast, an “autobiography” excerpt in The New Yorker, a Ben & Jerry’s flavor, and a whole bunch of car commercials.
Some journalism professors at Emerson complained that they weren’t so pleased to be the venue for a publicity stunt. “My college roommate called me and said, ‘What are you people smoking?’” Professor Emmanuel Paraschos told the Boston Globe. (If they share Burgundy’s tastes, the answer is crack.) Luckily for them, tomorrow, Burgundy’s name will be scrubbed from the place. <