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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Plot Summary: In the testosterone filled world of 1970s TV news anchorships, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is thrust into love and conflict with his beautiful reporter and soon-to-be Co-Anchor, Veronica Corningstone (Christine Applegate). Ron is sent into a tailspin, and almost hits rock-bottom as events unfold. An event ultimately triggers his redemption, and he learns his lesson to lose the "boys-only club".

*Recognition: Basically None

Did You Know:

  • Many of the actors and actresses were good at improvisation. They would sometimes do up to 20 different versions of reaction lines, trying out the first thing that popped into their heads.

  • The Mexican restaurant Veronica visits with the girls from the station is named "Escupimos en su Alimento". In Spanish, that means, "We spit on your food".

  • This film had been pitched to DreamWorks almost 20 times before, following the successes of Old School (2003) and Elf (2003). DreamWorks had little faith in the film, doubting Will Ferrell and Adam McKay could pull off an entire film based on news anchors. The film grossed $84 million domestically, and McKay had so much extra footage he was able to make a second film out of it.

  • Ron's dog is named after Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), WJM news anchor of Mary Tyler Moore (1970).

  • John C. Reilly was offered a role, but turned it down because he was filming The Aviator (2004). He says that he regrets the decision. He was cast in a cameo in the sequel.

  • Will Ferrell has played flute since elementary school.

  • The first draft of the screenplay included suggested actors for various roles: Champ Kind: John C. Reilly; Brick Tamland: Chris Parnell; Brian Fantana: Ben Stiller; Ed Harken: Ed Harris; Garth Holiday: Dan Aykroyd; Frank Vitchard: Alec Baldwin; The script also specified another member of the news team, Marshall Connors, with William H. Macy suggested for the part.

  • The voiceover narration for the film's opening title sequence was provided by Bill Kurtis, who was himself a longtime television news anchor during the 1970s for both the CBS Early Morning News (1982) with Diane Sawyer and WBBM News in Chicago.

  • A good portion of scenes from the trailers were omitted from the final cut. These scenes include Burgundy taking a bullet for Veronica, and a later shot of him and her emerging from a television van to a cheering crowd, with Burgundy visibly showing a bandaged wound. The line where Ron asks Garth about his divorce while at a party, is also missing. Other shots cut include Ron walking into a filing cabinet and falling over, alternate dialogue when Ron asks Veronica what her dream is, Veronica and Ron tackling each other on the conference room table, collapsing (with Ron shouting "Let's make a baby!"), Ron admiring his own billboard, Ed Harken asking what a "lead" is, sitting by a poolside, standing by the side of the road with a long beard and guitar on his back trying to hitchhike, and others.

  • When the in-studio monitor shows the rolling credits during Ron and Veronica's banter, two of the credited writers listed are Jon Hamm and Adam Scott, both of whom are close friends of Paul Rudd.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: The juxtaposition of a "Boys Club" dominant man at the top of his field having to adapt to the evolving times of increasing female empowerment/a local news Anchorman gets slowly displaced from his perch atop 1970s culture by a new female colleague.

Best Performance: Will Ferrell (Ron Burgundy)

Best Secondary Performance: Adam McKay (Writer/Director)/Steve Carrell (Brick Tamland)

Most Charismatic Award: Steve Carrell (Brick Tamland)/Judd Apatow (Producer)

Best Scene:

  • Local News Brawl

  • Ratings Party

  • New Suits

  • Dorothy Mantooth

  • Taking a Run at the New Girl

  • Go Fuck Yourself, San Diego!

  • Jazz Flute

  • The Bear Pit

Favorite Scene: Taking a Run at the New Girl/Local News Brawl

Most Indelible Moment: The Bear Pit

In Memorium: Gloria Henry (Dennis the Menace (TV)-Mother)

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Brian Fantana: They've done studies you know. Sixty percent of the time it works every time.

Brick Tamland: Yeah.. I stabbed a man in the heart

Ron Burgundy: I saw that! Brick killed a guy. Did you throw a trident?

Brick Tamland: Yeah there were horses and a man on fire and I killed a guy with a trident.

Ron Burgundy: Brick I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safe house or a relative close by. Lay low for a while because you're probably wanted for murder.

Ron Burgundy: [answering the phone] “Hello? Who’s there, I’m talkin? Hello? Who is this? Baxter… is that you? Baxter! Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee… Is this Wilt Chamberlain? Have the courage to say something! Hello?

Brick Tamland: I love, carpet. I love, desk.

Ron Burgundy: Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying you love them?

Brick Tamland: I love, lamp.

Ron Burgundy: Do you really love the lamp or are you just saying it because you saw it?

Brick Tamland: I love lamp, I love lamp.

Brian Fantana: She was Brazilian, or Chinese, or something weird. I met her in the bathroom of a K-Mart and we made out for hours. Then we parted ways, never to see each other again.

Brick Tamland: I hear that their periods attract bears. The bears can smell the menstration.

Brick Tamland: Where'd you get those clothes at the Toilet Store?

Ron Burgundy: Brick, where'd you get a hand grenade?

Brick Tamland: I don't know.

Ron Burgundy: Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale's vagina.

Veronica Corningstone: No, there's no way that's correct

Ron Burgundy: I'm sorry, I was trying to impress you. I don't know what it means. I'll be honest, I don't think anyone knows what it means anymore. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago.

Veronica Corningstone: Doesn't it mean Saint Diego?

Ron Burgundy: No. No.

Veronica Corningstone: No, that's - that's what it means. Really.

Ron Burgundy: Agree to disagree.

Ron Burgundy: Um, Brick, before I let you go, are you still having your celebrity golf tournament?

Brick Tamland: Um, no, no. Too many people died last year, so we’re not gonna.

Champ Kind: I will smash your face into a car windshield, then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth out for a delicious seafood dinner and then never call her again!

Announcer: You’re watching Channel 4 News with five-time Emmy award-winning anchor Ron Burgundy and Tits McGee...

Brick Tamland: LOUD NOISES!

Ron Burgundy: Son of bee-sting...


Ron Burgundy: It's so hot (drinks milk) Milk was a bad choice.

Ron Burgundy: There's nothing here to see, it's just an illusion, don't act like your not impressed.

Champ Kind: Tell me about it, this morning, I woke up and I shit a squirrel, but what I can't get is the damn thing is still alive. So now, I've got a shit covered squirrel running around my office and I don't know what to name it.

Brick Tamland: Oh, I'm sorry Champ, I think I ate your chocolate squirrel.


Brick Tamland: Years later, a doctor will tell me that I have an I.Q. of 48 and am what some people call mentally retarded.

Ron Burgundy: Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 9

Impact/Significance: 4.5

Novelty: 7.5

Classic-ness: 8

Rewatchability: 8.25

Audience Score: 8.6 (86% Google, 86% RT)

Total: 45.85

Remaining Questions:

  • Shouldn't there have been an investigation and Veronica fired as well?

  • How did Baxter travel from the river to the zoo especially so quickly?

  • Where did Brick get a hand-grenade and trident from?

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