Ron Burgundy co-anchors N. Dakota news
By Dirk Lammers, AP
December 3, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Television viewers in Bismarck, North Dakota, were treated to some real class this weekend when none other than the great Ron Burgundy read them the news.
Actor and comedian Will Ferrell reprised his “Anchorman” role for KXMB's Saturday night news broadcast. The former “Saturday Night Live” star is promoting “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” a sequel to the 2004 film about a fictional news team's sexist reaction to the arrival of an ambitious female reporter.
Dressed in his signature rust-colored three-piece suit and a striped tie, Ferrell read stories off the teleprompter, punctuated them with exaggerated eye blinks and engaged in witty banter with weekend anchor Amber Schatz and the rest of the Bismarck news team.
Schatz said she has watched the original “Anchorman” about 30 times, and the hardest part of co-anchoring the newscast with Ferrell was holding back laughter every time he spoke in character.
“The second he said, 'Good evening, I'm Ron Burgundy,' I lost it,” Schatz said Sunday. “It was really hard not to laugh.”
Ferrell also clowned around, popping into Schatz's screen while she read a story and telling her after a commercial break, “Amber, you look lovely tonight” before asking her if she was married.
When Schatz told him she wasn't married, Ferrell replied, “Well I am, so don't get any ideas.”
The online video of the 30-minute newscast, which is making the rounds on social media, is part of a widespread marketing campaign for the movie sequel that has included Dodge Durango commercials, a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor named “Scotchy Scotch Scotch,” and Burgundy's own exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
On Sunday, Ferrell headed to Winnipeg, where he helped open Canada's Roar of the Rings curling championship for broadcaster TSN. The winners will represent Canada in curling at the Sochi Olympics.
He even tried his luck releasing a rock on the ice and donned a kilt to the delight of fans. In speaking with reporters, he said the name Winnipeg was Latin for the small tundra bunny who lives in the hole on the hill.
As for curling jargon, Ferrell said he knows what “hurry hard” means, but uses it mostly when he's stuck in traffic to get the driver in front to start moving.
KXMB is one of two CBS-affiliated television stations serving central and western North Dakota. The Bismarck station shares programming with Minot's KXMC, but the two stations produce separate newscasts.
Sales manager Tammy Blumhagen said Ferrell's agent contacted the station in May and asked if he could anchor or co-anchor a newscast as part of the promotion tour for “Anchorman 2.” She's not sure why KXMB was selected.
“When they called us, we kind of jumped at the opportunity,” she said.