Will Ferrell is back on the big screen this week with The Other Guys, a buddy-cop comedy co-starring Mark Wahlberg. In 2007, Josh Levin gave a point-by-point dissection of Ferrell’s sense of humor, using a video slide show to analyze the comedian’s hit characters. The original article is reprinted below
In Blades of Glory, Will Ferrell plays a raven-tressed, crotch-grabbing figure skater named Chazz Michael Michaels. It’s not a stretch for Ferrell to swaddle himself in spandex and become an “ice-devouring sex tornado.” Like Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy, Chazz radiates over-the-top machismo. Like Ricky Bobby of Talladega Nights, he’s a down-on-his-luck sports hero. And like, well, every character Will Ferrell has ever played, he flaunts his hairy, paunchy body without a hint of shame.
It’s undeniable that Ferrell’s performances hit a lot of the same notes. But look more closely at his oeuvre and you’ll see a comic actor whose most prominent trait is his flexibility. Compared with someone like Vince Vaughn, a talented comedian who infuses every role with manic shtick, Ferrell’s versatility is a wonder to behold.
Click here for a video slide show on the secrets of Will Ferrell’s comic genius.