I grew up watching Saturday Night Live reruns on Comedy Central (this was, of course, before they replaced SNL reruns with Mad TV, something I am still very, very bitter about). I loved watching the evolution of SNL — how the comedy evolved throughout the very different casts over the years. From Belushi’s “Samurai Man” to Eddie Murphy’s hilarious “Buckwheat” sketches to Adam Sandler’s “Canteen Boy,” I was continually impressed and entertained by the show. Throughout all the casts, however, my favorite member was Will Ferrell. He had such amazing comedic range, with such memorably amazing characters as Craig the Spartan Cheerleader, Inside the Actors Studio’s James Lipton, and Marty Culp, the not-so-hip high school music teacher. To me, Will Ferrell was one of the funniest men who could take any situation and make it hilarious.
I was thrilled when, after he left the cast, he made a great transition into a movie career. From playing Old School’s “Frank the Tank” to the crazed fashion designer Mugatu (which, I believe, is his best performance yet) in Zoolander, he was certainly making his way into the public eye, in a good way. When Anchorman came out in 2004, I was blown away, as was most of America, by this original and hilarious movie, which cemented him as comic — and box office — magic. It was an absolutely ridiculous comedy with an amazing cast, but if anyone could pull off a story such as this, it was him. After this movie and his other blockbuster, Elf, everyone knew who Will Ferrell was and that he was the funniest man in comedy.
However, then things started to go awry. Though many will argue me on this point, I was not impressed with Talladega Nights, and though I thoroughly enjoyed Blades of Glory, by the time I saw the first teaser for his latest flick, Semi-Pro, I was less than satisfied. Then I continued to watch him “whore out” his Semi-Pro character, Jackie Moon, from Old Spice commercials to Budweiser Superbowl commercials to the side of every single bus in New York City. On SNL, he showed such a great range of characters, so why now was he just sticking to his tired formula of “Stupid Chauvinistic Man + Funny Profession = Box Office Magic”? Yes, these movies are funny, but not when looking at them together because in reality, they are all the same. He even gets attacked by a bear in two of his movies! But why am I the only person writing about this? Why doesn’t America realize this?! Recently, I had a conversation with my sister and brother about our disappointment in Will, when we realized how much his streak of the same roles was mirroring what happened in one of his movies. In Zoolander, his character is the one who raises the idea that all of supermodel Derek Zoolander’s “looks” were, in fact, exactly the same. He says, “They’re the same face! Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Well, Mugatu, I know exactly how you feel.