Will Ferrell is on the new Mount Rushmore of Hollywood funny men. Along with a handful of other comedians, Ferrell changed the face of comedy from 90s gross-out physical humor to something more meta, more subversive, and a bit more random than the Farrelly Brothers.
While he hasn’t had a major hit in a while, save for the middling returns of Anchorman 2, Ferrell still manages to crack me up by his mere presence in a film or on late night, etc. Here are 11 things about Will Ferrell you may not have known…
1. While he was in high school, Will made the daily morning announcements over the public access system in disguised voices. This is how he first became interested in performing.
2. Ferrell’s performance bug came from his father, Lee Ferrell, who was a long time keyboard player for The Righteous Brothers.
3. He has an uncredited voice role in Kingpin in 1996. At the final showdown between Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson, Ferrell can be heard in the background shouting “Ernie, you’re the man!”
4. He studied at USC in the hopes of becoming a sports broadcaster. He graduated and interned at NBC Sports, but then drew laughs after ad-libbing a joke on-air during one of his broadcasting courses and switched to comedy.
5. He was a kicker for his Varsity football team, and still holds the school record for most field goals made in a season.
6. Another one of his earliest cameos/brief appearances in film came in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. He can be seen chasing a lawnmower down the stairs in a parody of the scene from The Untouchables.
7. On February 13, 2013, while working security during a Lakers game at the Staples Center, Will Ferrell escorted a good-natured Shaquille O’Neal away from his courtside seat. The name on Ferrell’s official red jacket read “Ted Vagina.”
8. Unlike the majority of SNL cast members and alums, Ferrell has never done and will never do standup comedy. He considers that job “cold, lonely, and vicious.”
9. His first son, Magnus, was born during the filming Kicking & Screaming in 2005, which is why it is his favorite of the films he appeared in. He said that he is eager for his son to see it, because he will always associate it with his birth.
10. An avid runner, Ferrell competed in the Boston Marathon in 2003 and finished at an official time of 4 hours, 2 minutes, and 29 seconds.
11. In 2001, Ferrell became the highest-paid cast member on SNL. The studio was desperate to keep him, so he was given a salary upwards of $350,000.