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Happy Birthday Will Ferrell!

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Will Ferrell has graced our screens for nearly 30 years now, delivering comedy gold at every turn. Whether it’s as a crude anchorman, a lovable elf or a lego villain, Ferrell never fails to disappoint. 

In honour of the comedy star’s 51st birthday I have gone through his weird and wonderful back catalogue and put together a list of his top ten greatest roles. So let’s have count down some of the immensely varied yet hilarious characters he has played and celebrate the icon that is Will Ferrell. 

10. The Campaign (2012) dir. Jay Roach

Ferrell is on villainous form here as sleazy politician Cam Brady going up against Zack Galifinakis’ humble newcomer to the politics game, Marty Huggins. Their competitive antics throughout their film veer from snake bites to sex tapes and will keep you laughing all the way through. Ferrell is on fine form as the crude but cheesy politician in this satire of modern American politics. 

 

9. Starsky & Hutch (2004) dir. Todd Phillips

Whilst Ferrell is only a cameo in this remake of the hit 70s TV show, he never fails to make a lasting impression. Here he plays ‘Big Earl’, an imprisoned gang member sought out for information by cops Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Ferrell is actually uncredited in the film, despite producing what has to be one of the funniest scenes of the movie, in which Stiller and Wilson engage in sexual role-play, pretending to be dragons, in order to get information out of Ferrell’s character. It is only a small moment but still remains unforgettable.

 

8. The Lego Movie (2014) dir. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Ferrell returns to playing the bad guy here in 2014’s highly successful animated feature in which he plays the big bad Lord Businessman, the antagonist of the film. Ferrell manages to bring comedy to the role of the bad guy with quick wit and sharp delivery, making Lord Businessman a worthy comic adversary for Chris Pratt’s leading lego man Emmett. 

 

 7. Zoolander (2001) dir. Ben Stiller

Again, Ferrell only plays a small part in this film, but it deserves a place on the list because of how iconic it is. Ferrell plays Mugatu, fashion designer come evil genius in Ben Stiller’s wacky satire on the modelling industry. The strange accent and even stranger costumes (complete with matching costumes for his dog) certainly make this role one of Ferrell’s more recognisable. How could anyone forget that platinum blonde perm?

 

6. Anchorman (2004) dir. Adam McKay

In 2004 Ferrell brought us Ron Burgundy, the cocky but lovable anchorman that has now become the stuff of legend. Ferrell’s performance in the film has made this perhaps one of his most iconic characters to date. He even made a guest appearance on the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber in full character.

 

5. Get Hard (2015) dir. Ethan Cohen

This film saw Ferrell uniting with fellow comedy star Kevin Hart, as Hart’s character was tasked with preparing Ferrell’s white-collar criminal for his upcoming incarceration. The Hart–Ferrell duo is a winning combination, and watching Hart’s character attempt to teach Ferrell’s straight laced, socially awkward businessman the nature of prison and unwritten rules of gang life inevitably led to hilarious consequences. 

 

 4. Blades of Glory (2007) dir. Josh Gordon and Will Speck

This was the film that introduced us to the iconic, Chazz Michael Michaels. Ferrell plays Michaels, a skilled figure skater but crude sex addict opposite Jimmy MacElroy, played by Jon Heder, golden boy of the figure skating world. Both figure skaters’ careers nosedive after an embarrassing argument on stage leading to lifetime bans. After finding a loophole in the ban and realising that they can still compete, but only as a pair, they begin skating together and hilarity ensues. A particular highlight is their first routine as a duo set to Aerosmith’s ‘I don’t wanna miss a thing’, complete with matching lycra bodysuits and oh so seductive but incredibly hilarious choreography.  

 

3. Daddy's Home (2015) dir. Sean Anders

Taking the bronze on the list is 2015’s Daddy’s Home. Ferrell teams up with Mark Walberg (after having previously worked together on The Other Guys in 2010) in a step dad vs. biological dad showdown. Walberg plays the wild card, absentee biological father who makes a sudden return to the delight of his two children. Whilst Ferrell is the eager but mild-mannered, stay at home step-dad, forced to play second best to Walberg’s Dusty Mayron. Ferrell engages in numerous activities to win his stepchildren’s affections, which of course all end in hilarity. Overall, this is one of Ferrell’s funniest films to date and although the sequel was a bit of a let down, Daddy’s Home is still fully deserving of third place. 

 

2. Elf (2003) dir. Jon Favreau 

Is it even Christmas if you don’t watch this film? In second place it’s Elf. Ferrell plays the naïve and excitable Buddy who, having been raised by elves grows up believing he is one. However when Buddy discovers his true parentage he sets out on a journey to New York to find his biological father. Buddy is arguably one of the most lovable characters on film, whether he is eating cotton wool, putting syrup on almost anything, or decorating a department store like the North Pole. If the end doesn’t bring a tear to your eye then your heart is made of stone. This is one of those films that will be on a ‘Best Xmas films’ list for the rest of time, and rightfully so.  

 

1. Stepbrothers (2008) dir. Adam McKay

In first place it is the one and only Stepbrothers. This raucous comedy follows two forty year old ‘man children’, Brennan Huff and Dale Doback, played by Ferrell and John C. Reilly respectively, as they are forced to live together after their parents marry. The antagonistic relationship between the two moves quickly to friendship and the film delivers comedy at every turn. Ferrell and Reilly are just brilliant as the two middle-aged men, playing with night vision goggles, doing despicable things to drum sets, and uniting to form the music making company Prestige Worldwide. Not to mention, they also brought us the anthem that is ‘Boats n Hoes.’ Stepbrothers is probably one of the funniest films of all time and as such takes the gold medal on this list, very well deserved.

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