Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was released in 2004. The ‘2000s movie, designed as a parody of ’70s newsroom culture, stars Ferrell as the titular ‘Anchorman’ who struggles to cope with the rising stardom of a new female anchor (Christina Applegate).
While Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy is the stand-out character of the film, the supporting cast of Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and Judd Apatow ensures that you’re never short of laughs. Critically, the first film was mostly positive. It garnered a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while both the film and Ferrell’s character topped several best movie and best movie character lists.
Released a decade later, Anchorman 2 follows Burgundy on a new adventure when, after being fired by his old job in San Diego, he assembles his old friends as they prepare to take on the next big thing in media: a 24-hour news channel.
Critically, Anchorman 2 was even better than the first one, garnering a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and lauded by some critics as the “funniest movie of the year.”
In an interview with Refinery29, Ferrell noted how perceptions of Anchorman had changed between the first and second movie. “From local-news media, at first we were just patted on the head, saying ‘That’s a funny little movie, but it’s not very accurate,'” he recalled. “Now, every local-news station embraces that movie, and they’ll even tell us who the Ron Burgundy is at the station.”
He also told the outlet how the first Anchorman’s organic growth in popularity over the years is what inspired them to make a sequel.
“It was just a slow drip, drip, drip, as the original movie kept growing in popularity without any of us doing anything,” Ferrell said. “We all just kept checking in over the years talking about how everyone brings up the movie. We were reticent about making a sequel, but we just woke up one day wondering why we can’t have fun, too. They got to make three Oceans Eleven, so why can’t we do it?”