Last night, history was made. Will Ferrell, appearing as legendary newsman Ronald Burgundy, went on Conan to inform the world that despite years of claims to the contrary, an Anchorman sequel is in the works. Millions of people who hadn’t even realized that they were lacking an Anchorman sequel in their lives rejoiced.
While Ferrell could have disseminated this information through a number of outlets, Conan has proved to be his go-to venue for, well, just about everything. He must REALLY like Conan, considering he’s got a whole comedy website (Funny or Die) that could also handle these announcements, while reaching just as many people. I guess it’s the spectacle of being on semi-live televisions, as well as Conan’s willingness to let Ferrell do pretty much whatever he wants.
He’s a good sport that way.
While this might be the most newsworthy of Ferrell’s appearances on Conan, it’s far from the most outrageous. Here’s a collection of Ferrell’s weirdest and funniest appearances on Conan.
The last image from Conan’s ill-fated Tonight Show tenure is this live performance of Lynard Skynard’s ballad “Free Bird,” which served as a fairly moving goodbye, in as much as a talk show hosting change can be moving. While Ferrell took vocal duties in the character of some southern-fried rocker, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Beck, and Conan all took guitar duty while the rest of Conan’s band laid down rhythm.
It may have been during this video that casual fans learned that Conan is an absolute beast on guitar, and all fans, casual or not, were reminded that Ferrell doesn’t have a good singing voice.
Here, Ferrell cracks on egg of knowledge on Conan fans, informing them that, during his downtime, he really, really, really enjoys training dogs for obstacle courses in shows.
To share his passion with the world, he brought on a few dogs and set up an obstacle course. Though it’s Will Ferrell, and we all know he’s joking, he comes across as genuine right until the moment he points out the tightrope on the course. That could be an issue.
And it is. It turns out that Will Ferrell is absolutely terrible at training dogs, as they just continue to mill about idly once they take the stage. Ferrell adopts his loud, frustrated persona, and a good time is had by all.
One of Ferrell’s most beloved characters is a caricature of lounge singer Robert Goulet. Will came onto Conan’s Tonight Show in character, constantly mistaking Conan for Johnny Carson, and his New York studio for Johnny’s Burbank one back in the day. Even on SNL, Goulet was one of Ferrell’s more absurd characters, but the new dimensions are shown when he gets the opportunity to improvise and riff with the always-game Conan and Co.
After getting yanked from The Tonight Show while he was still forbidden from appearing on TV, Conan grew one of those beards you grow when you backpack through Nepal or when your girlfriend breaks up with you. However, when he finally got the ball rolling on TBS, it was a new beginning, and the beard had to go.
There was no question who would handle the duties. Will Ferrell appears on the show, ostensibly to talk about his new movie, but he quickly tells Conan to “shut the fuck up,” and gets the beard-trimming ball rolling.
Spoiler alert: Ferrell quits about halfway through, leaving Conan with an awesomely hilarious half-beard thing.
Hey! It’s Will Ferrell being outrageous again! This time he’s dressed as a damn Leprchaun. Oh, Will! You’re just outrageous!
It’s a little difficult to keep explaining why these appearances are funny, and describe what’s going on. Will Ferrell showed up at Conan’s show dressed as a leprechaun in a Speedo. It’s funny because people normally don’t do that.
Just watch the damn video.